Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 7, 2012.

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Revisiting the earthquake & tsunami affected area in Ishinomaki, Japan to capture the enormity of the disaster.

Please read the update about the extra funding. (予算以上の資金の使い道)

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日本語の文章は英語の後にあります。

It all started last year...

In June 2011, I had the opportunity to volunteer for the Earthquake/Tsunami relief in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, which was one of the most affected areas from the disaster that occurred on March 11, 2011. The two weeks I was there, I was able to meet the locals and work with them side by side to rebuild their town. While I was there I photographed my first hand experience to further grasp the magnitude of not only what has happened to Japan as a nation, but how it effects the people, the culture, and myself.  

Since I have returned to the United States, I have utilized my images to inform my community and bring attention to the need that still exists. I was inspired to further my project by creating photographic cyanotypes in the representation of the traditional Japanese origami cranes. In Japanese folklore, it is custom that if one folds a thousand origami cranes one's wish would be granted; so that is exactly what I did. I spent hours cyanotyping the paper, and folded a thousand cranes. I know my photographs and cranes cannot fully express and restore the devastation , but it is my wish for the country to recover, continue to prosper, and regain their health.  

The Project:

I am going to Japan for the month of August to revisit the town of Ishinomaki to rephotograph the community I visited last year while volunteering. 

Also, I am going to explore the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi: finding beauty in imperfection and acceptance of transience. I believe this journey is for the people of Ishinomaki, as well as for myself. I will explore my identity as being Japanese, and what it means to have a Japanese soul. 

If you pledge $10 or more to the project, you will receive a strand of cyanotyped cranes attached with a marble (each pledge contribution will come with a certain amount of cranes on its strand). You can always keep Japan in your heart by having an ornament of this traditional symbol of Japan. All the people who pledged will be mentioned as contributors on airikatsuta.com.

Why Ishinomaki?:

It will be a continuation of last year's experience. Since I am familiar with the area of Ishinomaki, in Miyagi prefecture, I will be able to return to the places where I helped clean up, visit the local families that I got to meet. 

I want to be the spokesperson for the people of Ishinomaki, because I learned so much from them from the importance of family, strength of community, preparing for a crisis, and the ability of what people can accomplish. They have so many interesting stories to tell, and I want to share them with you. 

Project Outcome:

To tell you the truth, I don't know what I might come across. But that's the part that excite me the most. I'm going on this adventure to discover the people, the places, the stories, the history, the culture... So many things that I don't want to limit myself to ONE type of photography. All I know that I'm going to come back with lots of things to share with you all. I'll be talking to the locals, not in a formal strict interview, but to get to know each other and hear their stories. Laugh, smile, and cry. So take this exclusive journey as me being your guide to this little town that has regenerated since the Tsunami. It will be a trip that you won't regret. 

Where will the pictures be?:

The photographs will be displayed on my website, galleries, festivals (Arizona Matsuri), and also in a book form where people will be able to purchase it.

Click here for the pictures from this year's Matsuri

Where the money will go:

I want to come up with the funding here on Kickstarter to be able to pay for my flight to and from Japan and photograph the aftermath and the effects that has done to the people. The money I will raise here would not be donated to any charities or cause-based programs, it its solely for me to get to Japan.  This trip is for an art making purpose. Any volunteering that I would do would be self-funded and not related to the funding with Kickstarter. 

Thank you so much.

To see more of my work, take a look at my website

2011年6月、私は宮城県石巻市で災害ボランティアに参加しました。石巻市は3/11の被害が最も酷かった地域の一つで、私は2週間そこで現地の人たちと隣り合わせに町の復興を手伝いました。石巻に滞在中に私はそこで体感した災害が日本の国に、人に、文化に、そして自分に与えた影響を写真に収めました。

アメリカ帰国後も、私が撮った写真を使って私の地元のアリゾナ州で被災地の現状を伝えました。そして日本の伝統である千羽鶴から発想を得て、サイアノタイプ(青写真)で作った紙を使用して織った千羽鶴をこのプロジェクトのシンボルにすることにしました。日本の言い伝えで鶴を千羽織ると願いが叶うというように、日本の復興と繁栄を祈りながら毎日何時間もかけてサイアノタイプの紙を作り、鶴を織りました。

プロジェクト:

今年8月に私が去年ボランティアで訪れた石巻市へ再度撮影に戻ります。そこで撮る写真のテーマは日本の美意識の一つ「わび・さび」です。欠陥の中に美をみつける、命などのはかなさを受け止める、それをテーマに撮影します。この旅は石巻の人達だけでなく、私にとっても日本人として日本の心や美徳とはどういう意味かということを見つけ出す旅になると信じています。

このプロジェクトに$10以上の支援を約束していただくと、サイアノタイプの鶴とマーブルがついた千羽鶴の一部を差し上げます。(支援していただく金額によって鶴の数が違います。)この伝統的な鶴を飾っていただくことによって、日本のことをいつも思ってもらいたいです。このプロジェクトを支援してくれた人達は全員 airikatsuta.com に貢献者として名前を掲載させていただきます。

なぜ石巻か?

前回訪れた場所や出会った人々ともう一度再会し、去年の旅の続きを撮りたいからです。私は石巻で出会った人々に家族の大切さ、近所付き合いなどのコミュニティーの強さ、災害などに対しての準備、そして人々が協力して成し遂げられることなどを色々学びました。そこで学んだことを私が石巻の人の代弁者としてみなさんに伝えたいのです。

プロジェクトの成果:

本音を言いますと、実際私が現地で何に出会うかはまだわかりません。でも私はそれがこの旅の一番おもしろいところだと思っています。色々な人と出会い、新しい土地で出会うストーリー、歴史、文化・・・どの写真を撮るかとても一つには絞れません。それと同時に自分に対しても一つのタイプの写真に制限したくないのです。ただ分かっているのは、石巻からみなさんに伝えることをいっぱい持って帰ってくるということです。現地の人々に固いインタビューではなく、お互いを知りあってやっと聞ける話、笑い、笑顔、涙。被災後の町の復帰というこの特別な旅を私がガイドとして皆さんにも参加してほしいのです。決して後悔させない旅をお見せします。

写真の展示:

撮影した写真はウェブサイト、ギャラリー、フェスティバル(アリゾナ祭り)で展示され、みなさんが購入できるように本としても出版されます。

資金:

Kickstarterで皆さんに支援していただいて集まった資金は交通費とその他このプロジェクトの撮影に関わる費用として使わせていただきます。集まった資金は慈善団体などへの寄付には使われません。このプロジェクトは芸術作品を作る為のものであって、現地で私が行うボランティアや支援活動はKickstarterの資金とは関係なく、自己資金によって行います。

ありがとうございます。がんばっぺ、石巻!

勝田愛里

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