hana wa sakuSAN FRANCISCO — The following message is from the Japanese Cultural and Community Center in San Francisco Japantown.

Please join us for an activity and event to remember the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

March 11, 2014 will mark the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, where over 15,000 people lost their lives, and thousands still remain in temporary shelters while trying to find alternative employment to rebuild their lives.

We encourage everyone to leave a written message of hope and friendship to individuals residing in Northern Japan. Message sheets shaped in the form of gerbera daisies will be available to write your personal notes and will be sent to the non-governmental organizations that NJERF (Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund)/JCCCNC has been working with who directly live and work within these affected areas.

We wish to the residents of Tohoku recover and successfully rebuild their lives and communities. It is hoped that individuals from near and far will join us in our wish to let these individuals know that they have not been forgotten.

If you cannot join us on March 11, please drop by the JCCCNC (1840 Sutter St., San Francisco) from March 1-31 to leave your written message.

Time: Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; weekends, 12 to 4 p.m.

Why the Gerbera Daisy?

A song titled “Hana wa Saku (Flowers Will Bloom)” was produced in 2012 by NHK to build public support for the March 11 disaster recovery efforts. Music for the song was created by Yoko Konno with lyrics by Shunji Iwai — both well-known artists born in the Tohoku region.

“Hana wa Saku” is a song that shares a message from the perspective of those who have left this world and are sharing with those present and in future generations that lives, and flowers, will once again bloom. To emphasize this point, the Gerbera flower, symbolizing innocence, purity and cheerfulness, was held in the NHK-produced video by each of the celebrities to help promote recovery efforts in this region.

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