LARGEThe third anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan was marked Saturday at Love to Nippon, an annual event held at LAPD Headquarters. Prayers and incense offerings for the more than 18,000 lives lost were held outside by Nikkei Interfaith Fellowship Group of Little Tokyo.

incense offering2

processionA procession of Los Angeles Buddhist Temple Federation representatives makes its way to an altar for a formal ceremony.

choir-lovo_to_japan_lad_1639The program in the Ronald F. Deaton Civic Auditorium included performances by L.A. Daiku (pictured), Grateful Crane Ensemble and Holiness Youth Choir. “Hana wa Saku” (The Flowers Will Bloom), which has become an anthem of encouragement for the survivors, was sung with the English translation of the lyrics projected on screens. (Photo by Mark Ando)

koto musicThe event also included koto music.

japanese emergency response teamDisaster preparedness information was provided by emergency response teams, including Los Angeles County Search & Rescue, which went to Tohoku immediately after the earthquake.


iwatemiyagiRepresentatives of the three prefectures most affected by the 3.11 disaster, Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi, had booths at the event.

Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo (except where noted)

Statement from the Love to Nippon Committee

People in Los Angeles will never forget the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in Tohoku, Japan on March 11, 2011. Along the coastline, thousands of people lost their lives with many of the survivors still living in temporary pre-fabricated houses. They are also waiting for their missing loved ones and family members. It will take a long time before their community-oriented way of life is restored, one filled with smiles and vitality. We would like to ask for your continued prayers and support for the children, the elderly, the farmers, the fishermen and all the people in Tohoku.

Exactly one year after the disaster, Love to Nippon 2012 took place at the LAPD Headquarters. It was co-presented by Doug Erber, president of Japan America Society of Southern California; Masako Unoura, founder of Love to Nippon Project and a tsunami survivor. The participants included Terry Hara from LAPD, Nishi Hongwanji Temple, Higashi Honganji Temple, JASSC, Asia America Symphony Association, the LA County Fire Department, Consulate General of Japan Los Angeles, as well as many other presenters, organizations and volunteers. David Ono, ABC7 news anchor, served as master of ceremonies.

Love to Nippon is a community-wide tribute in Los Angeles for loved ones lost, and for those still suffering from the March 11 catastrophes. This anniversary memorial is a peaceful commemoration of the disaster where attendees are encouraged to place flowers or incense in loving remembrance of the victims, families and friends of Tohoku.

We, Love to Nippon Project, along with supporters have the following goals:

1) We will never forget the Great East Japan Earthquakes and Tsunami by meeting and praying every year around 3.11 at LAPD Headquarters for ten years.

2) We will continue prayers and dialogues among the participants and children, especially to share the lessons learned from 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

3) We will support efforts to train ourselves for future natural disasters by sharing and educating our community, making 3.11 the official evacuation training day for Southern California.

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