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2024 Noto Peninsula M7.6 Earthquake Disaster Relief Initiative
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Noto Earthquake Recovery, Japan Earthquake disaster Relief
Rebuilding after earthquake
Dashboard - GoFundMe.jpg

Noto region was hit by a M7.6 earthquake on the very first day of the year. On a cozy afternoon where many young parents and grandchildren from the cities traveled to the rural villages to stay with the elderly in Noto to celebrate New Year. Some have lost their lives in an instant. Firefighters frantically trying to control the fire at Wajima but couldn't because fire hoses were blocked by collapsed houses and water in the river receded after the quake. 

A month later, dusts settled, homes lost, families torn apart. We heard stories where the grandparents watched helplessly their children and grandchildren being buried under the rubbles. A survivor lost his entire family as he was on the second floor and the rest of his family were crushed on the ground floor when the house collapsed. Another person have no choice but to keep running knowing his elderly parents are still trapped in the house engulfed in flame. Our affiliate informed us there are lacquer artisans still unaccounted for. 

First responders have done the most they can to save lives, and assessment experts have surveyed and showed us the scale of damages. Survivors in refuge tallied to about 14,650 people (as of Jan 31) with no end in sight to a more permanent place to stay. The entire fishery industry destroyed because the seabed rose by a few meters high and boats can no longer dock. Noto region is known for its harsh winter with beautiful fishing villages wrapped around the coastline and small villages spread out in the mountains.

During the first 2 weeks after the quake, survivors dealt with snow storms and rain storms, with no heat, no warm food, no electricity, running water and basic needs. Some went without bath or shower for 2-3 weeks, group living and deteriorating hygiene condition led to spreading of flu and COVID, making senior citizens and people with existing health conditions most vulnerable.

Snow in Noto, earthquake disaster relief, emergency first responders, earthquake landslide
Wajima morning market, Japan travel
Beginning of a long journey to recovery. 
Long-term vision and support needed. 

This is just the beginning of an extremely challenging journey of rebuilding. We are talking about the coming 5-10 years if not longer, especially in rural region with thinned population and old infrastructure. 


Outside of Japan, news has most likely been replaced by newer chaos and crisis elsewhere. With this initiative, we will post regular blog reports on the situation and disaster relief efforts in Noto peninsula, telling resilient stories from this remote region. Noto should be known on the map not because of the disaster, but because of its wonderful people and history.

We pledge our support to

Open Japan logo, taketombo Japan

Our Noto Initiative begins with disaster relief. You can get a glimpse of on-the-ground disaster relief through the lens of Open Japan, an NGO dedicated in disaster relief work, whom arrived on scene on January 2 and has been working day-in and day-out at the local shelters and at ground-zero.


Open Japan is an NGO rooted in 1995 Kobe's earthquake and formalized in 2011 after the East Japan Earthquake. Over the years, they have built expertise in disaster relief works and have traveled throughout the country whenever a natural disaster strikes. They work with first responders, Japan National Self-defense Force and municipalities to rescue survivors, search for the missing, to deliver supplies and warm food at shelters, clearing debris of collapse roads and houses etc...

The organization sustains through individual volunteer help, disaster relief donations and corporate sponsors. 

Disaster relief team at Noto, Noto earthquake disaster relief

Taketombo & Open Japan

We first met Open Japan back in 2018 when western Japan was hit by a typhoon where road and houses were flooded. Our founder took a trip to the disaster-stricken rural town in Ehime where Open Japan stationed and did volunteer work to demolish damaged homes and refurbish salvageable houses for local residents. And through the experience she realized the amount of impactful work that a small organization could provide. (read our blog from 2018 Open Japan)


Japan gets struck by natural disasters year-round, one may assume this country must have structured protocols and disaster relief strategies. In fact, each time a natural disaster hits, unforeseen situations arise. Climate Change has also brought more intense catastrophes. In addition, not unique to Japan, bureaucratic processes hinders efficiency of disaster relief in many ways. 


Only organizations with high mobility and agility are able to deliver fast results in times of chaos and confusion and deliver solid support. Open Japan is a small team of people with big hearts and professional knowledge. High mobility and efficiency allows the team to arrive on site immediately.


After emergency responders departed, the Open Japan team continues its station for months, deploying small teams to help individuals to refurbish their dwellings, many are elderly residents rooted in small villages.


Their motto is "Bringing smiles back."

Noto earthquake disaster relief, rebuilding after earthquake, 2024 Noto earthquake, earthquake recovery donation

Disaster Relief

We have set up a gofundme page to collect donations for Open Japan from international supporters. Your contributions, no matter what size, will be put to action and driving IMMEDIATE impact. 

Noto earthquake disaster relief, rebuilding after earthquake, 2024 Noto earthquake, earthquake recovery donation, craft revitalization

Craft Revitalization

When residents are ready to resettle and restart their livelihood, we will use a small portion of the donations to kick-start product promotion and craft experience initiatives to support lacquer craft and pottery revitalization. 

Dashboard - GoFundMe.jpg


If you have the capacity to donate directly in Japan, feel free to make your disaster relief contribution to

Open Japan's fundraising site at Yahoo Japan.

(Japanese site, requires Japan's credit card or bank account). 

Rebuilding Noto Peninsula

Most places shown in these photos have suffered substantial damages,

many have collapsed or burnt down.


Historic Crafts in Noto

Wajima lacqureware, urushi, Japanese lacquer, kintsugi, chinkin, japanese craft
Japanese salt farm, craft salt, artisanal sea salt
Japanese ceramics, japense pottery, suzu ware, craft revitalization
traditional japanese craft, clay stove factory, craft revitalization, earthquake recovery

Currently, the region's historic craft industries have ceased, with workshops and kilns collapsed, tools and craftworks buried. Many artisans have lost their livelihood. We invite you to be part of the revitalization effort for Japan's most reputable Wajima lacquer craft industry and a "speak-easy" Suzu-pottery historic ceramics industry.

Reputable historic crafts of the region: 

  • Wajima lacquering and maki-e 

  • Suzu unglazed wood-fire pottery

  • Suzu artisanal sea salt

  • Suzu clay stove

along with many legacy sake and soy sauce breweries.​

A journey of resilience.

What makes disaster relief donations meaningful is when you can see the impact it brings. Become a part of this rebuilding journey, and one day when you decide to visit Japan, you can make a stop at Noto peninsula and experience the beauty of this town (do some lacquer maki-e craft, too!) 

4 ways to support.


Make a donation at our GoFundMe page.

Support Open Japan Disaster Relief team. No amount is too small, every dollar matters. 


Subscribe & Follow

See your donations at work.  Subscribe to read blog updates.


Spread the Word

Share this page and GofundMe page with friends and affiliates and on social.


Shop at

From February through April, we pledge $10 donation for every order we received to support Noto Earthquake Disaster Relief. Your purchase will support local Japanese crafts while helping disaster relief works in Noto peninsula. 

QR code Gofundme

All rights reserved. Photography of Noto Disaster Relief provided by Open Japan. Usage authorized by Open Japan.

Donations received minus currency conversion fees, bank fees and platform service fees will be transferred to Open Japan and affiliate artisans.

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©2024 Taketombo Corp. 全著作権所有。 資料およびコンテンツは、共同研究機関との教育目的での使用に制限されています。

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