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Good thoughts, Good acts in 2024: Japan Noto Peninsula Earthquake Disaster Relief & Craft Revitalization

Updated: Feb 27

Update from Noto town, one of the worst hit area. Activities by Open Japan on the ground.

In case you've missed our announcement on Noto Disaster Relief campaign, please read our designated page here. Or our blog at Goenne Japan.

We are also pledging to donate $10 for each order received at for the months of February, March and April. This is a great opportunity to help rebuilding the earth-quake shattered region while you support our partnering local artisans. Help keep the momentum going!!

noto earthquake collapsed house, Wajima earthquake, Open Japan earthquake disaster relief 2024

Beginning of a long journey to recovery

Ending the second month of disaster relief, the Open Japan team have started to help a 250-year-old soy sauce maker to recover the workshop. By removing debris, they can then clear a path to gain access to recover some bottled inventory that was to be shipped out to customers after the New Year.

The team also drained and removed some large soy sauce barrels, where the site was immediately filled with the aroma of soy sauce. The 9th generation owner is determined to restart his family heritage business again. However, not all are thinking so positively. Many craft businesses in the region are still in despair. Due to various difficult circumstances, some already planned to move away and would not restart their business.

Torii gate at the Shrine

Work has also started in clearing the path for a shrine where a historic stone torii gate toppled and blocked the staircase. The team helped breaking down the falling granite into smaller pieces, which were then removed by hands. The priest and the locals are really hoping they can restore the shrine in time for the annual festival in April. Something for everyone to look forward to, and to also lift the spirit of the community.

torii gate toppled, Noto earthquake, open Japan
Torii gates toppled by M7.6 quake

Wajima earthquake, Open Japan earthquake disaster relief 2024

Open Japan disaster relief
Open Japan team. Removing granite from staircase of local shrine

Visiting Volunteers

The region is slowly opening up to receive (just a little) more volunteers. Rebuilding work is slowly progressing in all different areas, and the scale of work is beyond the municipal government's capacity. The towns have been resolving emergency shelters, food, power and water for the homeless survivors. It is inevitable that a lot of volunteers and external assistance will be needed. Currently there is not enough place for many volunteers to stay overnight. Tents and shower facilities are being set up for volunteers who planned to stay for days or months. Some young folks and students from the cities arrived to help, preparing meals at the shelters and removing damaged objects and debris from homes. It is estimated that there are 2.4 million metric tons of waste resulted from this earthquake (broken furnishings, soaked tatami mats, home items, construction debris, vehicles etc...) . Equivalent to 7 years worth of garbage for the entire prefecture.

volunteer, Open Japan earthquake disaster relief 2024
earthquake debris, Wajima earthquake, Open Japan earthquake disaster relief 2024


Taketombo is pledging to support the work of Open Japan. This is beyond emergency earthquake disaster relief. Many are still struggling and adjusting to daily sheltering life (for the 3rd month).

Rural Rebuild and Revitalization

We are anticipating a lot of challenge in rebuilding these small towns, while many young people, business owners and craftsmen are already planning to relocate to other cities permanently. This will add to further loss of population and reduction in economic activities in Noto region. There is no quick way to rebuild, and it takes a lot to sustain the effort. So join us, follow this journey of resilient and recovery.

4 ways you can support Noto Earthquake Disaster Relief:

(1) Make a donation at our GoFundMe page. $1, $5, $10... any amount will be put to good use.

(2) Subscribe our blog, Follow our IG. See your Donation at work.

(3) Share with more people.

(4) Make any purchase at Goenne Japan. We pledge to donate $10 for each purchase you make during Feb, March, April.

gofundme QR code


Open Japan is a Disaster Relief 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... They help keep things moving during the most urgent moments after disasters strike. The organization is sustained through individual volunteer help, donations and corporate sponsors. 

Wajima earthquake, Open Japan earthquake disaster relief 2024
Open Japan Disaster Relief team at Noto

If you have any question, insight or idea about this disaster relief initiative, please feel free to contact us!

Image usage permission granted by Open Japan

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