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Wajima lacquerware, the Other earthquake survivors.

Open Japan Earthquake Disaster Relief Activity: Bring light back to Wajima lacquerware again.

One of Wajima's pride is their lacquer craft known as Wajima-nuri. Everything is handcrafted starting from the turning of the wood core to the meticulous lacquer painting. There are 140 steps in making Wajima lacquerware, which these traditional methods are carefully preserved and continued.

It is not uncommon for residents to possess sets of locally-produced high-quality lacquerware dining sets at home. When clearing out the houses and storage of disaster victims in Noto, many old Wajima lacquerware wrapped in paper and tucked in boxes were found.

In the old days, when weddings and funerals were held at home, it is common for families to keep many sets of formal lacquer dining ware to entertaining guests.

Nowadays, formal serving wares are not as frequently used. Even though many of these beautiful lacquerwares have survived the earthquake, many residents have no choice but to dispose their heirloom lacquerware sets as disaster waste, simply because their homes and storage houses have collapsed and there is no place to put them.

Noto Support, an organization set up by the local community, carried out a project to collect the unwanted lacquerware, cleaned them, and deliver them to those who are interested in adopting and reusing them.

japan disaster relief volunteer
japan disaster relief volunteer

A mobile dish-washer, normally used in soup kitchens, is dispatched to the lacquerware sorting area. Lacquerwares are gently washed with warm water , cleaning off years of dust and debris.

japan disaster relief volunteer
japan disaster relief volunteer

When we asked if we can giveaway the lacquerware, they kindly reply, ‘If there are people who needs it, by all means, let them make use of it’.

Wajima lacquerware has entertained local people for generations.

We want to help the local people to ensure that Wajima's culture and traditions do not disappear.

Wajima volunteer

If you resonate with our story of resilience from Noto, please pledge your support to Open Japan's disaster relief work.

Visit our Noto Disaster Relief designated page here.


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, even when you don't hear much about the earthquake on the media anymore.

Ways to support Noto Japan 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.

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Taketombo corp Open Japan. Japan earthquake disaster relief


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

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. 

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

All image usage rights granted by Open Japan.

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