Author Archives: Alban Rigaill

Home for All

We hope that you will be many to answer our call and give your support to the project !

One year ago, on March 11th, the North-Eastern coast of Japan was struck by a terrible earthquake, followed a few minutes later by a tsunami that laid waste to cities and villages in the whole region. Many buildings were destroyed and many people died in the event.In the aftermaths of the catastrophe, and before the reconstruction of the cities could be properly planned, priority had to be given to providing temporary lodgings for those who had lost their houses. However people soon felt the need for a warm and welcoming place where they could find some comfort and discuss their plans for the future. In an effort to alleviate the victims’ sufferings, architect Ito Toyo set out to build the first Home for Everyone (Minna no Ie) with the support of the Kumamoto prefecture. The house was inaugurated in the fall of 2011.
Another such Home for Everyone is to be built in Rikuzentakata, for which Ito Toyo required the assistance of several young architects such as Inui Kumiko, Fujimoto Sou and Hirata Akihisa. Ideally, new homes should be built everywhere near temporary lodging areas.
Kishin no Kai is the association in charge of the Rikuzentakata project, and was founded by Ito Toyo and other famous japanese architects, including Yamamoto Riken, Naito Hiroshi, Kuma Kengo and Sejima Kazuyo. Now they need our help for the project to be succesful.
Zoom Japon has decided to participate to the fund raising campaign, and appeals to all its readers, hoping to gather the 50000 euros needed for the completion of the Rikuzentakata Home for Everyone.
The funds will be collected by association Japonaide, and transferred entirely to Kisyn no Kai for the construction of the Rikuzentakata common house.
For those who wish to participate, please send a cheque adressed to ASS JAPONAIDE at
Zoom Japon
Opération Maison pour tous
12 rue de Nancy 75010 Paris

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Report Maison de Kiso

Le lundi 24 octobre 2011, une fête a été organisée pour accueillir en France trois enfants venus tout droit de Fukushima. L’évènement a eu lieu à la maison de Kiso, une maison traditionnelle japonaise au coeur du bois de Boulogne.

C’est Mme Jane Cobbi, conservatrice de la maison de Kiso, qui a organisé cette petite cérémonie d’accueil. C’est également elle qui encadre l’hébergement en France des enfants japonais des régions sinistrées. On peut dire que c’est grâce à l’énergie et à l’action constante de gens comme elle que les secours et l’hébergement d’urgence ont pu être mis en place aussi rapidement.

Déjà reconnue pour son action dans le monde japanophile, elle a été d’une grande aide une fois encore et fait preuve d’une gentillesse remarquable.

Environ trente personnes ont participé à l’évènement. Chacun a pu apporter soit à boire soit à manger, et la fête s’est déroulée dans une ambiance détendue, presque familiale. Il était difficile de ne pas sourire à voir les enfants courir joyeusement à droite et à gauche. Nous espérons que cette fête aura été pour eux l’occasion de se détendre et de s’amuser un peu.

Il suffisait de leur parler un instant pour se rendre compte de l’ampleur qu’a eu la catastrophe de Fukushima.

« Je ne veux pas appeler ma mère là-bas, Je ne veux pas penser à des choses qui font peur. Je veux m’amuser, profiter de ma nouvelle vie en France. »

Ces mots sortis de la bouche d’une toute jeune fille, qui sans pour autant oublier l’idée de rentrer un jour chez elle, a su rassembler assez de courage pour oublier un temps la catastrophe et sourire à nouveau.

A l’occasion de cette fête nous avons organisé un vide grenier, dont les recettes, élevées à 254,60 euros, ont été entièrement reversées à l’association « Action, Enfants de Fukushima ».

Nous souhaitons remercier à nouveau tous ceux qui ont aidé à installer les stands par le grand froid qu’il faisait ce jour là, à commencer par Mme Jane Cobbi.

Nous voudrions remercier également ceux qui ont fait don de certains de leurs objets personnels pour l’occasion, sans qui la vente n’aurait jamais eu lieu.


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Wishes on the Mountain Top – Tanabata

As part of the event that took place at the Galerie Vivienne on June 19th, it had been decided that a children’s workshop booth would be set up with the cooperation of the people at « si tu veux (jouer) », a toy store in Paris.


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The second evening of the « Solidarity with Japan » concerts – a symphonic concert at the Home of Japanese Culture in Paris.

Following yesterday’s chamber music concert, a second concert took place today ( April 30th ) at the Home of Japanese Culture in Paris.

The JAPONAIDE chamber music formation, composed of the same members as the JAPONAIDE orchestra, was as we know lengthily acclaimed by the audience at the end of the UNESCO concert the other day. It came back yesterday for a « concerto evening », under the conduction of Mrs Kanako Abe, and filled the hall of the HJCP with elegant harmonies of flute, violin and piano.

The evening started with Eiichi Chijiiwa playing Vivaldi’s « spring » on the violin. Seiya Ueno interpreted Mozart’s Concerto and Bach’s « badinerie » for flute at the end of the first part of the concert. Then came Etsuko Hirose on the piano, playing another Mozart concerto. These masterpieces, though they were played by a rather small formation of musicians, brought a soft and enchanting atmosphere of spring to the concert hall.
The spring of 2011 was marked with sadness and catastrophes, and we could not help but shed some tears as we passed through it. Yet, such appeasing concerts can bring us both solace and peace of mind.

The money collected during this evening amounted to a total of 2889.60 euros ( 2490 euros from ticket fees and 399.60 euros from direct donations ).
This sum will be transferred to the Japanese Red Cross via the Home of Japanese Culture in Paris.

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Charity Concert of chamber music at Cultural Center of Japan in Paris – « Solidarity with Japan »

On last friday 29th of april, the Home of Japanese Culture in Paris showed its support tothe victims of the earthquake in Japan, hosting its first caritative concert since march 11th.
The « chamber music night » was the first of a series labelled « Solidarity with Japan Concerts » that are to take place at the HJCP in the next few days.

Ten musicians were brought together for this long awaited event, and filled the room with soft music, smiles and sometimes a little sadness, all to reach a climax of emotion and tension as they interpreted a piece by Fauré for the finale.

The harmonies that filled the room were enough to bring joy as well as tears to those who were there, and everyone’s cares and thoughts somehow seemed to bond together as they rose in the air, along with the choir of instruments.

2034 euros were collected during the night, 1845 euros from ticket sales, and 189 euros from direct donations. We would like to thank the audience once again for their generosity.
All the money collected will be sent to the Japanese Red Cross by the Home of Japanese Culture in Paris.

Of course we would like to thank the musicians as well, who moved us so very deeply as we sat listening to their beautiful performance.

David Abramovitz / piano
Jay Gottlieb / piano
Etsuko Hirose / piano
Nicolas Dautricourt / violin
Eric Maria Couturier / cello
Daniel Garlitsky / violin
Quatuor Voce / quartet

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Palais de l’UNESCO

Sunday the 10th of april 2011,
Hall 1,

Dear guests,
First we would like to thank you all for coming, it is a great joy that so many of you came to watch today’s concert. The whole world is still recovering from the shock and the sadness that followed the earthquakes and the tsunamis in Japan.

Speaking for all UNESCO officials, we at the international staff association of the UNESCO would like to send all our sympathy and our most sincere condolences to the people and the government of Japan, and particularly to those who lost their family or their friends in the event of these terrible earthquakes.

Like all of you who gathered here today, the ISAU is standing by the people of Japan. Today’s concert, on this glorious spring afternoon, was intended and organised to be a token of this universal feeling of solidarity, working hand in hand with the CSJP, and under the high authority of the Japanese embassy in Paris, and the permanent delegation of Japan to the UNESCO.

As we witnessed the victims of the catastrophe in Japan going through such difficult and painful times, participating even symbolically in the general humanitarian movement was a task extremely dear to our hearts, especially since Japan has always been one of the most trusted and generous states inside the UNESCO, having helped nations and people in need all around the world on many an occasion.

Therefore we at the ISAU sincerely hope that with the full support of the international community, the people and government of Japan will soon be able to get over these hardships.

And to conclude we would simply like to say welcome to you all, welcome to this symphonic concert for the victims of the earthquakes in Japan.

Speaking for the executive,

Sidiki COULIBALY, ISAU president

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