When the only thing left in your life is yourself - no belongings, no shelter, no money - what would you do?

The 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster took place five years ago. As soon as the ground started shaking, it took all the precious memories you built with your family and friends down to the floor. The M9.0 devil collapsed buildings, bridges and schools, creating massive crevasses on roads and left people in isolation. Then tsunamis of heights over 30 feet swept away whatever remained standing, and big painful scars were left in return for those who survived.

It is difficult to put ourselves in the shoes of the affected, but we are dedicated in helping those in need - even if it doesn't fix everything. 100% of the profits made at Matsuri will be donated directly to Minato Middle school, located in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan. We believe that strong intimate connections are much more meaningful than donating to large organizations such as UNICEF or the Red Cross. Continuing from our contribution last year, we are grateful to be part of the recovery.

Minato Middle school used to be located on the coast, one of the most vulnerable places to Earthquakes. It is currently using make-shift shelters on the playground of a nearby elementary school. While a lot of recovery has already been taking place, and the school has received aid from the Japanese government, it is nowhere close to the state it was at before the earthquake.

Last year we were able to help students get equipment for sports and also support their music classes through the profits made at Matsuri. We hope to be part of the help again this year.

Here are some photos from the Minato Middle School Neighborhood. It shows the state of the old campus and how they are now studying in a makeshift campus.

Photos were taken by Mirai Akagawa in the Summer of 2012