The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident of March 11, 2011, in northeastern Japan caused confusion, devastation, and despair. However, many good things have emerged from this disaster, such as the outpouring of support from around the world and the strengthening of Japanese communities in Japan and in other countries.
To encourage the people of Japan and to celebrate these new community connections, Tokyo Midtown Design Hub is hosting Watashi no Machi Omoi Chou (My Hometown) from Friday, February 10 until Sunday, February 26.
The special exhibit features books created by people from various regions in Japan as well as from around the world. These books introduce visitors to the authors’ hometowns or places that have personal meaning as a way to convey the beauty and wonder of our possessions, even in the face of hardship.
New York-based Japanese graphic designer Miyako Taguchi is participating in the project, contributing a book about Astoria, Queens, where she has lived for the last eight years.
“I wanted to create a book about my hometown, Sakamoto-machi, Nagasaki, but I did not have enough materials with me,” says Taguchi, a branding consultant with her company, Miyako i Studio.
Instead, Taguchi decided to share Astoria’s vibrant, multi-cultural atmosphere with people in her native Japan. In her book she sings the praises of a 24-hour market, playfully drawing an imaginary door in front of the producer. A two-page spread is dedicated to the Middle Eastern delights found along Steinway Street.
“While I was working on this project, I have found many interesting things and met wonderful people in Astoria,” says Taguchi.
Taguchi is currently producing the English version of the book.