The Japan Local Government Center to Host Online Film Tribute to 3.11 Anniversary

Footprints and Footsteps: 3.11 and the Future of Tohoku

Friday, March 5 through Thursday, March 11

Livestreams Online

Admission: Free

The Japan Local Government Center (CLAIR, New York) is hosting an online tribute commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

This online film screening and panel discussion event will look back at the events of March 11, 2011 and spotlight efforts to recover and rebuild in the ten years since. Selected films are related to the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program participants’ or Americans’ perspectives toward Tohoku.

Featuring a number of documentaries focusing on those affected by the disasters, both Japanese and non-Japanese, Footprints and Footsteps will look back from this ten-year mark to remember what happened. The event will also examine today and tomorrow to get a sense of what has been accomplished and what the future holds.

There are real-time broadcasting film screenings and Live Q&A sessions with the directors each night. You can also access each film anytime from March 5 at 7:00 p.m. until March 14 at 9:00 p.m. EST through the “Individual Screening” links.

To preorder the films and discussions that are of interest to you, please visit the Footprints and Footsteps website.

Schedule

Friday, March 5 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. EST

Opening Remarks
Shimotori Mayumi, Executive Director of Japan Local Government Center
Mr. Regge Life, Director of LIVE YOUR DREAM

Special Message
Tomita Koji, Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America

Screening
Tohoku Tomo
Director: Wesley Julian (2014)

Tohoku Tomo is a story of true friendship and commitment to Japan’s recovery by the international community following The Great East Japan Earthquake.

The film includes more than a dozen interviews and footage from the impacted areas. It also features J-Pop artist Maynard Plant from the band Monkey Majik; Stu Levy, producer of the film Pray for Japan; and host of Tokyofoodcast, Etsuko Nakamura.

A live Q&A session will follow the screening.

Program Notes
This program will broadcast live on March 5 from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. EST. You will not be able to pause or rewind. If you join late, you will miss the program.

Saturday, March 6 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. EST

Pray for Japan
Director: Stu Levy (2012)

On March 11, 2011, Japan’s Tohoku coastal region was destroyed by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami that followed. Pray for Japan takes place in the devastated region of Ishinomaki, Miyagi, the largest coastal city in Tohoku, with a population of more than 160,000 people. Filmmaker Stu Levy, an American living in Japan, filmed the tsunami’s aftermath during his trips to Tohoku as a volunteer and over a period of six weeks, capturing more than 50 hours of footage.

Pray for Japan focuses on four key perspectives of the tragedy: school, shelter, family, and volunteers. With each perspective we meet victims who faced significant obstacles and fought to overcome them. The audience is able to understand the vast ramifications of this large-scale natural disaster—and the battle these real-life heroes fought on behalf of their loved ones and their hometown.

A live Q&A session will follow the screening.

Program Notes
After this content becomes available on March 6 at 7:00 p.m. EST, you will have seven days to begin watching. Once you begin watching, you’ll have 24 hours to finish. The March 6 livestream at 8:45 p.m. EST can be viewed anytime until March 14 at 10:00 p.m. EST.

Sunday, March 7 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. EST

Screening
113 Project
Director: Wesley Julian (2015)

From the creative team of the documentary Tohoku Tomo comes the 113 Project, a short film series inviting you to rediscover Tohoku through the eyes of young adults, local businesses, and other communities rebuilding their lives and working toward the future.

Featuring more than a dozen interviews and stories embodying hope and perseverance, these short films showcase the warmth and beauty of the region while sharing the voices of people who want to let you know how life is today.

A live Q&A session will follow the screening.

Program Notes
After this content becomes available on March 7 at 7:00 p.m. EST, you will have seven days to begin watching. Once you begin watching, you’ll have 24 hours to finish. The March 7 livestream at 7:45 p.m. EST can be viewed anytime until March 14 at 10:00 p.m. EST

Panel Discussion
Sister City Relationships
Amya Miller, the only foreigner hired by a municipality to offer post-disaster crisis management support, leads this panel discussion on creating Sister City Relationships between the U.S. and Japan. Joining her are Samantha Fuller, Jen Kelley, Chris Howard, and Takanori Obayashi.

Panel Discussion Program Notes
After the panel discussion becomes available on March 7 at 8:00 p.m. EST, the livestream at 8:00 p.m. EST can be viewed anytime until March 14 at 10:00 p.m. EST.

Monday, March 8 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. EST

Screening
Nourishing Japan
Director: Alexis Agliano Sanborn (2020)

Nourishing Japan is a documentary film highlighting the roles that Japanese citizens take in the success and implementation of the Japanese school lunch system and food education initiatives.

This film shares with viewers the dedication, labor, and skill put in by members of society—whether it be through providing healthy and nutritious meals to school age children or teaching about humans’ relationship with nature, the food system, their local community, and the world.

The idea of this film was born from the fact that although Japan’s school lunch meals and food education system are often touted as (one of) the best in the world, there is little awareness of the people and dedication necessary for its success. Speaking with teachers, nutritionists, food education experts, and more, this film tells the story from farm field to lunch tray.
※Although not the original focus of the film, the final scenes feature the resumption of school lunches after 3.11, showing how important school officials and children think school lunches are in contributing to the recovery effort.

A live Q&A session will follow the screening.

Program Notes
Please note that Nourishing Japan is accessible only until March 12 at 9:00 p.m. EST

Panel Discussion
Japanese Food Culture and Health
Alexis Agliano Sanborn will moderate this panel discussion featuring Merry White, Lillian Hanako Rowlatt, and Jennifer Gaddis.

Tuesday, March 9 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. EST

LIVE YOUR DREAM
Director: Regge Life (2013)

From Regge Life:
“This film is a story about Taylor Anderson and all the young people who travel the world trying to make a difference. Taylor was an extraordinary American who dedicated herself to teaching Japanese children, living her dream right up to the events of March 11, 2011. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan was [sic] a disaster that no one could have expected. In my 21 years of working on Japan based projects, I had witnessed earthquakes, but never the devastation of a tsunami.

“Taylor’s story came to me via the internet as stories from the areas that were affected began to be shared. I had met JET teachers in the course of my previous film work, so I knew the dedication and the hard work that goes into being an assistant English teacher, but there was something special about Taylor’s story that touched me. A passion and zest for the people of Ishinomaki where she was based, that not all teachers feel while in Japan. I began to seek a way to reach out to Taylor’s family and share my interest. I am so humbled to have their consent to tell Taylor’s story.​”

A live Q&A session will follow the screening.

Program Notes
This program will broadcast live on March 9 from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. EST. You will not be able to pause or rewind. If you join late, you will miss the program.

Wednesday, March 10 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. EST

Life Goes On 一陽来復
Director: Mia Yoon (2017)

Six years on from the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster of March 11, 2011. In the heavily devastated area, many people were trying to move forward with their lives while feeling a profound sense of loss or trauma.

This documentary reveals the everyday realities of the Tohoku region and of Japan at that moment through the hidden stories of ordinary people living in the affected area. It is also a hymn to life.

Director Mia Yoon, a third-generation Korean immigrant, was involved in the production from development to advertisement and sales. Life Goes On is her directorial debut. She explains the passion that drives her to continue visiting the area: “The tragedy of Tohoku has been broadcast to the world, but since then, rays of hope and happiness have begun to emerge, and these stories deserve to be told.”

The film is narrated by actress Norika Fujiwara, a committed volunteer in the disaster area, and dubbing artist Koichi Yamadera, who is a native of the affected region.

A live Q&A session will follow the screening.

Program Notes
This program will broadcast live on March 10 from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. EST. You will not be able to pause or rewind. If you join late, you will miss the program.

Thursday, March 11 from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion
Footprints and Footsteps: 3.11 and the Future of Tohoku

Activist/scholar Bob Stilger, Ph.D. moderates this panel featuring Steve Corbett, Jennifer Rodena, Takeno Chiyo Suzuki, and Youki Wiens.

About the Japan Local Government Center (CLAIR, New York)

Established in 1988, the Japan Local Government Center (CLAIR, New York) is the first of seven overseas offices of the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) in Tokyo.

CLAIR is a quasi-government organization under the auspices of the Ministry of Home Affairs (now the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) in order to coordinate the JET Program and support various other international initiatives undertaken by prefectures and local governments in Japan. It is funded by and works on behalf of these governments.

Beyond the JET Program, CLAIR’s activities include research into best practices in public administration around the world, arranging exchanges and meetings between public officials at the subnational level, assisting local community and economic development efforts, fostering a multicultural society in Japan, and supporting the JET alumni.

For more information, please visit CLAIR’s website.