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Japan 2011

Situation: In response to the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March of 2011,  CWB-USA founder Moshe Cohen traveled there to join Guy Totaro in performing and teaching in shelters, schools, and evacuation centers as well as teaching performance workshops for local professionals in a project with the Tyler Foundation called Niko Niko Taichi (Shine On! Smile Ambassador). Six months after the earthquake, the effects of the disaster were still pronounced: mountains of debris, fields full of destroyed cars, demolished houses, innumerable structures in various stages of deconstruction/reconstruction, and temporary housing everywhere.  There was a great amount of discussion and evidence of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in all segments of the population.

Our Clowns Without Borders collaboration in Japan has just ended. For 3 weeks I, Moshe Cohen (founder) joined Guy Totaro and his efforts as the Tyler Foundation’s Shine On! Smile Ambassador to bring smiles and laughter to the children affected by the Tsunami/Earthquake disaster last March. For the first week, I taught free workshops in Tokyo for performers wishing to join Guy’s efforts in Tohoku. Then, Guy, his assistant Keiko, and I traveled to Ofunato for ten days to do shows and workshops in elementary schools and childcare centers in the region. During our 9 working days we offered:

20 shows, 27 workshops for/ with: 50 parents/grand parents, 75 teachers administrators and 1,177 children! Guy will continue to travel to the region with other performers two weeks out of every month in the near future.

Below you will find my journal entries and photographs. Big thanks to the Emirates Airlines Foundation for their support by flying me to Japan.

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