PLUSHIES FOR JAPAN! ::project:: + other fundraisers!

Here's something that's not graphic-design/school related for once.

As many of you may know, a M9 Earthquake hit Japan last week, causing a lot of damage to the country and its people. As a Japanese citizen who lived there for 18 years and dealt with earthquakes so often, my initial reaction was "Oh, it's just another little quake, no biggie." I texted my mum in a joking manner and asked if everything was fine (in all honesty, I didn't even think it was necessary to ask... I was pretty sure she'd be fine at that point), and went off to my friend's house to watch a movie. Things took a great turn when I couldn't get a hold of my mum for over 3 hours; she's the time of person that'll text me back in minutes, even if I send her the most unimportant, ridiculous text messages. Then I saw the news. The pictures. The footage. Needless to say, I started panicing, and was clutching onto my phone, refreshing my email page every couple seconds, waiting for one text. I had phone calls and texts from my friends asking if I was okay. I wasn't.

Couple hours later, I finally got a reply from my mum. Although my family lives well over 400km away from the epicenter, my mum herself was shaken up, and told me it was the biggest quake she'd ever experienced in her life. She was uninjured, but scared. Next was my dad; I couldn't get a hold of him for the longest time. The day of the earthquake, he had to stay at the school he works at with the students, since all transportation systems were shut down, and some children didn't have a way to get home, or have anyone pick them up. Thankfully, none of my family members were severely injured or affected. However, my heart sank to the footage of victims that lived in and around the epicenter. The news of nuclear facilities exploding, fires, after-quakes... I felt more and more helpless that I wasn't able to do anything for my own country, or the people. I was getting more and more frustrated, and some heartless comments on the internet made me sad, angry and agitated. I had to delete "friends" from facebook so I didn't have to see those things. I forced myself not to watch the news.

However, I knew I had to do something. Thus, I came up with an idea of selling plush toys that I had designed and created with a fellow graphic design major, Lane. I am ever thankful for Lane to allowing me to sell the toys; after all, it was initially a collaboration project we had done. I am donating all proceeds/profit to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief. There have been a lot scams for charity/fundraisers, and I believe that this is one of the few reliable organizations that I feel comfortable sending a donation to. So far, I have had the great support of my friends and fellow etsy-shoppers, and I have been able to make 10 sales. My plushies will be shipped to all over the West coast, London, Canada and France. Needless to say, I am grateful and excited. It may be little baby steps, but I am proud of it, and intend to carry on!

You can support this project by visiting my etsy store ::
(I currently only have 1 listing up, but intend to work on more!)

I also want to take the time to introduce couple fundraisers::


{image via @ Zakka Nouveau Blog}

Satsuki Shibuya, alumni of Otis' communication arts department, and founder of Zakka Nouveau, an exquisite fait a la man graphic + product design studio, has launched "project stitch + connect"- a fundraiser for the earthquake/tsunami victims. All proceeds are going to either Save the children (emergency response), Globalgiving (Japan + tsunami relief fund), Hands on network, American Red Cross, Americares foundation, Hands on Tokyo, Operation Blessing International, Salvation Army National Headquarters, or World Vision... The purchaser gets their pick!

What really impressed and inspired about Satsuki's concept of stitch + connect is that each product has "patchwork"/"connections" or remanent fabrics, driving the idea that any person can contribute, even with tiny little "pieces" they have around them. I personally felt that this was relevant to what I was doing; on a grand scale, maybe selling plush toys may not be the most helpful way to save the victims of this disaster... But it's obviously better than not doing anything and crying in bed!

I am also excited to announce that I will be collaborating with Zakka Nouveau! Satsuki has kindly dropped off some of her fabrics with me, and I am going to try and sew up a couple items before I leave for Holland!



My friend and co-owner of Q Pop shop, Chris Mitchell is also throwing a fundraiser at his store! Mark your calendars for March 18th, 7PM~10:00PM! I am unfortunately not going to be in attendance (since I will be on the plane to Amsterdam at that time...) but I have donated 2 paintings I did in Daniel Lim's Otis Visual Marathon class 2 semesters ago... So please support!


#PrayForJapan" Art Fundraiser Exhibition

SWEET STREETS is also throwing an Art Fundraiser Exhibition! This event will be taking place on March 19th (day after Q Pop's event!) at JapanLA, located at 7320 1/2 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046. My friend Amy from Sugarpill Cosmetics will also be in attendance, selling her amazing make-up. (I am wearing only Sugarpill on my face as I type this!) Splurge away for a good cause!



My former teacher and mentor, Daniel Lim has a show at La Luz De Jesus gallery located at 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles on April 1st. I spoke to Daniel yesterday, and he has decided to donate 100% of his sales to help the victims in the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami. I am constantly inspired by Daniel's compassion and generosity, and this isn't the first time. Please support Daniel by attending his opening at La Luz on April 1st, 8PM~11PM.

You can read more about the event here.



Sebastian Masuda of 6% DOKIDOKI has asked me to take part in the MIGHTY HARAJUKU PROJECT, where he will be making updates about what is going on in Harajuku after the earthquake. I jumped right in obviously, since I consider Harajuku one of my most favorite places in the world. Sebastian is working closely with Tokyofashion.com to update info and photos on Harajuku everyday, and I will be translating his tweets in English for Harajuku-fans all over the world to get a grasp on what is going on in Harajuku at the moment.

You can follow Sebastian's twitter here.
You can follow TokyoFashion's twitter here.



  1. great write up emi. good to hear that things are getting better!

  2. Emi, my heart goes out to you, reading what you went through that day almost made me cry. And all you're doing to give back really makes me want to do something too! Good luck with all of the charities and hope things get better for you and Japan!

  3. emi! i just saw this post!! wow.... your thoughts really touched my heart. thank you SO MUCH for being a part of 'stitch+connect'! i am really excited to be collaborating with you + look forward to seeing what amazing plush toys come to life! honto ni arigatou!! <3