Life is Good – Save Kasama

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Save Kasama

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 created major, long-lasting disruptions to every facet of people’s daily lives and the potters in the town of Kasama were no exception. Located in Ibaragi Prefecture, Kasama has a long history of ceramic making dating from the 1700s. It is one of the most important arts and crafts centers in eastern Japan. The 2011 earthquake was particularly heartbreaking for this small community as kilns and ceramics were destroyed and livelihoods decimated in just a matter of moments. During early attempts at repair, aftershocks created as much damage if not more. Local artists are producing a film focusing on Akio Nukaga, a Kasama potter, who spearheads a movement to bring potters together to rebuild and rejuvenate their small town and its rich ceramic making heritage.

Under the banner of “Save Kasama”, the movement is reaching nearby towns as people join together in ways they had not done before. They voluntarily help each other recover from the devastation and saving Kasama represents more than just the recovery of a local economy. In recent years, new generations began to discover Kasama with a spirit of revitalizing declining rural regions of Japan through ceramics and related arts and crafts. In this way, saving Kasama represents hope for all of Japan to sustain strong communities and family lives and livelihoods in the country’s post-industrial age. It is also a message about art and its deeply positive influence on how we live in our contemporary world.

The doc film is produced, filmed and directed by Mike Douglass and Henry Mochida of the Globalization Research Center, University of Hawaii, and R3IMAGE, a non-profit organization engaged in community-based filmmaking. Proceeds from the campaign will be shared with the Save Kasama fund in Japan. For more information contact Henry and colleagues so you may support their project visit IndieGoGo website:

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