Asian Week Dedicated to Support of Japanese Earthquake Victims

Story posted April 11, 2011

The destruction in Japan wrought by the triple-crisis of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in Sendai, Japan, in February, has left more than 12,000 people dead and another 15,000 still missing, while the emotional and physical suffering of hundreds of thousands of survivors continues, exacerbated by the recent aftershock.

In a show of support and solidarity, Bowdoin’s Asian Student Association is dedicating this year’s Asian Week events to help inform the campus and the greater community about the crisis.

Million Crane Project
Crane200.jpg

The Million Crane Project is a nationwide initiative among schools and colleges across the U.S. to make and send pictures of one million origami paper cranes to Japan to express support.

Orizuru, or paper cranes, have profound significance in Japanese culture. According to the legend of senzaburo, anyone making 1,000 paper cranes would be granted a wish.

When friends of a girl suffering from leukemia in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima made 1,000 cranes to wish for her recovery, orizuru became a national symbol of peace, sympathy for victims and support for survivors of similar disasters.


Money raised from Asia Week events will be directed to the Japanese Red Cross. Donate online using PayPal.

Scheduled Asian Week events:

Monday, April 11
8 p.m., 30 College St.
Bubble tea and Asian snacks with paper crane folding lessons.

Tuesday, April 12
7:30-9 p.m., Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union
“Perspectives on the Earthquake in Japan,” a faculty panel discussion.


  • Tom Conlan, professor of history and Asian studies, will speak of his two years living in Sendai and share pictures of the region.
  • Vyjayanthi Selinger, assistant professor of Asian studies, will speak about the cultural significance of earthquakes and nuclear catastrophes in her talk, “Godzilla and Earthquakes in the Public Imagination.”
  • Henry Laurence, associate professor of government and Asian Studies, will discuss the political dimensions of the crisis.
  • Mitsuko Numata, lecturer in Japanese language, will introduce the Million Crane Project (see sidebar).

Thursday, April 14
8 p.m., Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall
Stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu ’04 returns to Bowdoin, fresh from his appearance on Comedy Central. Tickets available at Smith Union information desk. $2 donation encouraged.

Friday, April 15
7:30 p.m., Searles 315
Memories of Murder (2003), a South Korean film directed by Bong Joon-ho, based on the true story of the country’s first-known serial murders, which took place between 1986 and 1991.

Saturday, April 16
9-10 p.m., Sargent Gym
ASA Fashion Show for Japan, featuring Elemental, Obvious, Bowdoin Cheerleading, Anokha and Intersection. Walk the runway or sponsor a friend to tread the catwalk as a guest model, with proceeds going to earthquake relief. Sign up at the Smith Union information desk.

Video by Alex Colby '10 from last year's ASA Fashion Show:

ASA Fashion Show from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

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