Voices from Japan: Despair and Hope from Disaster is an exhibition and cultural exchange project that shares the extraordinary experience of the Japanese people following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

The exhibition in New York was held at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine from June 15th to August 8th, 2012. It is estimated that more than 100,000 visitors saw the eight-week exhibition, and we have received great feedback.

"Voices from Japan" is scheduled to be on exhibition from March 25 to April 10, 2013, in Colorado Springs. Additionally, we are currently exploring plans in hopes of taking the exhibition to San Francisco in early 2013. We will keep you posted as the plans progress.

VOICES FROM JAPAN will showcase:

Poems of Survival

A collection of tanka poems, written by ordinary Japanese people in response to the disasters of March 2011, profoundly reveals the hearts of individuals facing great loss.

Seventy-five poems have been assembled and translated into English for this project; thirty-one of them have been selected for display. All the poems are presented as an anthology in the exhibition's catalogue booklet.

These poems were translated by three American experts: Laurel R. Rodd, Professor of University of Colorado, Amy V. Heinrich, former Director of C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University and Joan E. Ericson, Professor of Colorado College. This anthology has been compiled by Isao Tsujimoto, Studio for Cultural Exchange, with the cooperation of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Portraits of Hope

Japanese-born artist Naoto Nakagawa traveled to Japan from New York after the earthquake, creating 1,000 portraits of people of all ages and walks of life. One hundred selected portraits are exhibited.

Collages of Damaged Photographs

Photographers and photo restorers Yoshihito and Saori Sasaguchi composed two painfully unforgettable collages of damaged family photographs. Mr. and Mrs. Sasaguchi and members of Photo Kizuna Project have been working to preserve and restore the photos damaged by the disaster.

Images from Tohoku

Tragic but beautiful new photos by New York photographer Magdalena Solé sensitively portray the affected Tohoku region.

Video Producer Joseph Krakora also contributes his recent video based on the concept of Voices from Japan. This moving film introduces Magdalena's photographs and the tanka poems recited in English translation.

Poems by the poets from the afflicted areas

---by Toko Mihara, Fukushima

still, after all,
spring has come again-
dimly shrouded
blossoms of Fukushima:
plum, peach, cherry

---by Mikio Fukuhara, Miyagi

somehow or other
everyone has become
on the crowded streets
as the aftershocks continue

---by Takeko Mifune, Iwate

her husband still
missing after ten months
my young cousin
acknowledged his death
and left her home town

Translations by Joan Ericson, Amy Heinrich, and Laurel Rasplica Rodd

Cathedral Church (photo by Maya Sasaki)
Poems displayed on stands (photo by Masao Katagami)
Photo of Magdalena Solé (photo by Masao Katagami)
Portraits by Naoto Nakagawa (Photo by Masao Katagami)