By The North American Post Staff
A Japan relief fundraiser led by the Seattle Kumamoto Kenjin Kai and other local Nikkei community groups was held at the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival over the weekend to
support those who were affected by the Kumamoto/Oita earthquakes.
In a Northwest connection, the State of Montana, sister state of Kumamoto, also shared a deep sympathy. Montana Governor Steve Bullock sent a letter on April 14 to Kumamoto Governor Ikuo Kabashima.
“We as Montanans share a common bond of friendship with Japan, and we share in your grief as our sister state Kumamoto and your country begin to fully assess the damage and loss caused by this earthquake,” Bullock states in his letter.
According to repor ts as of this Tuesday, the death total related to these earthquakes reached 65. The aftershocks Friends of Minidoka is partnering with the National Park Service (NPS) to rebuild a historic baseball field at the World War II Japanese American incarceration site.
From October 1942 to August 1945, Minidoka housed over 13,000
incarcerees of Japanese descent , originally from Washington, Oregon, Alaska and California. Off icially designated the Minidoka War Relocation Center and locally known as Hunt Camp, the site had fourteen fields where many camp residents – youth, adults, male and female – played baseball or softball.
The sports helped bring a sense of normalcy into lives of those who were incarcerated. Baseball served as a glue to bring people together and provided bridges to communities beyond the barbed-wire fences.
Friends of Minidoka and NPS are bringing volunteers together to rebuild one of Minidoka’s fourteen fields in a single day. All are invited to Minidoka National Historic Site for the “Field-In-A-Day” on May 28. The Memorial Day weekend’s events will include building and installing the f ield structures: backstop, two scoreboards, two player From Friends of Minidoka numbered over 900 and about 47,000 are still evacuated.
The Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle announced that the Japan relief fund sites were opened last week after receiving massing inquiries for support. Both the Japanese Red Cross
Society and the Kumamoto Government opened accounts. Japanese consulates are also accepting donations through the
government of Japan to support people affected by the earthquake.
Both donations may charge transfer fees.
The Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle will only accept checks with a donation form, which can be downloaded at <www.seattle.us.emb-japan.go.jp/files/000152040.pdf>.
More information can be found at (206) 682-9107 or at <www.seattle.us.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ ja/00_000135.html>.