Friday, March 25, 2011

Volunteers Needed: Support Survivors of the Recent Disasters in Japan from the Bay Area!!

Volunteers Needed: Support Survivors of the Recent Disasters in Japan from the Bay Area!!

Dear friends,

Eclipse Rising (ER) and Japan Pacific Resource Network (JPRN)* have come together and established Japan Multicultural Relief Fund to support the victims and survivors of escalating tragedy in Japan in the wake of the earthquakes and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Our goal is to provide aid to those who can be neglected and underrepresented in receiving disaster aids from the Japanese government or mainstream non-profit organizations. After careful assessment, we have determined the recipient organizations in Japan that serve these vulnerable people and communities in the disaster-struck regions. As of March 22, 2011, six grassroots organizations in Japan have been confirmed as interested parties to accept the financial support via the Japan Multicultural Relief Fund. We are currently working on logistics. Please visit our website to see the list of the organizations, as well as resources including a glossary of terms related to “minorities” in Japan and various information available in English.

This fund is now endorsed by Peace Development Fund, and supported by San Francisco Board of Supervisors and major philanthropic organizations including Levi Strauss Foundation and Lia Fund, in addition to individual donors.

We are writing today to ask you to join our effort by volunteering for this fund. We are looking for RELIABLE volunteers who have experience and/or skills in the following tasks:
-website administration: updating the website using Dreamweaver
-mailing: printing and sending thank-you letters to the donors
-other administrative tasks that may come up

In order to volunteer for this fund, you must:
-be reliable and responsible
-be able to work on a timely manner
-be able to work with minimal instruction and supervision
-be able to come to the office in Oakland
Japanese language ability is strongly preferred for volunteer working on website administration.

If you are interested in volunteering, please e-mail with “VOLUNTEER” in the Subject line and send us the Volunteer Intake Application form with your information.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to hearing from you.

In community,

Haruki Eda and Kei Fischer
Volunteer Coordinators
Japan Multicultural Relief Fund

*JPRN was established as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization in California in 1985. JPRN has worked closely with the various grassroots community organizations in the United States and Japan as a "bridge" between the non-profit sectors of both countries, to support a growing bi-national civil society.
More at:

Monday, March 21, 2011

decompression op.1

by Haruki Eda
March 14, 2011

I heard the news about the earthquake and tsunami after I gave a presentation on Japan's anti-war education in a Zainichi panel at the Critical Ethnic Studies Conference. My first thought was that it would be just another relatively big incident that's not too serious. I thought so because Japan is used to natural disasters; my own grandma's house was demolished by an earthquake in 1995, and she was rescued from underneath. It happens all the time. I was too busy celebrating the success of the panel with friends with some beers and fries.

It was when I came back to the hotel that I realized the extent of the calamity, watching the footage of water washing away houses, cars, buildings, trees, boats, people, everything. It was horrifying. But I still continued to be preoccupied with the conference and managed to not think about it until I came home.

I knew my family was safe, and I personally don't know anyone in the areas most devastated. My family was shopping for my sister's moving for college in a couple of weeks when I finally contacted my mom, who was happy about purchasing a MUJI rice cooker for half the price at a local brand-new outlet mall.

But as I kept watching a Japanese news prgram through Ustream, I found myself arrested by the reports, or lack thereof, and unable to stop watching or go to bed. Without anything else to preoccupy my mind, I began to feel anxious, stressed, and depressed. I began to vividly imagine the people being washed away and the thousands of bodies scattered all around the land and sea. I won't be able to see any disaster movie for, who knows, a few years?

I am worried about the nuclear plants meltdown. I am worried about the survivors. I am worried about non-Japanese, disabled, and Queer/Trans survivors. I am worried about the environmental destruction. In 1995, we completely lost my grandma's house in the overly crowded Korean ghetto; now that she passed too, in 2002, it's like I don't have any more historical evidence to substantiate my Korean heritage. Wounds might heal, but scars will forever stay.

This havoc will no doubt transform the Japanese society more or less, but in which direction? I see Japanese flags all over facebook, which makes me want to vomit. I hear people attributing people's "calmness," "resilience," "civility," and "strength" to Japanese ethnicity as if they are superior than others, particularly African Americans after the hurricane Katrina. I am angered and frustrated. In the aftermath of the 1923 earthquake, many Koreans were slaughtered as scapegoats as rumors spread that Koreans poisoned wells, along with Okinawans who were mistaken for Koreans. In 1995, aid was not distributed evenly to everyone, leaving non-Japanese survivors short of resources. For me, disasters always come with flashbacks of historical trauma of Japanese nationalism and xenophobia.

I'm not even physically there, but I'm emotionally being overwhelmed. So I write. I am scared of going back to Japan this summer to see, hear, touch, smell, taste, and sense those irreversible changes. My brain says I'm privileged to not be there, by my heart feels left out. It wants to be there to feel everything. It wants to be there to share its absolute despair and absolute hope with people. It's disheartening.

It's not that "I can't do anything." In fact, I don't want to do anything. After the earthquake in Haiti, I donated money; not this time. I don't feel like doing that. I don't know why. I'm not even there, and I'm being impacted so much, and I don't want to do anything. You can say I'm selfish, but I don't feel any guilty. At least not yet.

This whole thing might discourage Japan from having nuclear plants, but it might encourage more money into the police and the Self Defense Force for further militarization and state control in the name of emergency preparation. As U.S. soldiers from Okinawa arrive at the ground zero, their existence in Japan is inevitably being reevaluated--most likely favorably.

Amidst of everything, the ultra-right-wing current governor of the Tokyo Metropolis, who have used derogatory terms for Koreans and called homosexuals "defunct" in the past, stated that this calamity is a "punishment by heaven." He also indicated that lootings wouldn't happen in Japan unlike Black America. I am hoping that this will result in the complete end of his political life as an election for his position is coming up. I will see how (un)reasonable the residents in Tokyo turn out to be.

My struggle for psychological health will continue, against the rise of disaster nationalism. I need to learn how to take care of myself better than this. I'm losing sleep, and it's 7am right now, but I think I can finally go to bed. I wish that I won't wake up to any more bad news.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors host a Fundraiser for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

**Please note
: Location has been changed from 111 Minna to SOM Bar.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors host a Fundraiser for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
5:30pm - 8:00pm
2925 16th Street (between Van Ness Ave & Capp St)
near 16th Street BART

$20 suggested donation at the door

Program will include:
Silent Auction Items donated from the Board of Supervisors
Presentation from Consulate General of Japan
A few items have already been donated:
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd:
* Behind the scene tour of SF Zoo
* 5 signed copies of Speaker Pelosi's book
* 2 tickets to SF Ballet's Little Mermaid

Supervisor John Avalos:
* Lunch for 2 with Supervisor Avalos at Zabb Thai Cuisine in the Excelsior.

Supervisor Mark Farrell:
* tickets to the Exploratorium
Supervisor Eric Mar:
* 4 Tickets to the Academy of Sciences

Port of San Francisco:
* 4 tickets to a SF Giants home game
Game: Giants vs. Nationals
Date: Monday, June 6, 2011
Time: 7:15pm
Location: AT&T Park (Giants Ballpark)
Value: $57 each; total value: $228

and much more!

TO RSVP: click here for the Facebook Invitation

Donation will be made to 2 organizations:
JCCCNC: Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund
for more information:
Japan Multicultural Relief Fund
for more information:

For more information: contact any of the Legislative Aides from your Supervisor office!

Viva Mogi
Legislative Aide
Office of District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
(415) 554-7969 Office
(415) 554-7974 Fax

Friday, March 18, 2011

Interfaith Vigil & Relief for Victims in 3.13.11 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

A note from Zainichi Korean professor from USF

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

These past several days have been very emotionally difficult time for those of us who are from and have loved ones in Japan. Recalling all the struggles that my family and friends endured in the aftermath of the 1995 Kobe quake, I know the road to recovery will be long and tough. I could not help but feel useless as I watch all the horrific news and images from afar while our friends and their family in the affected region are struggling to survive. But we also believe that there must be something that I could do even across miles.
In this spirit, I decided to organize the interfaith vigil for victims, survivors and rescue workers in Japan, next Tuesday at University of San Francisco, with generous help from my friends and colleagues at USF.

Interfaith Vigil & Relief for Victims in 3.13.11 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.

DATE & TIME: 6pm to 7pm on March 22nd (Tues)
LOCATION: McLaren 250 at University of San Francisco.

The purpose of this vigil is to share our concern and prayer, and to send a message of encouragement and hope for people in Japan. We will also prepare the donation bin so that we could raise relief fund for Tohoku, Japan.

If you're in Bay area, please join us and even if you cannot make it, please spread the word to your network.

Thank you,

Hwaji Shin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Dept of Sociology
University of San Francisco

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Support Marginalized Communities and Families in Japan!!

Dear friends,

Japan Pacific Resource Network (JPRN) based in Oakland, which is one of the leading organizations in strengthening the non profit sector in Japan and the bi-national civil society between the US and Japan, and Eclipse Rising have teamed up and launched the Japan Multicultural Relief Fund. We have setup this Fund with the endorsement of the Peace Development Fund.

We have set up the (online donation feature), you can make a donation HERE. Your charitable contribution is a tax-deductible donation.

As you may know, JPRN and ER and its members combined together bring close to 5 decades of organizing and solidarity experience with maringalized communities throught the Japanese nation-state, from occupied Okinawa, to Ainu and landless/denationalized Zainichi Koreans, to the 'Untouchable' Buraku caste communities. Amongst our extensive network of colleagues on the ground in Japan, we are currently determining the recipient organizations to ensure all the support is directly injected to those most vulnerable, exposed and farthest removed from a lot of mainstream governmental and NPO support -either due to invisibility of these communities in general, cultural/ linguistic barriers, as well as the highly anticipated discriminatory practices in the relief process.

Why are we doing this?

We are minorities from Japan and are already hearing word from our own families and friends about the challenges confronting them, so we hope this Fund will complement those of the government and other large institutional efforts and empower those who have been long serving their constituents to administer the support they themselves deem is critical and necessary in the manner they see fit.

JPRN has a track record in relief fund support, setting up and administering the Minority Relief Fund in the Kobe Earthquake of 1995.

We are also waiting on endorsements by some key allies.

Please visit for more information!

The final list of fund recipient organizations will be available on the site shortly.

Thank you so much, and please forward this widely and post on your social media & networks!

Twitter #JMRF

Facebook: Search Japan Multicultural Relief Fund

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meet Eclipse Rising at UC Riverside this weekend!

UC Riverside's Critical Ethnic Studies and the Future of Genocide conference
March 10 - 12, 2011

Eclipse Rising members, Haruki Eda, and Kei Fischer and Kyung Hee Ha will be on a panel titled "Collusion of Japanese and U.S. Empire and the Politics of Transnational Zainichi Korean Resistance."

Haruki Eda
“We Lost the War, But Who’s We?”: Deconstructing Japan’s Anti‐War Education Discourse

Kyung Hee Ha
Zainichi Koreans (Koreans from Japan) in the U.S.: Multiple Displacement, Statelessness and Home Making

Kei Fischer
Zainichi Korean Social Activism

Our panel is scheduled at 5pm on Thursday, March 10 at HUB302A.

Please come and support our exciting work!

Critical Ethnic Studies and the Future of Genocide:
Settler Colonialism/Heteropatriarchy/White Supremacy -A Major Conference
March 10-12, 2011
University of California, Riverside

Ethnic studies scholarship has laid the crucial foundation for analyzing the
intersections of racism, colonialism, immigration, and slavery within the
United States context. Yet it has become clear that ethnic studies paradigms
have become entrapped within, and sometimes indistinguishable from, the
discourse and mandate of liberal multiculturalism, which relies on a
politics of identity representation diluted and domesticated by
nation-building and capitalist imperatives. Interrogating the strictures in
which ethnic studies finds itself today, this conference calls for the
development of critical ethnic studies. Far from advocating the peremptory
dismissal of identity, this conference seeks to structure inquiry around the
logics of white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism, and
heteropatriarchy in order to expand the scope of ethnic studies. An
interdisciplinary or even un-disciplinary formation, critical ethnic studies
engages with the logics that structure society in its entirety.

As ethnic studies has become more legitimized within the academy, it has
frequently done so by distancing itself from the very social movements that
helped to launch ethnic studies in the first place. Irrefutable as the
evidence is of the university's enmeshment with governmental and corporate
structures, the trend in ethnic studies has been to neutralize the
university rather than to interrogate it as a site that transforms ideas
into ideology. While this conference does not propose to romanticize these
movements or to prescribe a specific relationship that academics should have
with them, we seek to call into question the emphasis on professionalization
within ethnic studies and the concomitant refusal to interrogate the
politics of the academic industrial complex or to engage with larger
movements for social transformation.