On 2 April 2011, hmvlive, Manga Entertainment and Japan Underground presented a charity concert at the Relentless Garage in Highbury to raise money for the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund, a charity which will help to rebuild schools and communities in the areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March.
The evening, presented by the hilarious Iain Lee (Absolute Radio, The 11 O’clock Show), headlined by music legend Adam Ant, and supported by Japanese popstars Suga Shikao and Rei fu as well as Capcom, Tecmo KOEI and Namco Bandai games, smashed its target of raising£5,000 with a grand total of£5,977.86.
Helping reach this figure were several of the UK’s most promising Japanese musicians who are either Japane (No Cars, Kuaigora), have members from Japan or with Japanese heritage (iMMa, March of the Playwrite), or just have a fascination with the country (Akira the Don). On top of ticket sales, some of the money was raised through donations from Manga Entertainment, MCM Expo and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, as well as through raffles and donated merchandise that was sold throughout the event. Additionally, nearly£800 of the final figure was gathered by Saara Takase, a student from Japan who took to the streets of Brighton with her acoustic guitar and a sign that simply read‘Play for Japan’. Takase comments;
“After the tragedy happened, I used to just watch the news all day, and I felt so useless… I wanted to help my country. I wanted to send some money. So I decided to start busking for Japan. I had never busked in my life, I was too afraid of performing in front of people but I had to have courage, for Japan. And now, it’s made me realise how much I love Japan, how supportive people are, and how we are all one.”
The event received sponsorship from The Relentless Garage, hmvlive, MOMA, Manga Entertainment LTD, Japan Underground, The MCM Expo, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, NME and NME.com (IPC Media), Anime News Network, NEO Magazine (Uncooked Media), Japan Society, Play for Japan, The Associates, The Noise Cartel, Cosplay Portrait and Onboard Karaoke.
And had an array of products donated to the event’s various fundraising activities from Uniqlo, Terratag, Namco Bandai games (including an Xbox console, games and gaming merchandise from Pacman, the Tales of… franchise and more), Capcom (signed Street Fighter artwork), Tecmo KOEI (gaming merchandise) Viz Media, Funimation and Gan-Shin Records.
The We Love Japan team would also like to express personal thanks to Colin Lomax (MD, Anchor Bay UK/Manga Entertainment UK), Charles Fotherington (Anchor Bay), Gennaro Castaldo and Jason Legg (hmv), Amanda Dawes (hmv live), Tom Dobbs and Tim Pearson (IPC), Mia Applebrink Mays (Blinkbox), all the lovely followers of Japan Underground and Manga UK on Twitter and Facebook, Mark Smith (Neon 10 Ltd), Lee Acaster and Andrew Morris (Jelly Creative), Joe Pidgeon (Big Machine Events), Tomoe Higashi, Tom Ferrier, Shiori Arashima, Minato Goto, Elico Iwata and Megumi Tanaka.
For further information please visit http://japanunderground.wordpress.com
Japan Underground is currently looking for more video game companies to get involved with its Japanese themed club nights around the UK. Please email Tom.Smith@TwistedPR.co.uk for more information.