Early quake relief project ‘Nihon Kizuna’ to hold two-year anniversary event

by Shaun Mckenna

Staff Writer

Laurent Fintoni was visiting Japan in March 2011 when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. The 33-year-old writer and DJ quickly contacted friends in the music scene here and abroad to produce “Nihon Kizuna,” one of the first albums to aid disaster relief.

Two years later, Fintoni is back in Japan and hosting an all-night electronic-music event to raise more funds for the Japanese Red Cross.

“While some may think those in and around Tohoku don’t necessarily still need help, I feel that there is some value in bringing people together again two years later,” Fintoni says. “It’s only natural for people to move on, and perhaps forget, but I’m proud of what we achieved and I think that within the tragedy and what happened following it — including the support from abroad — lies the seed for some change in Japan.”

Joining Fintoni on the bill are local acts E-Mura and 1Ta-Raw doing a back-to-back set, Yosi Horikawa, Sauce 81, Broken Haze and many more. The music at the event will mostly lean toward an eclectic mix of electronic dance music and hip-hop, reflecting the variety of the lineup.

“Last year we did a London fundraiser one year on from the earthquake with a majority of the British artists from the compilation,” Fintoni says. “We raised around £1,000 (¥129,000) that day, taking us to more than $30,000 paid to the Japanese Red Cross in one year. I hope we can put a little more in the pockets of the survivors and those who need it.”

Nihon Kizuna Two-Year Fundraiser takes place at Be-Wave in Shinjuku on March 30. Admission is ¥500, with proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross. For more information, visit www.nihonkizuna.com.