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#Quakebook Tells the Earthquake Story in First Person

02 May 2011 12:16 PM | Anonymous member
What is #Quakebook
The earthquakes and tsunami in Japan on March 11 have inspired a global outpouring of support in many unique and creative ways.  In addition to people giving through relief funds like ours, to local Red Cross chapters, or to the Salvation Army, many people are looking for localized, grass-roots, or sustainable projects.  And many people are giving through unconventional methods.

One such unconventional method is the #Quakebook.  A vanguard of grassroots philanthropy, #Quakebook was born out of a tweet sent by a British national living in Japan just three hours after the largest earthquake.  Within a week, several authors had collaborated on an e-book compiled by Twitter user @OurManInAbiko.  The book features pieces by individuals who were on the ground during the quake as well as by some standout contributors such as Yoko Ono Lennon, William Gibson, Barry Eisler, and Jake Adelstein. 

Now, #Quakebook is featured on Amazon.com under the title "2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake."  Amazon hosts and distributes the e-book without a fee, so 100% of the proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross.  There will soon be a print edition.  

If you would like to learn more about #Quakebook, check out their website: here.

You can buy the book from Amazon: here.  You don't need a Kindle to read it, you can get the app for your PC, Mac, or smartphone.

- submitted by Matt Forgue

#Quakebook in Review

"Grassroots" generally refers to social actions by the people and of the people, with no outside 'gardening' necessary.  #Quakebook is, indeed, a grassroots project.  A good read.  A contribution to relief.  A journal-reading, personal account exercise for the heart and mind.  

There are at least two reasons to recommend #Quakebook.  
- All revenue (less taxes) goes directly to the Japanese Red Cross
- Through eighty-five short, personal accounts, #Quakebook gives a personal sense of the humanity caught up in the disaster, without the voyeurism of the media.

Japan is changed forever.  The beautiful physical landscape in Miyagi has been washed over, cities ruined.  Nuclear power, once a beacon of progress, is now under severest scrutiny.  But the change lives essentially in the hearts and minds of people affected by the disaster.  To read #Quakebook is to quietly consider that change in human terms.  I recommend an hour with the book, to get a sense of how Japan is changed.  

Contributing authors tell stories from witnessing miracles to witnessing lives lost in an instant.  Folks from many nationalities contributed, from their vantages in Japan and other countries.  One contributor was from Kentucky.  One contributor from the ravaged city of Kessenuma said: "I'm relieved to know we're still connected to the rest of the world."  His story told of ~$3,000 found under the rubble, being returned to the police station.  

The stories range from the crafted prose of professionals to the unkempt commentaries of foreigners living somewhere in Tokyo.  Images and art added to the sense of place as I read.  "A massive wave was rolling over houses and buildings like they were sandcastles," wrote one man from Zushi.  A woman from Chiba offered: "The great earthquake made me realize clearly that ... now is the time to bring back the lost values - bonds, family, love and nature.  Whether Japan can really revive or not depends on that."  Most of the authors sought something of a maxim in their ponderings.  Some seem to have found it, others not.  

#Quakebook is a step into the lives of those whose world is changed, an exercise in contemplative journal reading, to connect our hearts and minds with those living in Japan, as rebuilding slips from the headlines.

- submitted by Matt Krebs
Japan/America Society of Kentucky
464 Chenault Rd.
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 209-9630

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