2nd Annual Akabeko Project at Pasadena JCI

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Painting akabeko (red cows) at last year's Akabeko Project at the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute.

Painting akabeko (red cows) at last year’s Akabeko Project at the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute.

PASADENA — A painting workshop and fundraiser to support the victims of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster will be held on Sunday, March 8, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute.

At this year’s Akabeko Project, participants will be offered the option to paint and decorate an akabeko (red cow) or a daruma (traditional Japanese wishing doll). The akabekos and darumas are to take home as a remembrance of their contribution. Supplies will be provided to paint, decoupage and more. Each akabeko and daruma is handmade in Japan at family-owned art workshops located in Fukushima Prefecture.

Shoichi Hashimoto, proprietor of Dekoyashiki Daikokuya, a traditional papier mache workshop in Fukushima, will join everyone for the Akabeko Project. This will be his first visit to Los Angeles and he is thankful for the opportunity to introduce his traditional art craft to America and to promote Fukushima.

Akabeko Project was the inspiration of Lauren Takeda, Staci Hisayasu and Marissa Kitazawa following their visit to Fukushima in August 2014. They were compelled by their conversations with high school students, children with disabilities and an elderly woman living in temporary emergency housing to continue to support the Fukushima community.

Their resilience and honesty has inspired Takeda, Hisayasu and Kitazawa to establish a continuing platform to share their stories through a full-length documentary film, “Voices of Resilience.”

Pasadena JCI is located at 595 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena. For information and to register, visit www.akabekoproject.org.

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