The Japanese American National Museum, with the support of the Little Tokyo Community Council, will hold a “Moment of Remembrance” community gathering for the victims of Japan’s natural disasters on Friday, April 29, in the museum’s plaza, 1st and Central in Little Tokyo, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The memorial gathering will include brief remarks and reflections by Rev. Noriaki Ito of Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple and Rev. Mark Nakagawa of Centenary United Methodist Church. The ceremony will conclude with a minute of silence at 2:46 p.m., the time in Japan on March 11 when the 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan. The event created the enormous tsunami that caused unprecedented destruction.
Little Tokyo has already organized two community gatherings in March in the aftermath of the disaster, including an interfaith ceremony at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and a vigil in the plaza of the museum, organized by Centenary United Methodist Church, Koyasan Buddhist Temple, and the Nisei Week Foundation.
April 29 will mark 49 days since the disaster caused the death of tens of thousands of Japanese. In Buddhism, gathering together after 49 days is a traditional way to mourn the passing of loved ones. Even non-Buddhists in Japan mark this particular occasion. This date also follows the Christian Holy Day of Easter (April 24), which signifies hope in the face of death.
JANM has joined with other community groups to support the fundraising efforts of several worthwhile campaigns. Trustees for the museum will also make a gift to the relief effort in the institution’s name and part of its 2011 Annual Gala Dinner program will focus on the spirit of the Japanese people to deal with the disaster.
For more information, visit www.janm.org.