A joyful event shows importance of bringing cheer back into everyday lives

Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri is a traditional dance festival from Okinawa held every summer in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Last month, volunteers from organizations participating in the festival hosted a charity event near an exit of Shinjuku Station (the busiest train station in the world) to support the disaster-stricken regions. Despite the “It’s shameful to have fun” atmosphere that has enveloped the nation, the precincts of Shinjuku Station echoed with cheery calls and the sounds of drumbeats. It was the first loudness people had come across in a long time—the election campaign this spring did not resort to loudspeakers because of the atmosphere—and onlookers were drawn to the full-blast calls and sounds emanating from the jovial event.

One of the volunteers told the audience that the event was intended to attract people into this event space so they could donate toward the recovery efforts and to help people lighten up when they feel obliged to be in mourning. Indeed, the upbeat atmosphere and the exuberance of the performers helped the audience find their way out of the enforced national mourning.

In the aftermath of the disaster, as Japanese are trying to get back on track, bringing some cheer into people’s lives may help traumatized survivors rise from their grief little by little. People are hungry for permission to cheer up. Brands can find ways to provide this—through event sponsorship, activation activities, etc.—as a part of their efforts to play a constructive role in recovery.


遠藤和聡 - 東京




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