Posts by Kazuaki Endo - Tokyo

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.

活気溢れるイベントが日常に明るさを呼び戻す

遠藤和聡 - 東京

「新宿エイサーまつり」は毎年夏、東京の新宿で開催される沖縄の伝統的な祭りである。先月祭りの参加企業から有志が集まり、新宿のイベントスペースにて被災地復興応援チャリティーイベントを実施。今春の選挙活動も拡声器を使わずに静かに行われた中、久しぶりに鳴り響く明るい掛け声と太鼓の音色に、多くの人が引き寄せられていた。

関係者の一人が開催の趣旨はイベントをすることで多くの人を集めて募金をしてもらうこと、そして自粛ムードの世の中を少しでも明るくすることだと説明していた。その言葉通り、イベント会場周辺には元気で明るいムードが漂い、その場にいる人々に国民的な自粛ムードを忘れさせていた。

震災の悲しみから立ち上がるためには、少しずつ明るさを日常生活に取り入れていくこと、元気になるような機会を作っていくこともきっと必要である。企業であれば、例えばイベントのスポンサーシップやアクティベーションを実施していくことで、前向きに復興に取り組んで行くための手助けができるのかもしれない。