May 2, 2011
For Immediate Release
|CU students created and sold origami figures to raise funds for their homeland after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. From left are: Komaki Ochi of Ehime, Japan; Yuko Kaida, Miyaazki, Japan; Miwa Matsuo, Tokyo, Japan; Mami Adachi, Nara, Japan; Kayoko Matsumoto, Aichi, Japan; and Miho Shimoda, Tokyo, Japan. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)|
By Caleb Harris, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – In response to the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March, the Japanese students at Campbellsville University united and formed their own relief team. A total of $2,420 was raised for Campbellsville University’s Japanese Relief Fund for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
For several weeks the native students set up a table outside of the cafeteria and accepted donations for their country’s relief fund. Also, they promoted their relief-related Japanese Cultural Night. They sold meal tickets, $2 for students and $5 for adults, so that they could cook traditional food from their country and serve it during the cultural night festival.
“We held the event to raise more money to support Japan, I think more than 250 people came and they seemed to have enjoyed themselves,” Yumiko Oga, a student from Onga-gun, Fukuoka, Japan, said.
At the Japanese Cultural Night event, the essence of the culture was on full display. Admission to the event was free, but to eat some of the traditional Japanese dishes you had to have previously purchased a meal ticket.
According to Mauricio Arias, a junior from Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela, “The food was great. I never tasted anything like it, I’m glad I came.”
The Campbellsville community watched on as the students performed a traditional Japanese dance.
“The dance was amazing, I thought it was interesting and an experience within itself,” Tiana Benjamin, a freshman from Campbellsville, said.
Japanese student and dance performer at the event, Masayuki Susuki of Fukuoka, Japan, said, “I was happy to show a little of my culture to the people of Campbellsville. I haven’t danced like this since elementary school, so it was nice to know I could still do it.”
Also, the people in attendance were taught how to make origami, a traditional way of folding paper into figurines; and how to write their names in Japanese. The Japanese students also sold many of their possessions from their homeland to raise additional money for the relief of their country.
Through generous donations, meal tickets, and the sale of Japanese souvenirs at the festival, the Japanese students raised over $2,400.
The students are thankful to every person who has helped support Japan in every way. They realize that without the help of Campbellsville University and the surrounding community they would not have been able to do anything for their country.
“Seeing the campus and the community as a whole care about Japan and pray for us made us feel comfortable,” Oga said. “On behalf of the Japanese students at Campbellsville University, I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who helped support us during this time of need.”
Due to the number of aftershocks, a damaged electric system, and the degree of radiation it will take Japan a while to recover. Oga has prayed every night asking God to help her country. She asks Him to give strength and hope to those who lost their family, loved ones, and property. Though Oga knows that most of the population of her country are not Christian and do not know Jesus Christ, she still insists that God will shed His healing light on Japan.
“God will show his power and take this darkness from us with His amazing light,” Oga said.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.