On April 2 hmvlive, Manga Entertainment and Japan Underground presented a charity concert at the Relentless Garage in Highbury (England) to raise money for the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund, a charity which will help to rebuild schools and communities in the areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.
The evening featured comedian Iain Lee (Absolute Radio, The 11 O’clock Show), along with music legend Adam Ant, Japanese popstars Suga Shikao and Rei fu as well as Capcom, Tecmo KOEI and Namco Bandai Games. The target was £5,000. The end tally raised for relief was £5,977.86 (roughly $9,797.70 USD). Helping reach this figure were several of the UK’s most promising Japanese musicians who are either Japanese (No Cars, Kuaigora), have members from Japan or with Japanese heritage (iMMa, March of the Playwrite), or just have a fascination with the country (Akira the Don).
Besides raising money from ticket sales, some of the money was raised through donations from Manga Entertainment, MCM Expo and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, as well as through raffles and donated merchandise that was sold throughout the event. Additionally, nearly £800 of the final figure was gathered by Saara Takase, a student from Japan who took to the streets of Brighton with her acoustic guitar and a sign that simply read "Play for Japan."
Takase offered the following comments on the event and the extracurricular activities:
"After the tragedy happened, I used to just watch the news all day, and I felt so useless… I wanted to help my country. I wanted to send some money. So I decided to start busking for Japan. I had never busked in my life, I was too afraid of performing in front of people but I had to have courage, for Japan. And now, it’s made me realise how much I love Japan, how supportive people are, and how we are all one."
The event received sponsorship from The Relentless Garage, hmvlive, MOMA, Manga Entertainment LTD, Japan Underground, The MCM Expo, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, NME and NME.com (IPC Media), Anime News Network, NEO Magazine (Uncooked Media), Japan Society, Play for Japan, The Associates, The Noise Cartel, Cosplay Portrait and Onboard Karaoke.
You can learn more about the event's success by visiting japanunderground.wordpress.com.