Remembering Tohoku

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Yesterday was the anniversary of Japan's Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. The disaster devastated the country, but also elicited an impressive outpouring of inspiring and uplifiting support from the creative community. To pay our respects--to the country, the victims and those of you who contributed to the effort, here's a look back at some of the best, and most unique, efforts.

How Bad it Got
In case you're unsure of how massive the devastation of the Tohoku disaster was, The East Japan Earthquake Archive, a project by the Nagasaki Archive, brings together a host of content and Google Earth to illustrate its real impact. Visitors can see before and after comparisons of landscapes as well as panoramic views of the devastated areas, accompanied by testimonies from the survivors.

The New Yorker
Christopher Niemann's New Yorker cover elegantly depicted the dangerous threat lurking in the beautiful country as a result of the disaster.

Japan United
This spot was actually created before the earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan, but was pulled shortly after the disaster struck. Post-earthquake, it became an uplifting message encouraging the country to keep on going.

Global Jam
This collaborative music video from TBWA Singapore, the Dirt Radicals and musicians from around the world invited people all over the world to upload pictures and messages to fill a user-generated music video to support disaster victims. The site also invites donations, and in return, visitors get to download an original version of the video's track, written especially for the project by the Dirt Radicals.

Google for Japan
Google created its own vehicle for getting worldwide messages of support through to those who suffered in the disaster--translated into their native tongue.

One Thousand Cranes for Japan
Anomaly London was behind this online initiative, which tapped artists and illustrators to create gorgeous crane imagery-inspired by the Japanese legend that promised a wish would come true for anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes. Those who donated money to support the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts on the One Thousand Cranes for Japan site were able to print out the artwork, and were also invited to make their own origami cranes to share on the effort's Facebook page.

Still for Japan
A tag team of creative forces, including McKinney and students from VCU Brandcenter joined up to create this multiplatform initiative that encouraged the world to take a moment of stillness to remember those who suffered in the earthquake and tsunami. A digital billboard in Times Square directed viewers to a website, where they could only view certain content if they remained still --at least at their keyboards and mouse--for one minute.

Japan Saver
This effort out of Boone Oakley makes a telling observation obout events and tragedies that are, at first, heavily covered in the media, but perhaps get much less attention not very long after the fact. The simple screensaver reminds its users that people are still in great need, even after the media frenzy dies down.

Post From Japan
This student project from the Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm tried to replace the images of devastation that are all over the Internet with pictures of what the country looks like today. Many visitors to Japan don't post their photos on Facebook, as they don't want to use their mobile connection abroad. But this app will give them Internet access to post pictures they take on their trip -- and the more 'likes' they get, the more time they'll get online.

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