Project Ray of Hope – Our Third Trip to Tohoku


On the evening of the 24th we’ll be heading up to the Tohoku region for another 3 days of shows, delivering supplies and

Picking up art supplies, books, toys and other items for delivery

giving encouragement. For this trip we have received funding from kind individuals at an international school in Tokyo. They wish to remain anonymous but they have given generously which will allow us to make a 3 day trip to Fukushima, Miyagi and hopefully Iwate as well.

Those involved in project Ray of Hope, have bought art supplies, toys, recorders, books, socks and underwear for us to deliver along with our shows. We also received another 5 boxes of clothing from Rossignol which we’ll also be delivering.

We want to thank all those who are helping with Ray of Hope, as well as those who have donated other needed supplies and funds to make these trips possible. Each person we work with has mentioned how they wish they could go themselves. In a way we are just representatives, and we feel privileged to represent such caring individuals. These trips have been made possible through your donations. Thank you!

24日の夕方、東北地方に物資を届け、励まし、ショーをする三日間の旅に出 ます。今回は東京の国際スクールの個人の方々から資金を頂きました。匿名にしてほしいとのことでしたが、彼らは寛大に寄付して下さり、お かげで福島と宮城、そしてできれば岩手まで行けます。
「希望の光」プロジェクトに参加している方々から文具、おもちゃ、リコー ダー、本、靴下と下着を、ショーをする際に届けるためにいただきました。ロシニョールからはもう五箱の衣類もいただきました。
「希望の光」を援助して下さっている皆さん、そしてこれらの訪問のために物 資や資金を寄付して下さった皆さんにお礼申し上げます。一人一人が自分たちが行けたらと言っていました。ある意味では、わたしたちはただ の代表で、こんなに親切な個人を代表できることを光栄に思っています。これらの訪問は皆さんのご支援 によって支えられています。本当にありがとうございます!

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April 12th, Visit to Koriyama Evacuation Shelter

Sam with kids at Koriyama Shelter

After staying with friends in Sendai for the night, we started making our way home. Since we planned to do one more show at a shelter in Koriyama, which is about 75 km from the Fukushima power plant and radiation readings for that area was high, we all painted a little iodine on our wrists before heading out.

Green pin marks Koriyama shelter, red pin marks the Fukushima nuclear plant

We met up with Enson and Dan, who joined us for the show. Enson passed out some toys he had brought for the kids, Gene and Florence sang their heart-warming songs, and we made the kids laugh with our comedy and magic routine. It was a great way to wrap up another visit to the Tohoku area.

Just as we were ending our show and saying our good-byes, another strong aftershock shook the gym we were in. Yuki helped some of the kids who were frightened to hide under tables. Some people crouched down on the ground, others rushed to the TV to see where it had hit and whether it would affect the recovery work at the nuclear plant.

The situation at each evacuation shelter is different, some are just up the road from neighborhoods that have been washed away by the tsunami, others are further removed from the shore and well stocked. Some shelters have evacuees who have houses in the 20 km evacuation radius around the nuclear plant, they have houses but they aren’t able to return. Other shelters in the tsunami hit areas house those who have lost everything.

While the situation varies in each of the places we’ve visited, the one need they all had in common was the need for love and encouragement. The way that we’ve found we’re able to give love and encouragement is through making the kids (and grown-ups too) laugh, and giving the something to smile about. If you’d like to help us make more trips to evacuation centers, please contact us at:

一晩仙台に泊まって家路につきました。福島の原発から75キロメートル離れ た、放射線量の多い郡山の避難所で最後に一回ショーをする予定だったので、手首にヨウ素を少し塗ってから出発しました。
後でエンソンとダンに会い、一緒にショーをしました。エンソンは子供たちの ために買ったおもちゃを配り、ジーンとフローレンスは心温まる歌を歌い、わたしたちはコメディマジックで子供たちを笑わせました。東北地 方への訪問のいい締めくくりでした。
ちょ うどショーを終え、別れを告げていたところ、強い余震でそこの体育館が揺れました。優喜は怖がっていた子供たちがテーブルの下に隠れるの を助けました。床 の上にしゃがむ人もいれば、震源地はどこか、そして原発での作業にどんな影響があるかを調べるためにテレビに駆け寄る人もいました。
避難所の状況はそれぞれ違い、津波に流された周辺の少し先にあったり、海岸 からもっと離れて物資も揃っている所もあります。避難指示が出されている原発の20 キロ圏内から家はあるけど帰れない方を収容している避難所があれば、津波に襲われて全てを失った方たちを収容している場所もありました。
訪問した場所の状況は一つ一つ異なっていたものの、みんな愛と励ましを必要 としていました。わたしたちは子供たち(そして、大人たちも)を笑わせたり、何か 幸せにするようなことを提供することで愛と励ましを与えることができたと思います。これらの訪問にご協力したい方は以下のEメールアドレ スにご連絡くださ い。

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April 11th, Visit to Miyako, Iwate Prefecture

We arrived in Morioka at 4:30 AM after driving 8 hours, and stayed at a hotel that Enson booked for us. Thank you, Enson! After sleeping a couple hours we set off for the costal town of Miyako, where we met up with Mr. Hatakeyama who kindly took us around to 3 evacuation shelters in the area.

Hatakeyama-san is an evacuee himself, and was carried along by the tsunami. He offered to drive for me, as he knew we had slept little the night before, and as he drove us around told us his story of surviving the tsunami, and how he and others had struggled through the first weeks after the quake.

For the first week he slept curled up in a corner by a fire station. It was only recently last week that they started having 3 meals a day, until then the daily rations was one rice ball and a small carton of juice.

While his house still stands, everything on the first floor had been washed away. Though he’s sleeping on a gym floor and has suffered losses, he was upbeat and doing what he can to help his neighbors.

When I see the loss and challenges that so many face up here in the tsunami affected areas, and how they are still so positive and doing what they can to assist others it makes me want to do all I can to help them.

Thank you, for your encouragement, support and prayers that are making these trips possible.






8時間運転して午前4時半に盛岡に到着し、エンソンが予約してくださったホテルに泊まりました。エンソン、ありがとう! 数時間寝た後、海沿いにある宮古市に向かい、ハタケヤマさんと会いました。彼は親切に地域の3つの避難所に案内して下さりました。







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Heading up to Iwate

Yuki performing at an evacuation center in Aizumisato, Fukushima

Thanks to your generous support and encouragement, during our 3 day trip we were able to visit and perform our show at 7 evacuation centers, and drop off supplies at 3 other centers.

We traveled a total of 1,003 km, and were able to deliver all the donated items. Some items we delivered direct to evacuation centers in Fukushima, most of the clothes, lotion and assorted items were delivered to 3 locations in Yamamotocho, Miyagi. We passed on the blankets to a volunteer team we worked with, who were heading to Sendai, as the center there needed them.

Children enjoying our comedy magic and balloon show

Most of the people we performed for were evacuated from around the Daichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Several mothers thanked us for making the children laugh and smile, she said that they haven’t known if it’s ok to laugh and smile, but she’s happy to see them happy after our show. We are so thankful for this chance to meet with and to perform for those affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and we hope that we’ll be able to make another trip to encourage many others.

Yuki and Sam will be heading up to Iwate prefecture tonight as we have at least 3 more shows at evacuation centers on Monday. It’s a short trip, but we’re hoping to encourage as many as we can.






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More shows and delivering supplies to Miyagi

Yuki and I had planned to leave first thing in the morning to Yamamoto town in Miyagi prefecture, just 20 km north of Souma city, to deliver donated items. But we had a slight change of plans and stayed in Fukushima long enough to put on 2 more shows with Gene and Florence.

Each person we met and talked to were so sweet. One lady who was working at an evacuation center had to evacuate herself and only had time to help her father, due to the radiation leaks at the Fukushima power plant. We asked her if she knows when she’ll be able to go back, and she said that maybe her grandchildren will be able to. But her hope is that she’ll be able to return soon.

Though we didn’t plan to meet up and perform with Gene and Florence, and work with Robert and Faith, it seemed to all come together perfectly. At each show people were moved to tears when they heard traditional Japanese songs they know and love sung by foreigners, and though that was a hard act to follow, Yuki and I would do our comedy magic and balloon show for the kids which made every one from kids to grown ups laugh.

While the evacuation centers we visited seemed to have most of their basic needs, we could tell everyone was thankful for something to distract them from the tough living conditions, the great loss that many of them have had to face, and their concerns for the future. We hope that we’ll be able to make another trip up to the area again soon to pass on a message of hope and to give encouragement.

After our 2nd show we parted ways with our friends from Yaizu and Noda, as they made their way up to Sendai with some of the brand new Rossignol clothes and blankets that were donated, and we made our way to Yamamoto town with bananas that they had brought from Shizuoka. After driving for 2 plus hours and passing many SDF trucks on their way to their next assignment, we arrived at the drop off locations. The city has a fairly big disaster response operation going with different locations to receive different types of donated items etc. We dropped off the bananas at one location, then moved on to drop off skin care products, and since they weren’t accepting clothes, we delivered the clothes to a nearby evacuation center that needed them.

The last drop off was a junior high school up on a hill which seemed to be one of the few buildings spared by the tsunami in the area. After our drop off, it was already quite dark, and though there wasn’t much light, we could see that everything had been completely washed away. It was an eerie feeling driving through what I’m sure used to be the beautiful neighborhood surrounding the school.

It’s tough to see people lose so much, and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to cope after having been through a disaster of this magnitude, but I am comforted by the thought that there is something we can do to help ease their pain, and to give them hope. And that there are many who are willing and looking for ways to encourage and heal broken hearts. We want to thank again all those who made this trip possible through donations and logistical support, and for all those who prayed for us. God bless!












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4 Visits to 避難所 in Aizumisato

Last night Robert, Faith, Gene and Florence made their way here from Shizuoka and Chiba, bringing a large van load full of bananas, toys, and other supplies. We are so glad that they chose to join us in our shows today as the elderly and grown ups at the 4 evacuation centers we visited today were so happy to hear them sing traditional Japanese songs.

We had a full day with 2 visits in the morning, a lunch break at a ramen restaurant and then another 2 more visits to evacuation centers in the Aizumisato area here in Fukushima. It was a full day of making balloons, doing comedy magic, talking to kids, signing more autographs and driving around from one place to another. It was a little tiring, but at the same time a whole lot of fun and possibly one of the most fulfilling days I’ve had in years. We heard many people say there were so happy to see the children smiling and having fun after all they’ve been through.

A special thank you, to my mom who did the research and made calls to book these visits for us, and for my family for joining us yesterday and today to talk with people, encourage them and to pass out books for children, along with encouraging messages from around the world translated into Japanese.

We also want to thank Tadaura san and his family for putting us up in their spacious home in Fukushima, and for feeding us delicious food and drink 🙂 Thank you so much!

Tomorrow we may have a few more shows in the area before we head out to deliver supplies Yamamotocho in Miyagi. Thank you for your support and prayers!



ゆうべ、ロバート、フェイス、ジーンとフローレンスたちが、バナナやおもちゃ、その他の物資をバンいっぱいに積んで静岡と千葉からやって来てくれました。彼らは日本の伝統的な歌を歌い、大人たちとお年寄りの方々はとても喜んでくださいました。 一緒に避難所を訪問することができて本当によかったです。





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Putting on our show at Aizuwakamatsu 避難所

Today we arrived in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima just before noon and had ourselves a Seven-Eleven lunch, we then went straight to Aizuwakamatsu Sougou Gym turned evacuation center for 250 people. There were about 15 children who were there for the show, and about the same number of elderly people.

They were all so very sweet and we enjoyed every minute of performing for them and talking with them afterwards. Some of the kids came up to us after our show and asked us to sign autographs for them, which we gladly signed, along with short notes of encouragement.

Some of the wonderful people we performed for today have evacuated from the area surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant, others are from Minami-souma city which was hard hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

Someone commented: “we’ve had a number of people come and perform for us, but today’s show was the best. It’s good to laugh.”

We also delivered 3 boxes of laundry soap, shampoo, dish soap and 2 boxes of socks and underwear, and kleenex. These seem to be the items that are most requested in this area.









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