Let’s take a break from whatever we are doing now, close our eyes, take a deep breath and think. Is that what you really want to do now? Our life could end the next moment… no, it’s not a joke. Just empty your minds from all other thoughts and let your mind rewind to one year ago.



The Great East Japan Earthquake. Do you still remember what happened?


This was a scene at Shibuya station on the day of the earthquake. All trains stopped moving, all telephone lines were cut. People rushed to the telephone boxes on the streets.


Emergency earthquake sirens came to our phones every now and then.


Food items and daily necessities vanished from the shelves of bakeries and convenience stores.


I decided to leave Japan for a while. I spent one night at the airport.


The mad rush at the airport.


I came back to Japan one week later. This was a country that gave me my dreams. I just could not help not doing anything. I came back to do my little part in this disaster. I started Project YUME with Peter Draw. The short video above shows a summary of what we did for Project YUME.



We gathered the well-wishing messages and drawings and brought them to the affected areas.

We then let the children there drew pictures of their dreams.


It will be one year after the earthquake tomorrow. Do we still remember the incident? More importantly, have we forgotten the important lessons we learnt then?


I learnt the importance of helping each other and the optimistic and forward-looking fighting spirit from Baba sensei (who played the most important role in Project YUME with me and Peter Draw), the people we met at the affected areas, the volunteers at the evacuation centres, the people in Taiwan, and my friends, teachers and staff from my school, and everyone else who helped us out.


Earthquake, tsunami and natural disasters are inevitable, but precisely because of that, when such disasters strike, it is important to lend a helping hand to the people around us. Needless to say, the people who survived the disaster must have pulled through because of the presence of the people around them.


Through this range of volunteer activities I did, my perspective of the world has changed. All these coincidental encounters are actually not merely coincidental, but were there for a reason. Things happen for a reason. And that is our reason to help each other. This should and will be the way of our life from now too- to lend a helping hand to someone in need, and in times of crisis, we will receive the help we need.


Start doing this from daily life- lend a hand to the person next to us. Start this today.