Kimono Girls in the UK collect donations for victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Kimono Girls in the UK collect donations for victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Noriko Uchima (second from the right) and friends raising funds wearing kimono and yukata at the Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom.


October 24, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

Six months have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, but at concert venues in the United Kingdom, various groups and individuals are continuing to raise money. Noriko Uchima, from Okinawa City, has been actively involved in fund-raising as one of the core members of “Kimono Girls,” a group fronted by the renowned saxophone player Meg from Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture.

At “The Glastonbury Festival Of Contemporary Performing Arts,” the biggest open-air music festival in the United Kingdom, girls clad in kimono and yukata called for donations, attracting the attention of many people in the audience. The “Kimono Girls” expanded their fund-raising activities beyond concert venues and now hold charity bazaars and Japanese cultural workshops, and they plan to continue to provide ongoing support.

“Kimono Girls” are made up mostly of Japanese living in the United Kingdom and they currently have 117 members. Uchima leads a hectic life as an organizer of many projects that reach out to members of the Okinawa Kenjinkai and the London Sanshin Kai. To date, the total for donations is approximately 180000 pounds and this has been sent to the afflicted area through the Red Cross Society.

(English Translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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