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Art, Friendship, Healing: The Blue Carp Project (VIDEO)

May 07, 2017


students hanging carp streamersOn May 4, 2017, the Randolph-Macon College community gathered at the Taylor Anderson '08 Seating Area to participate in the Blue Carp Project (koinobori). The Blue Carp Project, held in conjunction with Japanese Children's Day, honored those lost in the March 11, 2011 Great East Japanese earthquake and tsunami and lent support to survivors. Anderson was among those who perished in the tsunami.

A New Tradition
Participants decorated their own colorful carp-shaped streamers, learned how to create origami, and signed a 20-foot streamer with messages of encouragement for the people of Tohoku, one of the areas hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami. Mayumi Nakamura, assistant director of international education, Dean of Academic Affairs Lauren Bell, Music Professor Doering, and Asian Studies Instructor Yoshiko Himata helped organize the Blue Carp Project event.

"We are always exploring ways to show our support to our friends in the Tohoku region of Japan," says Nakamura, who has traveled to Japan four times with R-MC study-abroad students and professors. "When we were in Japan during January Term 2017, our group discussed the idea of bringing the Blue Carp Project to campus. This spring, a giant carp streamer was donated to R-MC by the members of M's Japan Orchestra, a Tohoku-based Japanese taiko drum group that has hosted drumming workshops at Ishinomaki Senshu University for us during our trips to Japan. At the Blue Carp Project gathering, we reflected on the events of March 11, 2011 and offered support to our Japanese friends. I hope that the Blue Carp Project will be a new tradition at R-MC."

As the brightly decorated streamers fluttered in the wind, participants enjoyed the recorded music of Samurai Apartment, a group that includes some of the members of M's Japan Orchestra.

"Through many performances and projects, M's Japan Orchestra has utilized music in the recovery process, bringing hope to the most devastated areas of Japan," says Nakamura. "We really appreciate everyone who took part in the Blue Carp Project."