USF students attend a vigil in honor of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims this spring.
A University of San Francisco professor, three students from
Japan, and the Center for the Pacific Rim staged fundraising
campaigns this spring, bringing in $7,500 for victims of the earthquake and
subsequent tsunami in their home
country in March.
Hwaji Shin, assistant professor of sociology who was raised
in Japan, organized an interfaith vigil at USF shortly after the disaster,
accepting donations for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims. The $1,000
raised at the vigil was donated to the Japan Policy Research Institute’s earthquake and tsunami relief fund. The
institute is part of the Center for the Pacific Rim at USF. The funds will be
distributed to various Japan-based agencies providing shelter, food, and
clothing to victims.
“I am trying to promote the public awareness among people
around the world and also to let people in Japan know that their struggles are
not forgotten,” Shin said.
A few weeks after the vigil, MBA students Hajime Matsukata,
Rie Shigeta, and Yoshi Fujiwara, all from Japan, led a separate effort to raise
awareness and garner donations on campus, raising $2,000.
Shin, Matsukata, Shigeta, and Fujiwara, along with Dean of
Strategic Relations for Academic Affairs Mike Duffy, presented a check from the
students’ campaign to the Japanese consul general of San Francisco in April. The donation went to the Japanese Red Cross, which
is assisting the tsunami and earthquake victims.
“Even when the media coverage ends, the suffering of the
people continues” said Matsukata, whose brother lives in Sendai, a city on the
coast of northern Japan that was affected by the disaster. Matsukata emphasized
the continued need for fundraising to help the many disaster victims who remain
Another $4,500 was raised by the Center for the Pacific Rim
at a special musical presentation by Chinese composer Bright Sheng at USF. The
Center collected donations from the public and USF community members. All funds
were donated to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund through the