Ph.D. student in the Department of History, Alex Jania, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies during the "Kizuna 10: Inochi," the Kizuna Project's 10th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony for the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, being held virtually on March 11, 2021. This ceremony will feature personal contributions from survivors as well as remarks from the Japanese Consul General in Chicago Kenichi Okada, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and Iwate Prefecture Governor Takuya Tasso. Under the banner of the Kizuna Project, the Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago, Japan America Society of Chicago (JASC), Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago - JCCC, and JETRO USA Chicago Office have worked together to present a series of events, such as the ceremony, that highlight the region and allow members of the public to connect with the memory of the March 11 tragedy.
The Kizuna Project overlaps with Alex's research, but also allowed him to further a major underlying goal of his research (the spread of knowledge about 3.11 survivors). He became interested in his own research on disaster memory and memorialization after visiting the disaster zone in 2021 as a volunteer/language student. As a result, Alex has been volunteering at the Kizuna Project for the past 3 years with University of Chicago Japanese Studies Librarian, Ayako Yoshimura, having introduced him to the organization in 2017. In 2018, Alex served as an interviewer and copywriter for Kizuna 8: Artisans of Tohoku and he was the producer/interviewer/copy writer for Kizuna 9: Memory (cancelled due to the pandemic). More recently, Alex has been working the Kizuna Project to help preserve a record of the photo exhibitions facilitated through the Public History Practicum at UChicago, where a team of students will be producing a publicly accessible digital archive for the organization.
Register for the March 11th Zoom event by clicking here.
For more information pertaining to the Kizuna Project Information Page at Chicago Sister Cities International, click here.
Read the Article on American Commemoration Ceremonies in Nikkei that features information on the Kizuna Project, by clicking here.
For more information on the Public History Practicum at the University of Chicago, click here.