Commemorating the Fifth Anniversary of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (東日本大震災5周年追悼イベント)

The Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International is proud to present 絆 Kizuna 5: Voices of the Youth, a series of events to remember the victims, celebrate the reconstruction of the Tohoku region and show continued support from the people of Chicago to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. The 絆 Kizuna 5 series will consist of the commemoration ceremony, a photo exhibition, a short documentary film screening, a panel discussion and an economic seminar.

絆 Kizuna 5 is the fifth phase of an ongoing project focused on the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. The first four phases consisted of yearly commemoration ceremonies, economic seminars and multidimensional photography exhibitions which toured venues in Chicago from 2012–2015.

Kizuna5coverphoto1Photo by Kiyotaka Shishido

絆 Kizuna 5

To commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, the Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International and the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago, the Japan America Society of Chicago, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago and the JETRO Chicago Office are hosting 絆 Kizuna 5: Voices of the Youth in March 2016.

The week will kick off Sunday, March 6 with a commemoration ceremony featuring a live concert by children in Chicago along with video concerts and messages from the youth in Japan’s Tohoku region. Other programs will take place during the week, including an economic seminar, a panel discussion and a film screening.

Throughout the month of March, the 絆 Kizuna 5 photo exhibition will be displayed in Chicago’s downtown Loop district. The exhibit displays the photos of Sendai-based photographer Kiyotaka Shishido who visited the Tohoku region of Japan to visually document portraits of children who participated in a video project to mark the 5th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Accompanying each photo will be a QR code linking to a video message of the child featured in the photo. Also exhibited will be a selection of photos from the Nikkei Photo Archive from the past four years. The exhibition editor and curator is Jamason Chen, Professor at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication..

The photo exhibition will be on display at the James R. Thompson Center from March 7–11, 2016 and at the Richard J. Daley Center from March 14–March 25, 2016.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel serve as honorary of chairs of 絆 Kizuna 5: Voices of the Youth.


 View the 2016 Exhibition Online

View the 2015 Exhibition Online

Messages from Tohoku Youth

Map of Area Affected by Earthquake and Tsunami

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Special Thanks to Our Sponsors


Thank you also to Dena Khalafallah; Gudonin Buddhist Temple; Hekiun Oda; Henry Latkin and Maureen Bridges; Hideo Suzuki; Kimiyo Naka; Kioto Aoki; Kiyotaka Shishido; Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication; Mayumi Lake; Nagle Photography; Pacific Liaison Services, Inc.; Richard Robinson; Rie Sugai; Sachiko Peters; Shiho Akaike; Tatsu Aoki; Tomomi Hartung; Tsukasa Taiko.

The  Kizuna 5 photo exhibition is made possible in part by the generous cooperation of Nikkei Inc. and is dedicated to The Nikkei’s collection Memory: Things We Should Never Forget.

Everyone involved in making the 絆 Kizuna 5 exhibition also wishes to express grateful thanks to the people of Chicago who have shown friendship and hope to the Japanese people whose lives were forever changed by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. This, too, will never be forgotten.