It was announced last week that West 5‘s Dave Montoure was organizing a disaster relief fundraiser for the people who were affected by the tsunami in Japan. We are proud to say that we will be participating in “West Seattle for Japan” this Sunday, March 27th.
We have chosen to raise funds while also raising awareness of the uniquely satisfying flavors of Northeast Japan. We will be offering a bento with several items traditionally served in that region. Specific items will be rotating throughout the night as there is such a variety of things that we want to share with the dining public! This Northeast Japan bento will be available for only $25, with 50% of the selling price being donated to “West Seattle for Japan”. For a more complete experience, we will be recommending regional sakes for you to try as well. And of course, our very own Chef Hajime Sato will be on hand to answer questions about your bento, and beyond…
I’ve been swamped with questions, so I’d like to answer them first: My friends and family are safe. Yes, I was in Hawaii during the tsunami. We were evacuated to higher ground for about 11 hours. The damage ended up being minimal where I was.
Many of you know that I lived in Japan until I was 19. This tragedy against my homeland is difficult for me to process. Thanks to those who have sent kind words to me the past few days. I actually spent 3 days in Sendai this past November. It is hard to believe that Sendai is now gone.
Many survivors have no shelter in freezing weather. Some have shelter, but don’t know the status of their loved ones. The stores in Tokyo are already running out of food and supplies. The nuclear situation is surreal. Some experts say there is a good chance that more earthquakes are likely for Japan in the next few days.
People keep asking me, “What can I do to help?”. I don’t have an answer. If donating to the Red Cross makes you feel better, go for it. Right now, let’s think about the victims and remember that they were living their daily lives – just like us – when this happened. The best way for us to honor them is to make serious, permanent changes in our lives. Live each day. Encourage others to do the same.