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When the March 11th earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan, the world was rendered speechless at the scale of the disaster.  Truly one of the worst natural disasters ever, it’s unbearable to watch as things continue to get worse for the people of Japan.  Having lived in Japan for several years, it was especially frightening attempting to contact my friends who had gone through the quake.  Thankfully, all of my friends in Japan are safe and sound, though many of them have frightening tales to tell.  Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same thing about friends or family in the region.

It wasn’t long after the earthquake that I realised that it probably wouldn’t be much longer before the tattoo community pitched in to help raise money for Japan.  Everywhere I looked, people were helping, be they musicians or celebrities or regular people like you and I.  The scale of aid was somewhat comforting in the face of such a terrible catastrophe.

Sure enough, tattooists have now stepped up to help in an especially far reaching fund-raising campaign called Tattooers For Japan, which was started by Canadian tattooist Dave Allen.  So far the campaign includes 30 different tattoo studios.

‘Allen hopes to raise $50,000 on his website. Some of the shops have earmarked specific groups such as Red Cross Japan Disaster Relief as beneficiaries, he says. Most of the money raised will go to the International Rescue Committee, a group founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, which is partnering with local Japanese relief groups.’

The best part of this fundraiser is that it can continue to grow as more and more people sign on to help out:

This site has been created in response to the recent natural disaster in Japan. The goal is to unite tattooers globally to show their compassion and gratitude to a country and culture that has influenced most of us artistically and personally. All of us owe a large debt of gratitude to Japan for its contribution to tattooing and the trade we are all so passionate about. The idea is for each tattooer/shop to schedule a walk in day in April with all proceeds going to relief efforts in Japan. Choose your own day, advertise to your client base and community, pick a theme if you’d like. Please invite any tattooers you know to join this effort. Join the discussion below to help decide how the money should be dispersed, via charities or through our own connections(tattooers) in Japan. Let the Japanese foundations of respect, compassion, and integrity inspire you to help!”

If you run a tattoo studio or simply tattoo at one, I highly encourage you to join up in this very important cause to help out.

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