It's been a trying time for Japan. It is the home of Felissimo, co-organizer with UNESCO, of this DESIGN 21:Social Network Network. Our core strength is being tested in every way. To many of you who have inquired about the safety of Felissimo people, our friends and family, we express our heartfelt thanks.

But they say "Every cloud has a silver lining." We believe that the silver lining is going to be the coming together of creative minds that will produce something so beautiful and powerful that we didn't even know existed.

Let's begin with what we can. Here is a message from Mr. Kazuhiko Yazaki, president of Felissimo, whose vision gave birth to the DESIGN 21 project in 1995.

Kesennuma_432_

the peaceful pre-tsunami photo of Bay of Kesennuma

Dear friends,

On March 11, 2011, an unimaginable scale of earthquake and tsunami hit the northern parts of Japan's main island, Honshu. In a matter of minutes, lively towns, beautiful fields and the peaceful existence of their people disappeared, leaving deeply wounded lands and hearts. There is no word to express our sorrow and pain.

At the same time, we know that we must take a step forward, towards building a better future. Felissimo is based in Kobe, a city that was devastated by a great earthquake that lost 6400 of its citizens in 1995. We have watched and participated in the long process of recovery and rebuilding since then. We have learned a lot from that experience. We are now determined to put it to use, and are in the process of launching various mid- to long-term initiatives that will contribute to rebuilding of the affected area.

We need your help. More than anything else, we need your creativity, optimism, energy, hope, and words & acts of encouragement.

There are many ways you can help. With the 3 new competitions on this site, we ask you to come up with "Better Design for the Greater Good." Click on the "Help Japan" banner on top and learn more about our initiatives. On that page you can also purchase the Allumonde "Light the world" Ring designed by world-renowned Dutch designer Richard Hutten. It benefits both our Earthquake Relief Fund and UNESCO. No one fundraising campaign is enough for Japan at this time. We'll be introducing many more, and ask you to continue your support.

Thank you and best wishes,

Kazuhiko Yazaki President and CEO, Felissimo Corporation

Posted April 02, 2011