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March 16, 2011


It is a little known fact that I was in the Christmas tsunami in 2004. I ran down 28 flights of stairs and bore witness to a number of ruined buildings and structure. Not knowing it was a tsunami, I even looked out the window pensively to the sea below and commented that it was a perfect weather to surf. Thankfully I was not in the worst hit areas around Sri Lanka…but the level of ignorance is apparent. I even went on a BOAT that afternoon; before my mom called me in a panic and commanded that I get OFF the boat right this moment. Well, too late, we were already drifting slowly into sea.

I escaped that tsunami unharmed; not realizing how lucky I was, since I was in a seafront apartment 28 floors up. Ever since last Friday, I have been questioning myself why then do I feel so much more devastated at what happened recently. I despair about what happened to Japan. The level of destruction is so absolute – but the Japanese are coping so wonderfully well its pretty amazing and awe-inspiring. One of my favourite stories is from a twitter friend, lindababinda. Her sister called their dad in Japan who lived pretty close to one of the nuclear plants; crying and upset. The dad replied that there is no point worrying, he is so well in fact that he is ‘glowing’. That for me just epitomizes the type of people the Japanese are. Quietly strong and glass half-full, soildering on for the greater good. Like Maki said; the Japanese are ‘ganbaru’ – grin and bear it.


In the past year I had derived so much enjoyment from the Japanese culture, from my main bento-ing hobby to using more Japanese ingredients and cooking more Japanese food. I had met so many great people across the globe thorugh this blog, people that I dare call my virtual friends even. My bento making skills have improved tremendously, so has my cooking and have reinstilled in me my love of photography. I was even planning a trip to Tokyo at the end of April to meet up with some bento friends – which I had to cancel due to a family trip.


It is time to give back to the country that had given me so much.


A few of us over on twitter were chatting on Sunday and bemoaned how helpless we felt sitting on the sidelines whilst waves of devastation continued to sweep across Japan. I decided that just praying for Japan was not enough anymore. I am not stinking rich and cannot donate a large amount of money; but with what I know and love, I know I can make a difference, no matter what small. Or at least try to. Many in the bento making community feels the same. So an idea was born; and that idea was #bento4Japan.

Inspired by the one-woman-newstream that is Makiko Itoh ; the international bento community is getting together to run a variety of fundraising activites. Currently we are running auctions via ebay; but I will be setting up a small raffle for the EU here shortly – as soon as I can get good pictures of my items! There are also links to various ways where you can donate, so please be sure to check them out.


Please remember to click here to visit the bento4Japan HQ!! Ganbatte Japan!!


17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2011 8:37 pm

    You’re an inspiration. Bravo and thank you!

  2. March 16, 2011 10:00 pm

    You make me all teary-eyed Mils. *hugs*

  3. March 16, 2011 10:29 pm

    Bravo Mils!! Thank you for spearheading the movement and getting us excited to participate. You’ve paved the way for us to each do our part, no matter how small. One look at the auction page will tell you what a bunch oh small-time bentomakers can do to make a difference. So kudos to you; you’ve done plenty already ^_^

    • March 17, 2011 7:09 pm

      The real superstars are all you girls who have rallied and helped make this possible; not me 🙂

  4. March 16, 2011 11:29 pm

    Thanks Mils for all of your hard works! Setting up and arranging everything are not an easy job. Hope many people are moved to support Japan via Bento4Japan (^.^)

    • March 17, 2011 7:10 pm

      In all honestly,all I just wanted was people to help…in any form or manner 🙂

  5. March 17, 2011 12:45 am

    Thanks Mils for taking this project on! Someday when we meet, and I know we will, I’ll going to give you a big hug! On those first few days, I felt lost, donating money wasn’t enough to fill the void of sadness and gloom. But now with this project, I feel like I’m taking an “active” part and “actually” helping. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    • March 17, 2011 7:52 pm

      I totally could not have done this without you – the power of the bento makers uniting is amazing!!!!

  6. March 17, 2011 1:40 am

    You have totally expressed what I have been feeling these last days, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
    Thank you.

    • March 17, 2011 7:10 pm

      No, thank all of you for making this a possibility!

  7. Kat permalink
    March 17, 2011 4:49 am

    I know everyone is sad and trying to help, but at least read this first.

    • March 17, 2011 7:08 pm

      If you had not pointed this out I would have never realized what sort of sensationalised yellow journalism Reuters practice.

      a) Quantitive easing does NOT make a country richer. Get your facts right. Anyone can print money.
      b) The most important thing right now is getting help and rescuing the people who so sorely need it now. Not a comparing which country is rich and which is not. Japan have been overly generous with other countries in the world and have helped out in their time of need – why shouldn’t we do the same for them now?
      c) If your heart is set on making a difference; does it matter if it is all spent in Japan or New Zealand? Or Haiti?

      Sitting around twiddling thumbs might be an option for some, but not us.

  8. March 17, 2011 11:41 am

    I have watched stunned as each part of this disaster unfolded and I applaud the help being made by the bento community.I look forward to the auction for members in the Eu. I wanted to particioate in the ebay auctions biut they were for US residents only.

    • March 17, 2011 7:05 pm

      If you would like to auction off items for bento4Japan, you can do it on the UK ebay site – but please do help out on the raffle as well! Thanks!!

  9. March 17, 2011 4:30 pm

    Mils, I never knew this about you! Incredible. You are an amazingly inspiring woman and I am so very happy to help you out any way I can! Keep up your tireless efforts and know we are behind you 100%. One day we shall all meet and have a super big group hug!

  10. March 25, 2011 8:27 am

    Thank you for heading such a great cause!!! You are amazing!

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