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Blog > Japan 2011 earthquake


Few events can unite the whole world such as natural catastrophes and the recent events in Japan have left no one indifferent. In the last days our thoughts are with those in Japan going through the hardship of a 9.0 earthquake and the devastating tsunami that followed.

We all feel powerless when such events are so overwhelming. But that is precisely why it’s important that we do do what we can to help recovering from this disaster. Below are some links we collected where you can make a donation to help recover from this desperate events.

By credit card through Google’s 2011 Japan Crisis website
In this page you are able to donate the Japanese Red Cross and to other institutions such as UNICEF, 'International Medical Corps’ and 'Save the children’.
Through bank transfer to Japanese Red Cross
Note that their website also recommends that you contact your local Red Cross for ways to donate. From their website:
“If you want to donate money to the affected population of earthquake and tsunami, please contact your national Red Cross/Crescent society, which may have already launched fundraising campaign within your country.”
Using Paypal Japan earthquake and tsunami relief website
You may donate to several different organizations through Paypal and they are covering all processing costs so 100% of your donation reaches the non-profit organization you choose.

Every donation, no matter how small, will surely help.

japan map Also a way that you can help is sending your support towards Japanese members using postcards. You may be wondering if your postcards will reach their destination in Japan. The Japan Post has published on their website that some areas are expected to have delays on the delivery. However, they are doing the best they can to deliver all the mail, even to those who might have lost their home, to whom they are making an effort to hand-deliver in person to those in shelters and evacuation centers – when such is possible.

We also received a report of a Japanese Postcrosser in the Fukushima area (one of the most affected ones) who was very moved by receiving a Postcrossing postcard hand-delivered to him by the mailman in the shelter he is at the moment.

So, please be extra patient with postcards traveling to Japan – even those traveling to areas that were less affected. Delays are expected. But remember that words of support and letting them know that our thoughts are with them is a way to help them go through these difficult times.

Edit: Google has a website with the addresses of the temporary shelters. Although this information is in Japanese only, you can find some details on how to interprete it at this forum thread

68 comments so far

FloridaGirl, United States of America

Thank you for giving us this information. Now I know how I can help.

NancyS, United States of America

It made my day to know that a postcard prevailed and found its way to a recipient in an emergency shelter. Amazing!

SilentSilence, Spain

God help them

sachikomatsuda, Japan

There is a very sincere postcrosser who emailed me asking what she can do to help from States. After giving it some thought,I am sending her a stack of postcards so she can sell them for a certain price to help raise fund for the tsunami aid. Thank you again. Praying helps. So does donation. :)

rufus1327, Japan


nisnoopy3, Malaysia

I just sent a postcard to a kind Postcrosser in Miyagi prefecture. I hope she is safe with her family. Deeply concerned about her safety and I pray that everyone in Japan will keep their spirits high and overcome this difficult situation together! Many thanks to a kind friend who is helping me to locate her whereabouts

nightshift, Japan

Thank you for your concern.
I'm living in Tokyo with the fear of the radiation.
It's still hard to believe 6911 deaths and 10754 missing in earthquake and tsunami.

Now we are doing what we can do to make a difference.
In this hard time,your support really encourage us.
Thank you everyone!!

I'd like to add a information to make a donation for survivers.

Dodd, Taiwan

We feel your grief in Taiwan.
Pray for Japan.

gmur2much, United States of America

I sent a card to Tokyo February 28 and received confirmation from the person that it was received. I offered her and her family help and told her the United States was praying for them and hoping things will get better. She was very scarred of the radiation and anxious about the aftershocks. I believe we should do whatever we can to help out a country that gives us so much. Prayers are with them.

philatelist_jp, Japan

Here is the lateist information about mailing between Japan and other countries:
- Delays are expected caused by problems on international flights and shippings.
- Mails from Japan to other countries are expected to need more time than usual.
- Mails to Pacific coastal areas of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures (incl. surrounding areas of Fukushima nuke power plant) may not be able to be delivered. Japan Post Service makes every effort to deliver mails to such places. Evacuators have their chances to get their mails at their shelters.
- Japan Post Service has notified these informations to postal entities in other countries.

lucymonty, United Kingdom

My thoughts are with the Japanese Postcrossers and everyone in your country. Hoping that any postcards received will bring some happiness at this difficult time.

KaiKitten, United States of America

As someone who has lived through a level 5 nuclear radiation leak (Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania USA), my thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan. I plan to put together small care packages this weekend for pen friends in Japan. Just small items to let them know that they are cared about. From what I've been told through emails, the more southern grocery stores are starting to have food again, but the whole country is being asked to conserve electricity.

Pyewacket, Canada

To all Postcrossers and their families in Japan,

Please know that you are not alone. We in Canada are glued to our television sets, watching the devastation that has come to your beautiful country. It is hard not to feel helpless at a time like this, and we all want to do something to help. I know many Canadians have made donations, and would like to do more.

You are in our thoughts, and we hope that you will have the strength to get through this terrible time.

I visited your country in 2005, and was overcome with the kindness and generosity of the Japanese people, and the beauty of your country. I look forward to returning for another visit.

You have been through so much in the past week. We all hope and pray that your hardships will ease over the next weeks and months to come.

You are not forgotten, and please let us know what more we can do to help you.

philatelist_jp, Japan

Japan Post Service has updated its website(English ver.):

Hexentrio, Germany

In these horrible days, we are mourning and crying with our Japanese friends.
It seems that we only can help by giving donations, but surely we can do more: sending hope and encouragement.
Yesterday I watched the interview with a major of a destroyed town who said: "Besides food and heating, the people here in the shelter need hope. Please let us know that we are not forgotten".
By then, I felt helpless - but his words induced me to start a nightly research on shelter locations.
I'm living far from Japan, but sending hope has no distance.
Japan, you are lion-hearted and the entire world is with you.
Love, Simone

Cardiffgal, United States of America

Is there a way to find address for Postcrossing members in Japan to send them cards?

honeybee, Austria

It is hard to find words. Dear Japanese friends, Austrian people pray for you and feel with you. Don't ever give up. We all send our hope to you.
I was so glad to hear that a postcrossing friend in Sendai is alive and she can still stay in her house.

Mundoo, Australia

Don't forget all the animals, domestic and farm, affected by this disaster as well.

The Nippon SPCA is one organisation helping injured and displaced animals and are in need of funds too.

Earney, Austria

This journey is very challenging, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thinking of Japanese peoples during this difficult times. You are not alone. Glad also to know my friends and familys are alive. With deepest sympathy.

Asa, France

I have no news from a fellow Postcrosser from Sendai, and I fear the worst.

I agree with what has been said, it would maybe cheer Japanese people up if we could send them postcards to their shelters. If anyone knows a way to do that, by all means, let me know !

de88ie, United States of America

We are praying for Japan!

Asa, France

I have found this page with shelters locations :

But I can't read Japanese and I don't know if there are some addresses listed. Can someone help ?

FairyFoot, United Kingdom

We have made a donation through the British Red Cross. Will be making more donations with other international relief agencies too.

phuleshouse, Canada

I have already made a donation at my bank for the Red Cross and there is special events to raise more money for the Red Cross in Brandon, Manitoba. I am hoping and praying the worst is over especially the nuclear plant.

cats99, Netherlands

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan !
Words can't express this.....

purpleferret, Canada

My last official left for Japan this week. I hold them and their country close to me heart and fervently hope that their lives are spared any more hardships.

isagvproject, Germany

I turn on a light and pray for the victims and relatives in Japan. I have no words. :(

ains, United States of America

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Japan
May you find peace in difficult times

moonlessnite, Canada

The fact that postcrossing members is Japan still receive our good wishes via postcards is GOOD NEWS! I will be checking my local redcross relief fund, to see where I could make a donation.

booboo_babies, United States of America

On Wednesday, March 16, I received a card from a girl in Japan who mailed it on March 10, the day before the devastating earthquake and tsunami. As soon as I received it, I sent her a message telling her that my family and I are praying for her country. I honestly did not expect an answer, as I did not know if Internet service was still working. However, I thought that some kind words may help. I was thrilled to hear from her a few hours later! Fortunately for her, she is in Tokyo, away from the hardest hit part of the country. She mentioned that Tokyo is having blackouts, but was very grateful not to be in the northern part of Japan.

Right now, all we can do is pray. Especially for those near and working in the damaged nuclear plant. The 50 people that volunteered to work on the skeleton crew are true heroes. I pray that they live and get recognition for what they have done!

God bless Japan and the Japanese people! - Gail Anderson

betslets, United States of America

It's wonderful how Postcrossing has brought us all closer; I sent an e-mail to my one and only Japanese exchange and was very relieved to get a response, as she is in the southern part of Japan. But she stressed how much confusion exists and asked that we continue our prayers. Betslets

cbayha, United States of America

Thank you so much for all the great information. The Google website also has a peoplefinder where you can put in a persons name and check on them. I was able to verify that one of my postcrossing friends is okay that way.

philatelist_jp, Japan

Japan Post Service announced delivery difficulty areas as of 19 march 14:00(JST).
(Japanese only. 3(5) digit numbers are postal codes.)

StojakSiblings, Germany

We wish Japna good luck!

civrob, United States of America

I mailed a postcard to Bluesky46 in Tokyo on March 1st. I was very suprised when she registered it 15 days later. She is okay but shaken. I will tell her again and all in Japan that I pray each day brings less bad news and more good news; You are not forgotten; We are all concern for your well being and want to help!

elagipsy, Netherlands

Besides donating money I would like to send cards to Japanese shelters. Or any adresses in the suffering areas.
Can't we set up a Postcrossing Act of sending Postcards to Japan. We could send loads of cards letting them know we are thinking of them and praying. I know it won't help recovering from their grieves but maybe it would bring a good feeling for a moment.
Or maybe we should sent cards to Japanese embassy's in our own countries. Paulo what do you think???


cirande, Japan

I really appreciate your concern and warm regards. I live in Tokyo. Some areas in Tokyo suffer scheduled blackout 3 hours a day because of the electric power shortage. But that's all. People in the north-east district suffers far more without enough food and fuels. Knowing that many people in the world care for Japan and pray for Japan has really encouraged us. Thank you very much. We will keep struggling to go ahead.

sammy, Netherlands

Of course we make a donation to the red cross and the animal shelters. But I would love to start sending postcards to Japan. That way we can say to all the people they are in our thoughts and maybe, this way, make them smile. So, if anyone has adresses of shelters or thinks of some other way to start sending cards, please let me know.

ichabodhides, United Kingdom

I have just made a donation through the British Red Cross.
My thoughts are with the people affected by this disaster, I'm wishing everyone all the best. I have a friend in Sendai and have been worrying about her. She seems to be alright at the moment although worried, and daily life is quite difficult...

MichelleW, United States of America

The most amazing card arrived in my mailbox yesterday - a card from Lauren. It simply is my most memorable card ever. She wrote it one day after the earthquake. I hope relief efforts start to arrive to those who need it so very much. I've also donated through various relief agencies. Somehow it just seems like so little in the big pictue.

a_panko, Poland

already sent two short letters and even posted about it on my blog.

Pluus, Netherlands

My thoughts are with the Japanese! I cried everytime I switched the TV on and I really wish you all the best! Have been doing origami for luck like crazy all this time!

sabs, Germany

Thanks for letting us know and thank you for the amazing story of the hand delivered postcard. It's a sweet story in these bad times.

I love the idea of sending postcards to the shelters, giving the people good thoughts and maybe a smile on their faces for at least a moment.

My thoughts are with Japan and all the people who are affected.

anaoha, Romania

Pray for Japan!I hope things will get better there soon.

Robin67, Austria

I'm praying for your Japan!

What a nightmare! :-(

silkyworm, United States of America

Yes, let's please see shelter addresses so we can begin a project of hope to those people. We are all mourning the loss of too many of our Japanese friends from the tsunami.

I received a postcard from a lady in Japan who sent hers just days before the event. She is in the southern part so I guess she will be fine, but I registered to her all of our sentiments.

sammy, Netherlands

I read that some pc members were in contact with postcrossers in the areas in Japan which are most affected by the quake. Maybe they can ask permission to put their adresses here on this forum and ask if, when we send them cards (a whole stack in a big envelope)they could distribute them in the shelters in their neighbourhood.
Is this an idea to try to send postcards to Japan?
Let me know if this is a possibility.
Thinking of you all.

zajza, Czech Republic

I was terrified to see what was happeng in Japan and I've already donated. It tears my heart to see the country that I came to love so devastated... In such a highly-civilized country, the live videos of tsunami made it a terrifying experience even if you're only watching. Our's thought are with you, 日本の皆さん! 頑張る!

ZenCat, United States of America

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone and everything living in Japan: the people, the pets, the farm animals, the wildlife, and the nature.

PostScript_Sam, United States of America

My heart goes out to everyone in Japan and I hope that some good comes out of this horrible disaster. Best wishes to every postcrosser, person, and animal in Japan.

jolo, Germany

We would love to send extra cards to Japan's most affected & destroyed areas, too!!

lintilla, Australia

Ganbatte ne~!

disisdi, Australia

My hearfelt wishes, prayers and thoughts are with all Postcrossers, families and friends in Japan and especially those who've suffered loss of loved ones (including pets), their homes, businesses and work.
I know words don't provide much sustenance (food) so have donated to Japan's Red Cross and the Nippon SPCA.
May you overcome these horrible events in your life with strength and lots of help from all of us who can give financially.

vytinga, Canada

I would sent postcard to shelters in Japan, but i don't know adresses.. I donated to local fundraising. If could publish adresses of these shelters, i think many people would sent them encouraging letters and postcards..

nodders, United Kingdom

I received a postcard sent from Japan the day before the earthquake struck. I was literally in tears, I hope the person that sent it is ok. I wish I could do more.

annycheng, Taiwan

My thoughts and my prayers are with Japanese! I also made a donation hope can do more for them.

hetty1521, Netherlands

6 days after the earthquake and the tsunami i received a card from japan, the city of mito, from sheluna. i looked on the internet and saw that this city was badly distroid by the earthquake. i sent her a message that the card was received and asked her to mail back if she is ok? but till now i didn't receive any massage. i really hope she is ok.
gr. hetty, the netherlands

nisha, Poland

I sent a postcard to a person in the area of Fukushima a day before this disaster. I hope she is alive and so is her family :-(

Vannille, Russia

Unfortunately, I have no a considerable quantity of money to help the needing. But is ready to help habitation for some days/weeks, we live together with a daughter in small apartment in St.-Petersburg, Russia. Write personal messages if it is necessary!

marianneke2753, Netherlands

My first postcard I sent via postcrossing was to Yoko in Sendai.What a shock when I saw the news about the big disaster in Japan and specially around Sendai. Immediately I sent a message to Yoko to ask about her and her family.A few days later I received a message from her: I am safe! What a relief. Thanks to postcrossing you learn so much more about our planet.My thoughts are with all the people in Japan .
Marian, from The Netherlands

elagipsy, Netherlands

To the people who want to send cards to Japan. Maybe you can try the Embassy of Japan om your own country for information about the shelters. Praying for them, Eliane from the Netherlands

elagipsy, Netherlands

I mean: in your own country

philatelist_jp, Japan

Japan Post Service has updated its website:

neecie, United States of America

anyone want to help via origami?

Visit: OR

print to promote more paper crane folders:


zhan, China

I got the bad news after back home on March 11th...And what I had seen from the reports did thrill me a lot...I contacted many of the Japanese Postcrossers,and even one in Sendai!Fortunately they are well:)))
On May 12th 2008,China suffered a terrible M8.0 Earthquake which made over 90,000 people lost thier lives.Many countries helped China including Japan.We Chinese appreciate very much,and now Japan suffered the terrible disasters,Chinese people don't forget the help of Japan in 2008,and will try our best to help Japan!After all,China is so close to Japan!
I have just sent a letter to a friend of mine in Japan...And I also noticed a short note she wrote after the earthquake:


Misslondon, France

My heart goes out to all the Japanese

saya-L, China


kristichang, Taiwan

pray for Japan!!


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