Let’s go Japan!

ganbarou nippon flags at a temole in toyota cityIt’s over a year ago since the big earthquake and the ensuing tsunami took place in Japan. But even now I regularly keep seeing ‘Ganbarou Nippon’ flags en logo’s everywhere.

‘Ganbarou Nippon’ (がんばろう日本) means ‘Do your best, Japan’ or ‘Let’s go, Japan’. Following the March 11th quake and tsunami, the ‘ganbarou nippon’ campaign was launched. Abroad it is more commonly known as ‘Pray for Japan’. I’m not entirely sure on the details but I imagine the campaign was meant to encourage the victims of the disaster and to rally the rest of the nation to donate and volunteer where they could.

ganbarou nippon flags near temple, toyota city
Ganbarou Nippon flags at a temple in Toyota City

Now, one year later, the Japan National Tourism Organization has started a ‘Japan. Thank you.’ campaign. It consists of posters and banners ‘aimed at thanking overseas organizations for their support after the March 11th disaster. It also means to thank tourists who visited Japan and contributed to its economic health following the disaster.’ (Quoting Japan Today).

'Japan. Thank you.' Campaign
'Japan. Thank you.' campaign image

I came across one of the ‘thank you’ posters in  Nagoya Castle. I was elated to recognize artwork by Kimura Hideki, a Japanese artist that I had discovered recently and was proudly considering ‘my secret find’. But maybe he is more famous than I realized.

'Japan. Thank you.' Campaign poster
'Japan, rising again' poster with artwork by Kimura Hideki

Kimura Hideki is based in Gion, the geisha area of Kyoto. He has a shop with textiles, paintings and other items, and he paints murals all over Kyoto. His artwork is a mix of Asian and Western design. I love his graphic style!

Kimura Hideki shop in Gion, Kyoto, Japan
Kimura Hideki shop in Kyoto. Picture taken from his website (click on the picture to go to his website).
Mural by Kimura Hideki in Kyoto
Mural by Kimura Hideki in Kyoto. If you go to his shop in Kyoto, you can get a map with the locations of the murals.

6 thoughts on “Let’s go Japan!

Add yours

  1. I love this post! It reminded me of the recent trip and your kindness! I received a large, what we call in America, a bumper sticker. The bumper sticker shows the Japan Thank You image campaign. I love the art work! Thank You for sharing! Looking forward to your post on our visit! Thank You again for making my first visit abroad a very inspiring, heartfelt trip! I can now say, “I LOVE JAPAN” because you showed me so much in a week!

    1. Hi Bonnie! I’m so glad you keep reading the blog. It feels so nice to be in touch with people all over the world.

      I’ve haven’t gotten around to writing our story yet. There are so many interesting things to write about. Every week I have trouble choosing a topic. But I will surely get around to our story eventually.

      And again, I loved showing you around Japan. You seemed very open to all the new experiences and I loved seeing how moved you were by the beauty and purity of traditional Japan. I was very happy to see yet another person fall totally in love with Japan 🙂

  2. I read the blog you posted Quoting Japan today. It is a shame that the English on the posters are not correct. We should write it like’Japan thanks to you’. We really are thank to the people who played for us and who still think for us and our county. Hope it will reach to the world.
    Any way mee too! love his graphic work!

    1. I think they chose that slogan because it resembles their regular logo which reads ‘Japan. Endless discovery’. But of course the ‘Japan. Thank you. ‘ slogan sounds a bit strange for people who don’t know the usual logo. I think the slogan on the poster, ‘Japan, rising again’, actually might even be nicer than the ‘thank you’ slogan. Not only does it have a very positive message, it plays on the fact that Japan is called ‘the land of the rising sun’.Japan National Tourism Association logo

  3. Heel mooi, Helena! Ik ben op zijn site gaan kijken. White water Lily en de kunstwerken met de pauwen zijn mijn favorieten. Grtjs Ria

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