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45 Characters Join Hands for Quake Area Children (Updated)

posted on 2011-06-28 20:45 EDT by Egan Loo
Pikachu, Snoopy, Doraemon, Elmo, Domo, Miffy, Sgt. Frog, Powerpuff Girls, more


45 characters from Pikachu and Doraemon to Snoopy and Elmo have come together for Te o Tsunagō Sakusen (Project: Holding Hands or literally, Operation: Let's Join Hands) to encourage children in the areas hit by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster. The project is the brainchild of Tsuneo Goda, the creator of the NHK mascot character Domo.

Goda was inspired after seeing the devastation caused by the tsunami on the news, and came up with the comforting image of characters from all over joining hands. He first reached out to Aki Kondō, the creator of San-X's relaxing bear character Rilakkuma. Kondō herself was moved by seeing television footage of an evacuation center, where a little girl was clutching a plush Rilakkuma toy as one of her few remaining possessions.

The Project: Holding Hands site launched on March 23 with 18 characters, but the project has since grown to include 45 characters. People in the quake area have sent email messges saying that their spirits were lifted by the project. The site includes messages from the creators, free downloads, and links to the Red Cross organizations in various countries.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun

Update Rilakkuma is a San-X character. Thanks, CheerSong.


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