They say that the best teachers inspire students, but how about the teacher who is willing to stake their financial well-being on impoverished students? That’s exactly what a teacher at a Henan university is doing. He has raised a large sum of money and helped thousands of students all over China. His heart-warming story has been an inspiration to people all over the world and it proves that even a single person can make a difference in people’s lives.
One thing foreign visitors to Japan immediately notice is the ubiquitous vending machines. Particularly in big cities, you can’t swing a tanuki without hitting a machine selling something. Mostly it’s soft drinks, but there are also vending machines for beer, cigarettes, hamburgers, used panties, weird toys, curry, fresh eggs, and pretty much anything under the sun. Now you can even get a good deed done with your canned coffee purchase at this vending machine accepting charitable donations.
McDonald’s hasn’t been doing so well in Japan for a while now, but they’re still plugging away at the Japanese market, trying to stay popular in a country that has plenty of burger chains of its own, and without any of those awkward food scandals at that.
It seems their latest gimmick – giving away free stripy socks akin to those Ronald McDonald wears – is doing more to win over customers than any of the special creations they’ve previously tried to use as bait, however…
Some people don’t appreciate the way video game developers have so wholeheartedly embraced paid DLC, and it’s not hard to understand why. After already plunking down the money to buy the game itself, it’s kind of annoying to be constantly asked for nickels and dimes for tiny tidbits of content that some feel should have been included from the get-go.
But even if you’re irked by video game companies’ attempts to use DLC income to line their coffers, you’ll probably applaud the latest move by Sega Games, which is pledging to donate all the revenue from a collection of in-game purchases to recovery efforts stemming from the recent earthquake in Nepal.
Four years on, the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis that befell Japan’s Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 have very little effect on the day-to-day lives of most people in the country. The rolling blackouts have stopped. Batteries and bottled water are once again readily available. Trains are running, and whole cities aren’t spending hours walking home from work or school.
But while a return to normalcy is a desirable, and ultimately necessary, part of recovery, it’s also important to remember what happened. To stem the forgetfulness that often accompanies the later stages of coping with tragedy, on March 11 Yahoo! Japan will be making a donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts for every person that searches for “3.11” through the company’s search engine.
As a nation of die-hard foodies, Japan is always on the lookout for a memorable meal. We’re just a couple of months away from New Year’s, when Japan dines on some of its most opulent dishes of all as part of the multi-dish osechi meals that are traditionally eaten at the beginning of the year.
Recently, more and more families have begun purchasing their osechi rather than making their own, and we imagine quite a few have been tempted by the Mickey Mouse and Frozen versions we talked about last month. If you’re willing to hold off on satisfying your inner child for the sake of the world’s less fortunate actual kids, though, you might be interested in an osechi set that helps raise funds for charity group Table for Two.
In the early hours of the morning on August 20, Hiroshima City was hit by severe thunderstorms. As the downpour continued, the ground gave way in the Asanami and Asakita Wards, triggering landslides that have caused the deaths of dozens of residents.
With the storm finally passed and clean-up projects beginning, we visited the disaster site where we saw just how long the road to recovery is going to be.
As of August 25, 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Donations have reached a whopping US$70.2 million. The challenge has made it across the globe, with participants ranging from Benedict Cumberbatch to Kumamon. While the challenge is raising awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), new participants are finding their own ways to make the challenge more interesting.
One Korean-American rock band has challenged the leaders of three Asian countries to pick up that bucket and do their part to raise awareness and money for the neurodegenerative disease.
China’s wackiest entrepreneur-philanthropist, Chen Guangbiao, loves nothing better than a grand gesture. This summer he hosted an extravagant lunch for homeless people in New York – which ended mired in controversy when the $300 he promised each guest turned out to be a lump sum donation to charity.
And now his latest stunt – an extreme, 30-minute version of the ALS ice bucket challenge in which he wedges himself between blocks of ice and is drenched in a wheelie bin – has also attracted criticism. Some Chinese net users have accused Chen of using plastic ice cubes in the stunt, an 11-minute video of which was uploaded to his Weibo account.
Following on from this post, we thought it might be appropriate to share some opposing opinions to the ice bucket challenge, which is still going strong and getting more column inches (not to mention YouTube minutes) than anyone could have ever dreamed.
The craze recently found its stride in Asia with an ongoing chain of Japanese business folk, as well as tycoons and celebrities across China. However, one Taiwanese sufferer of the ALS had some criticisms to voice.
More than three years on from the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, there are still roughly 260,000 people living in temporary housing facilities. Since Tohoku gets mighty cold in the winter, sending these evacuees some lovely hand-made afghans is a woolly hug that lets them know they are not forgotten.
But that didn’t go far enough for Yokohama-based knitting teacher Bernd Kestler, who wanted to send them the biggest blanket the world has ever seen!
The ice bucket challenge has gone viral this summer with everyone from your average Joe to celebrities and business moguls such as Oprah, Charlie Sheen, and Bill Gates getting on board. Now it’s even spread across the pond to Japan, and started circulating among the business bigwigs over here. Yesterday Toyota President Akio Toyoda took on the challenge with a brave face, while also keeping the charitable spirit alive.
This week the annual charity event known as the Sumo Run took place in London’s Battersea Park. To raise money for education in sub-Saharan Africa, participants don inflatable sumo suits and run the 5km course around the park, no doubt delighting passersby in the country that gave us Monty Python.
But when media outlets in Japan reported on the event, the audience here was not universally pleased, with some people calling it racist cultural appropriation.
Multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao, the self-proclaimed “most influential person of China,” held a massive event in New York City on Wednesday during which he handed out $100 bills to 200 homeless people at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.
“He’s the man! He’s the man!” one man shouted, throwing his arm around Guangbiao and waving the three $100 bills in the air.
“I wish and hope that you will put the money into good use,” Guangbiao said in remarks delivered through a translator.
“I hope that you will use this money as seed money for whatever job training or job education you will receive so that you can help yourself,” he said.
Guangbiao, 46, then told the crowd that he would like to do this every year. They began to cheer and whistle.
They say charity is sweet, but we’re pretty sure it doesn’t come much sweeter than this. Yes, it’s a charity project that involves an internationally renowned patissier, as well as the most famous mascot cat in the world, and it’s called “Macaron Day“. Even the name sounds sweet, doesn’t it?
As the name suggests, the charity features the delectable macarons created by master pastry chef Pierre Hermé, but it’s also about raising money for children fighting serious diseases. And this year, our beloved Hello Kitty will be pitching in to help with the project — by becoming the PR ambassador for Macaron Day in Japan! Now, we know we’ve often described Hello Kitty as a hardcore entrepreneur who isn’t at all picky about the jobs she takes on, but this time, she’s all about seriously contributing to a good cause. But what kind of event is this Macaron Day, and how exactly did Hello Kitty become involved in it?
Over a year and a half after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New England, some people are still without permanent housing. The poorest populations in New York have been impacted the most, dependent on aid long after the rest of the city moved on. Several major companies got together to assist in the effort for aid, but Toyota had a novel contribution: efficiency.
Toyota sent experts to New York for eight weeks to help Food Bank of New York’s partner organization, Metro World Child, improve their methods, thereby helping to get food donations to as many people as possible using as few labor hours as possible. The improvements meant that the same resources were used to provide food to more families faster.
Japan is no stranger to natural disasters, and the world rose up in support after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 left thousands dead and millions homeless. Now it’s time for Japanese people to repay that kindness by supporting one of their greatest benefactors through their own period of crisis.
What if you found an unmarked envelope full of money in your mailbox? Would you keep it?
On March 20 and 21, exactly 30 households were faced with this very dilemma as an unknown person deposited a total of 760,000 yen (US$7,420) in the mailboxes of an apartment complex in Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture. The largest sum found in a single mailbox was 137,000 yen (US$1,339). Just 10 days earlier, mysterious envelopes were deposited at an additional 30 homes in Kawasaki City, 486 km (300 mi) away. This time, the envelopes contained gift certificates with monetary values ranging from 5,000 yen (US$48) to tens of thousands of yen (hundreds of US dollars).
If this sounds like easy money to you, you might be surprised to learn what half of the residents chose to do with the cash.
Three years ago, Japan’s northeastern region was devastated by a triple disaster of a Magnitude 9.0 earthquake, an ensuing tsunami that wiped away whole towns and caused the meltdown of a nuclear power plant. Affected deeply by the tragedy, Japan has since rallied together as a country to support those who lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes.
Last week, as a part of remembering the three years that have passed since the disaster, famed German camera maker Leica gave a high-end camera worth 1,200,000 yen (US$12,000) to a high school student whose community was devastated by the tsunami. Initially touched by the show of support, Japanese netizens began a heated conversation online about whether the very generous gift was a heart-felt present or just a PR stunt for the well-known camera maker.
In tribute of the third anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake on 11 March, Yahoo! Japan held a charity drive pledging 10 yen (US$0.10) for every person who entered “3.11” into their search engine.
Relying on the data that Japan’s most used search engine was privy to, they hypothesized that a maximum of 5 million yen ($48,000) from 500,000 unique IP addresses would be generated and set a limit at that amount. Boy, were they wrong.