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From Local Artists, Help for Japan

Mariko Osanai cupped her cell phone away from her mouth and whispered “Just one second, I’m on the phone with my sister in Japan – there’s been another big earthquake, and they’re having a blackout. Can you believe it?” She shook her head, visibly upset, and stepped outside Dlala salon on Avenue A to smoke a cigarette, taking deep drags and pacing as she listened to the news.

Weeks after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, Ms. Osanai, like many other Japanese living in the East Village, continues to spend much of her time on the phone, reaching out to friends and relatives from the hard-hit coastal regions.

But for Ms. Osanai and a handful of Japanese East Villagers, making phone calls is not enough. A group of local Japanese artists have designed a logo – emblazoned with the words “Love Save Japan” in capital letters – to draw attention to the crisis in Japan and which has already helped raise thousands of dollars for the relief effort.
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