- Anime fans in Japan can help with earthquake relief in Ishikawa by watching the anime Hanasaku Iroha on YouTube.
- The anime is set in Ishikawa and can draw attention to the area and generate relief funds through view counts.
- Watching Hanasaku Iroha on YouTube directly supports earthquake relief and helps rebuild and recover Ishikawa Prefecture.
2024 had a rough start for Japan, beginning with a 7.6 earthquake at 16:10 on New Year’s Day in Ishikawa Prefecture. The earthquake did a significant amount of damage and even caused a minor tsunami along the coastline. Less than a month later, Ishikawa Prefecture is still rebuilding and recovering, and now there is something special and easy that anime fans can do to help.
While not everyone has the means to donate money directly or go to Ishikawa, Japan to volunteer, there is something that can be done, at least for anime fans within Japan. The anime Hanasaku Iroha has been made available on YouTube to watch in its entirety, and watching it will help raise money for earthquake relief. The anime is the perfect choice for this campaign for a few reasons, and hopefully, the intended effect will help.
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What Connects Hanasaku Iroha to the Ishikawa Earthquake?
As stated above, the earthquake on January 1st, 2024 was in Ishikawa Prefecture, which is on the Western coast of Japan near South Korea. That part of Japan is not on the usual tourist circuit, so foreigners may not know much about it. The main city in Ishikawa is Kanazawa, a historical city much like Kyoto that used to be home to samurai, and still has districts of the city that maintain their Edo Period appearance. There are still even geisha there, and plenty of traditional tea houses.
That brings us to Hanasaku Iroha, an anime from 2010 that you may or may not have heard of before. The anime follows a teenage girl named Ohana (literally, her name means flower) who has to move from the big city of Tokyo to the Japanese countryside near Kanazawa with her grandmother when her mother runs away with her boyfriend. She ends up working at her grandmother’s traditional hot spring, where she has to overcome her difficulties with the other employees and grow up herself.
Not that many anime are set in Kanazawa, let alone the countryside of Ishikawa. That makes Hanasaku Iroha in the perfect position to represent the prefecture now that everyone is focused on it right now. It continues to draw the world’s attention to the part of Japan that may otherwise be forgotten at the moment it needs help the most. Plus, hopefully, the beautiful scenery will encourage tourists to come to Ishikawa in the future when traveling in Japan.
So How is Anime Helping with Earthquake Relief?
Last week, the official X account for Hanasaku Iroha posted very interesting news. On January 12th, the entire anime series was posted for free on YouTube – a whole 26 episodes! The YouTube channel hosting the anime is infinite channel, which will have the full anime series available for the foreseeable future.
All the episodes have been combined into one video that is over 10 hours long. However, conveniently in the description the time stamps are listed for each episode in case you do not have time to binge 26 episodes at once. If you can remember where you left off, at least you can come back and continue watching the next time.
The best part is that the view count on the video will directly be attributed to earthquake relief money. While exactly how this works has not been disclosed yet, it appears to be connected to a real local hot spring, just like the one in the anime. So the more views the video can get, the more money will be generated to help with earthquake relief.
At the time of writing, the post on X already has over 3 million views, and the YouTube video has over 200,000 views so far. The channel is only available in Japan at the moment, but savvy internet users outside of Japan are likely to watch it as well. Even if you do not watch it directly, even letting it run in the background can help generate relief money. If you are not in Japan and unable to access it on YouTube, you can still enjoy watching Hanasaku Iroha at least to keep Ishikawa in your thoughts. It may be your next great anime to enjoy!
Watch Hanasaku Iroha on Crunchyroll (if you can’t on YouTube).
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