our photo editor, Paul, announces the start of photo submissions around
July and August. New foreign English teachers in Japan usually start
working in August so we give notice to those who are still here in July
to send in any photos taken during the year.
In August we let the new incoming teachers know about the project and ask them to take some photos during their first months here. It's always good to have fresh eyes looking at Fukushima. We have gotten some of our best photos from people who have been living here less than a year. You don't even need to be a current resident of Fukushima to participate, and we have received many wonderful images from former residents and travelers over the past few years. As long as the images were taken within Fukushima, we don't care who submits them.
Once we have 17 photos (12 months + a cover + 4 on the back inside page) we start the fundraising process.
We receive donations from people around the world via annual campaigns hosted at GoFundMe.com
in addition to funds raised locally here in Japan. We have received
a lot of generous support from local people and businesses over the
years. Such generosity has been critical to the success of our project.
Once we have the funding in place to support the production budget, we proceed to the layout phase and then finally send it off to the printer by early December. In the past we have used MojoPrint.jp in Osaka because they are professional, cheap, and speak English. As of December 2016 we began to use a local printing company. Although their rates are higher, the purpose of the calendar project is to support the people of Fukushima. We are proud to say that the calendar is produced 100% within Fukushima prefecture.
Finally, in mid-December we start shipping the new calendars around the world to anyone who can help plant the seeds of change.
around August we send out a call for photos. As long as the photo was
taken in Fukushima, we don't care who submits it. You don't even need
to be a current resident of Fukushima to participate.
We prefer the photos to have been taken post-2011 to show the world that Fukushima is still beautiful. We especially want photos that will encourage people to visit Fukushima.
We've been so blessed over the years to have always reached each year's fundraising goal. People from across Japan have generously supported the project every year. We accept offline donations in Japan either in-person or via furikomi (bank transfer) service. We also use GoFundMe.com for worldwide online donations. Even the smallest bit helps. If you donate, we will send you some calendars.
This is our favorite part, but also the most time consuming. We pack about 3 calendars into each envelope and send them around the world to media, government leaders, diplomats and royalty. We've received responses from several notable people over the years. We try to send them all out in December, but many people continue to request calendars even through February.