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The KASA: Kindness America-Sendai Alliance is an international community dedicated to the facilitation of meaningful revitalization projects in northern Japan following the cataclysmic tsunami of spring 2011.


KASA joins people and traditions from Japan and the United States under the universal umbrella of human kindness to honor an essential connectedness in both the joyous and sorrowful events of our age. The organization was created as a small yet significant gesture of compassion in response to the massive tsunami that utterly transfigured the land and life of the greater Sendai region. KASA works in partnership with northern Japanese communities as they navigate the complex long-term realities of the tsunami’s impact.

Description and Background

KASA is a non-profit grassroots organization created by American citizens with links of family, interest and compassion to the Tohoku region that has suffered from the effects of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami of March 11th, 2011.  The Japanese word “kasa” means “umbrella” and KASA is meant to provide an umbrella to help shield the people of Sendai, not just from the immediate need in the wake of this disaster, but also to have a meaningful exchange of kindness that will ease the emotional impact of such radical and challenging changes this event has caused.

Steve Sato, the founder of KASA, had a dream days after the destruction in Japan in which he imagined a city being engulfed by the sea with many umbrellas floating in chaos and disarray through the streets of Japan.  This dream made it clear to him how important it is to follow our intuition, and thus KASA was born.

Though many large organization are already providing much needed assistance in the area on a large scale, the work of KASA is meant to operate on a more focused smaller personal scale, helping individuals and coastal towns not just with basic needs, but also with connecting with our neighboring nation of Japan.  Our focus is kindness, stemming from our belief that true heart-felt kindness can be a great healing force in the face of the seeming cruelty of the natural world.  We seek not only to assist communities to recover, in addition we believe in sharing the beauty of culture to create a life full and rich through music, the arts and the feeling of goodwill between people.

Our hearts go out to all the families and their loss of loved ones during this tragedy.  Residents of America felt compelled to help organize a relief effort for those affected by this disaster. Thus the footsteps of KASA’s work began to take shape and people with ties to Japan began to surface forming KASA’s board of directors.

Core Principles

Efficiency:  Though many large organizations with vast resources are doing wonderful work in Japan to provide relief and assistance, these large organizations by their very size struggle with inefficiency and bureaucracy that can limit the impact that their efforts have directly on individuals and families, even as they provide much needed larger scale help with infrastructure and cities.  KASA can fill these smaller needs with tremendous efficiency because of our small and focused scale and our direct connections with individuals in the Sendai area.  Just as traditional umbrellas (kasa) in Japan were made from bamboo, which was lightweight but strong, KASA focuses our efforts where they are most needed, with flexibility and the strength of individual dedication.

Support:  Like an umbrella, KASA provides relief from the continual falling rain of daily struggle to overcome the widespread devastation, tragedy and emotional hardship of the tsunami disaster.  This hardship will be ongoing for decades as communities slowly reform in the wake of so much disruption and change.  By Joining with KASA you can support those experiencing this unique challenge.

Share Culture and Beauty: Since the Edo period the umbrella has been a cultural image of beauty for the people of Japan.  The artistry and craftsmanship has been captured in paintings for centuries.  KASA plans to emphasize the beauty and impact of the arts, music, culture of Japan and nature of kindness to elicit support.