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Buddhist priest trying to help quake victims, drawing on 9/11 experience

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AsahinaKimi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:54 PM
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Buddhist priest trying to help quake victims, drawing on 9/11 experience
NEW YORK
After the March 11 quake jolted northeastern Japan and a deadly tsunami swept away coastal towns, New York-based Buddhist priest T Kenjitsu Nakagaki shifted into gear, drawing from work with locals after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks a decade ago to initiate memorials and other events around the city.

If there is something important that I feel like I should do, then I just do it, Nakagaki said, explaining how he applied post-9/11 lessons to the Japanese disaster.

Now vice president of the Interfaith Center of New York, Nakagaki was about to leave for California to attend seminars that dayhis 50th birthdaywhen he caught glimpses of the tsunami horrors unfolding in the Tohoku area on TV news programs.

Helplessly watching, while feeling the need to do something, he put his desire to serve temporarily on the back-burner to first lead the West Coast seminars.

Two days later at a Fresno temple in California, he participated in a memorial service there, further cementing his determination to organize a Manhattan event as soon as possible.

Targeting March 18 to mark the one-week anniversary, he then made numerous calls, quickly pulling together a basic program for a service before flying out on the night of March 14.

It included Christian, Buddhist and Shinto priests, Japanese and Japanese-American leaders, as well as a classical pianist, at a Christian church near the United Nations. The event later evolved to include a last-minute candlelight vigil as well.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/buddh...
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