Although it has been over 4 years since the Fukushima Diaster in Japan, from what I have heard there are still many thousands of people who have not been able to return to their original houses, or are otherwise struggling because of the aftereffects of this terrible tragedy. Within the first few months after this event, there were many companies offering to donate time and money to help restore Fukushima and the surrounding areas, however some of these programs have not continued to the present day, where support is needed as much as ever.
I happened to stumble across a Lush cosmetics store in a mall in Florida when I saw the phrase “洗隊レンジャー” on a product they sell, and reading the product’s detailed text I discovered that 2.5% of sales of this product are donated to helping children of Fukushima have safe places to play. While I can appreciate spending money into things critical for daily life such as food, water, and shelter, I think projects like this are very important to help improve the overall health of Fukushima’s families, and hence the future of that area.
The product is called “FUN” and is a multi-purpose, moldable soap that comes in several bright colors. The phrase “洗隊レンジャー” is pronounced “sentai ranger”, and the “sentai” part is a pun on the word 戦隊 which has the same pronunciation, except the character for war/fighting (戦）has been replaced with the one for washing (洗). I think the “ranger” here is a reference to something like the well known “Power Rangers”, which would mean it is something who fights for a good cause. Great pun, though I think it is probably not understood by the majority of Americans.
I haven’t actually used the product yet so cannot comment on it from that perspective, but I think it’s a great way to help Fukushima’s long recovery get just a little faster. Of course if you are not into the soap, I am sure there are many ways you can donate funds directly for even greater effect.
In case you’ve never been to Lush Cosmetics, it’s a pretty cool store. They basically take something as simple as soap and make it interesting, engaging the senses in a way that many other products don’t. If you step inside one of their stores and look around, you’ll very likely see something and mutter “Is that SOAP?”. On their website there is a store locator, where I discovered they have over 10 stores in Florida, and over 30 in California.