August 12th, 2011 | Published in Google Blog
A month after this spring’s devastating earthquake in Japan, we created a site where people from around the world could submit messages of hope in their own languages and have them automatically translated into Japanese. From Paris to Dubai to Manila, nearly 30,000 messages have been posted through messagesforjapan.com.
This past weekend marked the celebration of Tanabata in Sendai, the largest city in the disaster area and home to one of the most famous festivals in the country. People often celebrate Tanabata, which means "Evening of the Seventh,” by writing wishes on tanzaku (small strips of paper) and hanging them on bamboo branches. This year, these paper strips displayed some of the messages of hope submitted through the site, and festival participants added their own messages to those from around the world.
We’ve updated messagesforjapan.com so you can see photos of people gathering for Tanabata in Sendai—reading, creating and hanging messages in the area surrounding the disaster earlier this year.