Photohoku – The Book

On this third anniversary of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, all of us at Photohoku are reflecting back on all that has passed, and sending all the love we have to Tohoku.

We’d also like to take this chance to announce the release of PHOTOHOKU (the book)!

Its a free 40 page e-book for your Kindles and iPads, computers and other devices, celebrating what we have all been able to accomplish together, some 10,000 new family photos and nearly 1000 newly started albums. (The JP version is up now and the ENG version will be up momentarily. All the platforms will be released really soon if yours is not up.)

There are not enough words to express our deep thanks to everybody that have become part of Photohoku. A very special ARIGATO GOZAIMASU goes out our families for supporting us an to all the Photohoku members including:

Hiroshi Yoshikawa, Yasuko Peterson, Michael Wada, Allison Kwesell, Narasaki Midori, Satoshi Narita, Maria Golomidova, Tim Rudder, Keiji Fujimoto, Katsumi Saiki, Gueorgui Tcherednitchenko, Yoko Goto, Ludivine Gragy, Clemens Klein, Hiroaki Hoshino, Jon Mitchell, Anna Hashimoto, Miho Oosuka, Lin Hui, miyamoto eiichi, Atsuko Miyamoto, Amanda Wade, Matteo Aroldi, Michael Holmes, Michel Jones, Tomio Yamazaki, Eliya Furuse, Monica Ai Lau, Arika Nakajima, Taro Masuda, Chieko Kato, Makabe Issei, Takako Tachikawa, RJ Mundt, Mitch Shiotani, Mikey Shiotani, Madoka Okamoto, Aaron Marin, Matthew Lamb, Craig Watson, Noyan Kiyan, 佐々木純, Yui Shibuya, Androniki Christodoulou, Barthélemy Grt, Cameron Kline, Justine Vichard, Martin Holtkamp, Tess Kelly, Theodore DeVon Deluxtable, Yuji Mizoguchi, Yumi Hamada, Nathan Shanahan, Rob Zdravevski, Naoko Kurauchi, Matt Ketchum, Frederick Chen, Candice Kline, Tomohiko Tsuzuki, Brett Richardson, Ryo Ohno, Takashi Hashimoto, Jane Chang Mi, Motoi Murakami, Hiromi Furusato, Alexa Wan, Kei Iwasaki, Tommy House, Dave McMahon, Ken Lee, Andrew DeCoste, Yuriko Tsurusaki, Benj Morato, Daisuke Matsukawa, Nodoka Yamazaki, Jay Zimmermann, Jay Haze, Emilie McGlone, Eddie Barth, Bjorn Houtman, Damon Coulter, Ken Sakaguchi, Nick Narigon, Joseph Whitney, Lynn Peterson, Amelia Ann Peterson, Javier Troncoso, Timmy Peterson, CareyAnn Peterson, Kate Jones, Annie Jones, Robert Burke, Ryan F’n Thompson, Caty Smith, Robert Troup, Jackson Greathouse Fall, Jesslee Cuizon, Fritzie Figuera Kon, Ferli Dela Cruz, Loulene Intano, Mike Connolly, Photour 2013, PHOTOKLAHOMA, and Photosayas.

A very special thanks also goes out to:
Fujifilm, FUJIFILM INSTAX, Nakabayashi Corporation, Hideki Yoshimura, Taizo Matsuba, CEC Cross Media Inc., Miki Ooe, Delta Airways, The Osuka Family, Marina Golo, Hiromichi Kita, 東京ミッドタウン / Tokyo Midtown, Yuzo Kijima, The Rotary Club, Tomoko Kitagawa and NHK Crew, Memory Salvage Project, Parties 4 Peace, Peace Boat, PechaKucha Tokyo, The Honda Family, The Murakami Family, The Extended Peterson Family, Gordon Fallis, Sara Dwyer Lane, Georgene Whitten Dwyer and This Life Matters, Andru Morgan, The Smolen Family, Chris ODell, Bryan Bartlett, Anthony F. Gorospe, OkCookiemomster Cookies, Emily Kamp, Margaret Leighty, Dee Anne Short, Gwen Jones, Amy Simpson, Shelly Jaques-Mchillin, The Holmes Family, The Moore Family, Guthrie Green, Rob Wallace, Shannon Easton. Mckenzie & Co., Noriko Matsumura, Takuya Matsumura, Chun Kawara, 山本真矢, かまいキッチン KAMAY KITCHEN, Sota Oshima, Hiromi Watanabe, KAJA (カジャ) Resort Furniture, Awesome Works, Jason Wolfe, TEDxTokyo Teachers, Chris Benderev, Tosuke’s, Mr Magicio, Yoshida Sensei, Abe-san our faithful Taxi driver, and anybody else we missed and to the countless people who have supported us with donations, cameras, albums, press, and warm wishes.

And finally to Tohoku and all it amazing people who have taught us what it means to have courage, be kind, and rise above.

Bless you, everyone.


Hey Everybody,

We are flying by the seat of our pants. ~Ten days til we touch down in OKC. SO SO SO much to do and so little time and so few recourses to do it all but we’re confident it will somehow all come together.

First off, here is our press release. Please help us put it under the right noses. We hope that if the right people can learn about this project, we can stop sweating the funding and focus on making a great project for those who lost it all.

Secondly, the principals at Briarwood and Plaza Towers have green-lighted our wild-eyed ambitions to go all out and make a mini-fair of sorts if enough people get involved. They will bring out their Jr. Hight and High-Schoolers to volunteer in helping. We need your companies involved by signing on to bring your activity/project/performance/kitchen/etc. to make this a blow-out community event. You can have your own table/tent/booth to do whatever you can think of to help out the community.

We don’t have time to reach out to you all so please contact us and let this be the excuse and platform for you to help out your fellow Okies.

Send us a mail at or visit our FB page to learn how to get involved!


Photohoku 27


Brian here.

Well, we’ve managed to pull it off again. Another spectacular installment of Photohoku, this time to Shinchimachi, Fukushima for their “We Might As Well Have a Festival” Festival over the weekend of Aug 3-4, 2013.

We departed late Friday night by bus, did our best to catch a few hours of sleep while our driver powered through the fog of night. Upon arriving we spent the dawn in the quiet remains of devastation to get a sense of what the locals were up against, surreal to say the least.

When we rolled up to the festival grounds a few hours later, we were greeted with both warm smiles and a giant field of jaw-dropping, ankle deep mud. Fresh sod and a week of rain. It was bound to be a long day.

Needless to say, the incredible team we assembled rolled up their sleeves, took off their shoes, made the most of the mud and powered through, spending the entire day, without complaint, making hundreds of portraits on instant film in the blazing summer sun, gifting ~40 newly-started and decorated family photo albums. We had teams of photographers roaming the grounds, a mud-pit studio and album cafe under the tent, and 3D camera workshop inspiring the imagination of the kids at the adjacent playground.

Sunburned, mud-soaked, exhausted, yet still smiling from having made a ton of new friends, we headed for a well-deserved, mountain-top onsen from where we could enjoy the festival fireworks while recouping in the outdoor pools.

Shoes still muddy, but souls refreshed, we were taken in once again by our Shinchimachi Family, the Oosukas, who put us up for the night, but not before filling us to the brim with homemade country-side goodness, cold beer, and a full-out birthday celebration for Yuko who turned 30 on the trip!

An early start Sunday morning took us back to the mud of festival grounds where we helped the local team tear down the tents and put the grounds back together before heading off, back to Tokyo, hearts filled with a sense of accomplishment, camaraderie, and an understanding of the kindness of Tohoku.

Photohoku continues to be such a special experience to everyone who touches, or is touched by it. Yuko and I both are continually inspired by the efforts of everybody who shows up to keep these happening. There are simply not enough words to express our gratitude.

We’d like to send a big Photohoku shout-out to the town and people of Shinchimachi, especially the event organizers for their generosity in hosting us again, to the awesome Photohoku 27 team for rawking the caspah yet again (Thanks you guys!), to our driver Hoshino-san for getting us there and back safely, to Takada-chan-man for keeping us (somewhat) clean, to the Oosukas for EVERYTHING, to our families who kept the forts down in our absence, to Fujifilm, Nakabayashi Co, and all our sponsors without who’s support none of this would ever be possible.

Here’s to all of you! A BIG PHOTOHOKU WE LOVE YOU!

Ok, (photos of it all coming soon.) Signing off. Next up PHOTOKLAHOMA 1! Here we come!


Go give these guys your support!

In just 71 days and 5,347km, they made it from Lisbon, through 12 countries to Istanbul! What started as a crazy idea over beers in Tokyo nine months ago has now come to a completion! They shared the experience with some 300 plus people on their FB page which has been wonderful. And to all those who have donated, thank you, thank you for your support!! Your donation has made a great impact on a organization that gives the gift of smiles to those who need it the most. More photos and updates from the road and their remaining days in Istanbul. The donation page will stay open until September 1, so PLEASE keep the donations coming at

PHOTOUR 2013 – Countdown to Istanbul

Brian here,

Forgive me for another long-winded post put I want to publicly give a big woohoo to our Photour guys.

Over a year ago, my good bud RJ told me he had this seed of a crazy idea to ride his bicycle across a continent. Let the prospect of that idea, and everything it would entail, sink in for a sec…

…quitting your job, putting your career on hold, putting every penny in the bank, training like a mofo, planning a huge logistically complicated itinerary, and then just going for it, with nothing at the end, and no guarantee of what might happen next.

I don’t doubt any of us can imagine ourselves doing it, but how many of us would REALLY have the balls to do it, knowing the cycling is probably the easy part, the actual commitment to the idea, the thing to overcome.

For a long time it was just an idea, a dream, that RJ talked and talked and talked about. But talk is cheap until one day, for whatever reason, he just decided to commit to his dream. He called me up, and said “If I’m gonna do this, I want it to have a real purpose, and I want that purpose to be Photohoku.” We devised a way that his ride could help Photohoku, set up a fundraising campaign, outfitted them with some Photohoku branded gear, got ‘em a camera and some instant film to make photos for donations, sent them off with a bang, and Photour was born out of this little seed of an idea.

Well, lo and behold, after hitting the road in Lisbon, which seems like just yesterday, RJ and his homie, Joe are winding down a 3 month cross-continent cycling trip in Istanbul this weekend. They’ve pedaled some 4000+ kilometers, and amazingly they have raised over $1500 for Photohoku.

They have shared Photohoku across 15 countries, made lots of photos for supportive donors, and seen some spectacular sights. But what I’m most amazed about isn’t the miles they’ve traveled, or the money they’ve raised. I’m most impressed that they had a dream, a pipedream of an idea, and they just did it. In a way, it seems like no big deal, but on the other hand, its profound. I’m inspired at the core by their commitment.

They set a fundraising goal of $4000 and though they are quite a ways from reaching it, we’re forever grateful …and there is still some time left. Photohoku, and what will become Photoklahoma, are the direct beneficiaries of their campaign, so if you are inspired like I have been, stop thinking and talking about it, and go to their campaign page now and support them with a donation. Pay it forward, and let them be an inspiration to the the next great seed of an idea.


Summer of Photohoku

Hey Gang,

Brian here. There is so much going on I can hardly keep my head around it all.

First off, the Photour boys, RJ and Joe, ( are quickly approaching their final destination, Istanbul, on their cross-continent cycling tour of Europe, making photos and raising money and awareness for our cause. While their finish line is on the horizon, and while we are extremely proud of what they have accomplished already, they are a long way from reaching their fundraising goal. PLEASE kindly consider supporting their effort at their YouCaring campaign: (…more on that in a bit.)

Next up, this month Photohoku will visit an orphanage in Iwaki, Fukushima Pref. where live children who heart-breakingly lost their parents in the tsunami. Hopefully we can just give them a little tiny sparkle for a day through the magic of instant photos. Wish us luck!

Yuko and I will be presenting Photohoku at this talk show in Tokyo on 7/28:, along with our several of our collaborators, Fujifilm, the Memory Salvage Project, and others. I not sure if its open to the public but if you are interested in joining, please let us know.

Following that, Photohoku will visit our friends in Shinchimachi, Fukushima on 8/3-4 as part of their “We Might As Well Have a Festival” festival. We’ll charter our own bus up there with space for ~20 volunteers. Sign up now as its already filling up. It will be a big production and a ton of fun (sunscreen and party hats required.) We’ll have the full Photohoku Circus experience under the big top, including studio, album cafe, and 3D workshop. More on that in the coming weeks.

So finally the big news is Photohoku is going to Oklahoma, to the tornado-ravaged communities of Moore and Shawnee to help start new photo albums for the affected families. We expect to do our Photoklahoma activities in Moore on Sept 6-7th, 13-14th, and in Shawnee on the 20th, and we will have other related activities going on concurrently in Tulsa and elsewhere.

BUT… we are coming on the bet that you will help us, both with helping hands and contributions. Frankly speaking, we are still a long long ways from having the financial resources to make it all come together. Delta Airlines has graciously offered to offset our airfare with discounted vouchers for 8 of us to come. That gets up only about halfway there. We need to raise another ~$10k to get all the equipment/materials/transpo/etc to realize it. So, to all the Okies who want to see this happen, its time to pony up. The sooner we can sort the financials, the sooner we can focus on the logistics and outreach.

By making a donation at YouCaring, you can support the Photour guys to reach their fundraising goal, the funds of which will directly go to PHOTOKLAHOMA. Or you can here on the right side of the page. Even though we have sorted out getting there, we’re really just getting started and we need to move quickly. So please help, and please help soon, and please share, and together we can all help to rebuild the lives of people who lost so it all. Looking forward to seeing you all. I can promise the result of all our efforts will be even greater than the sum of all its parts.

Thanks folks and more to come! YEEHAW!


Hey everybody!

Brian here.

Yuko and I, and others as well, are working hard behind the scenes to make this idea a reality in OK, but we need your help. In Japan, we have seen how PHOTOHOKU can have a very positive emotional and psychological impact in providing a way for people to move forward. We’re confident that, collectively, PHOTOKLAHOMA can make big difference in the lives of Okies that lost it all.

In the beginning of Photohoku, I told my pro NPO friend I was having a hard time raising even just a little funding to offset some of our expenses, and she replied “Welcome to NPO”. Now I have actually had to pass that bit on to others coming to me for fundraising advice. Its really the hardest part of this kind of effort but where there is a will, there is a way.

Here’s the deal. We have pretty ambitious idea about how to make it happen and how to make it awesome, but it requires an equally ambitious budget, ideally $20,000. This would allow for 4 weekends of Photo album making activities and workshops in Moore and Shawnee, having the potential to gift 1000 portraits and start 100 new family photo albums (maybe more depending on how many volunteers we have) for those that lost theirs in the tornados. We’ll have album decorating workshops, a 3D camera activity/craft (huge hit with the kids), a print station, and instant portraits made for anybody who comes. It will also provide for community outreach through some speaking events and displaying our huge mobile exhibition, where we can connect the experiences in Japan to those in OK.

Will you help us realize PHOTOKLAHOMA?

Photohoku has a paypal account ( or you can donate via our website (over there on the right). If you make a donation specifically for OK, write PHOTOKLAHOMA in the comment area and we will use it accordingly.

Any and all donations are appreciated but we’d like to reach out to a fund, or a program, or a company’s CSR section that has the potential to offer PHOTOKLAHOMA corporate sponsorship. If you have a specific connection to a potential sponsor or affected family, we would greatly appreciate an introduction.

Trying to catch the back to school wave, this is just 6 weeks off, so time is of the essence. Please consider supporting PHOTOKLAHOMA and/or introducing us to somebody who can.



Photohoku is brainstorming a way to bring the project to Oklahoma to those affected by the recent tornados, whether that entails coming ourselves or recruiting local photographers there on the ground. Learning from our own experience in Japan, there is the matter of getting the timing right, not too soon and not too late (perhaps late summer or early fall.) We’d like to be updated with the progress of those who lost their homes so we can best formulate an effective plan, so please share with us any info you have. And we’d also love to hear from anyone who would be willing to help sponsor a Photohoku effort there, maybe we could consider setting up a separate fund for those wanting to contribute to Photohoku in Oklahoma.

In the meantime, we wanted to share the inspiration we received in a very warm message from one of Photohoku’s supporters in Oklahoma. Thank you for your commitment to helping those in need of reasons to smile again. Hopefully its only a matter of time until we can sort out how to bring the project to Moore, Shawnee, and elsewhere in Oklahoma.

“I am neither a photographer nor particularly well connected in Moore, but if you decide to bring Photohoku to Oklahoma, I would love to help. I am a champion chauffeur, film purchaser, lunch maker, phone caller, and general problem solver. Since you started Photohoku, and after every natural disaster, I think about what losing my family’s photographs would mean to me. And I can’t wrap my brain around it. Your efforts have made me wish I was a trained and/or talented photographer to be able to serve in that way. Keep me posted on your plans… I would love to help them come to fruition.” -Emily Kamp

Photohoku? There’s an app for that!

Photohoku? There’s an app for that.

Very proud to announce the debut of our Photohoku App available in the App Store now (in both English and Japanese)! COOOOOL!!! Go be one of the first people to download it!

Its comprised of an awesome interactive multi-media moviebook, some linkity links, and… get this… a PHOTOHOKU CAMERA! You can take photos with the Photohoku logo and post them directly to our FB page with encouraging words for our Tohoku Friends!

This took the effort of a LOT amazing people volunteering their time, and overtime, rushing to make this all happen for the 2-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. We owe an immense amount of gratitude to CEC Cross Media Inc. and extended family! THANK YOU!

So go download it NOW and take some photos over the weekend with the Photohoku Camera, and we’ll all upload them together at our 1-Day exhibition at Shibaura House on Monday, 3.11 (details below).




CEC Cクロスメディア株式会社の全面協力をいただき、英語版と日本語版で被災地の様子やPhotohokuの活動をムービーブックでお伝えするものです。またカメラアプリもついており、自分の写真とメッセージをPhotohokuのFacebookを使って東北の方々に届けることができます。


PHOTOHOKU 21 – Photohoku Exhibition and App Release Party

Photohoku 1-Day Exhibition and Photohoku App Release Party on 3.11 (Next Monday)

“PHOTOHOKU 21″ will be held at SHIBAURA HOUSE in Tamachi on March 11, 2013 to commemorate the 2-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. “Photohoku” is a project to rebuild and restart family photo albums of those affected by the Tohoku Tsunami disaster.

Displayed at our exhibition will be over 4000 photos from our family album building project over the course of the last year.

Visit our exhibition and have your portrait made on instant film by the photographers involved in Photohoku. The cost is¥500-¥1,000 and all proceeds go to supporting future Photohoku activities.

You’ll also be able to send photos and messages to Tohoku survivors via our new slick Photohoku Camera App, available TODAY in the iTunes App store, (separate post shortly WOO HOO!) Come by the event and we’ll send some encouraging photos and words together!





Date: March 11, 2013 (Mon.) 12:00-20:00
Access: 7min. from JR Tamachi sta. (Shibaura Exit)
Address: 3-15-4 Shibaura Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
(google map:
Organizer: Photohoku
Sponsor: CEC Cross Media Inc.
Contact:(Eng) Brian Scott Peterson:, (JP) Yuko Yoshikawa:

Rebuilding One Photo Album At A Time