27 March 2011


(Information only. This post is updated on 12th May 2011, following the completion of the project.)

What is it?
This project was set up by Makiko Hastings, Japanese ceramicist who currently lives in North Yorkshire, U.K. , aiming to raise money to help Japan for their recovery from the devastating Earthquake and Tsunami on 11th March 2011. Makiko has family and friends in Japan, where many others are affected by the Earthquake. As you can imagine, Japan’s recovery will take a long time, it can be decades for people to get back their lives. They need help more than ever. Makiko believes every little helps and can make a difference, which lead her to the idea of selling1000 handmade ceramic birds. All sales of the birds went to Japan Earthquake appeal. 
Why 1000 birds?
The idea was influenced by the Japanese story of 1000 paper cranes. Please click here for the information.

What does the bird look like? 
(click to view larger images)
The original design of bird came from her work, bird and building box, which she has been making since 2009. Each bird is handmade and individually decorated by Makiko from her home studio. The birds on this project have no wings, instead ‘HELP JAPAN’ logo were embossed on its body, which emphasising the wish that with YOUR HELP they can hopefully fly for their life once again. Red chest is a symbol of Japan. Individual birds are numbered from 0001 to 1000. Makiko’s signature is embossed on the tail. Birds are small enough to hold in your palm, in a shape of a chopstick rest. You can also keep it as a lucky charm, which is a tradition in Japan. (e.g. to wish for your child’s growth and good health) 
A short documentary film of making birds can be seen here

Who and how helped on this project? 
The project was opened to the public via this blog SHIN SHIN, so anyone who could access to the blog could offer help. The method of order was used Email and pay pal payment system. 
Makiko received 176 online orders in total from all round the world, including the U.K., Northern Ireland, U.S.A., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia, Israel, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and affected county Japan. Birds were carefully and individually wrapped by Makiko along with her hand written message to the participants and posted by Royal Mail. 
For online orders, 730 birds in total have flown to the new homes. The rest of 270 birds were by direct purchase from Makiko’s studio and the local event on the 23rd April.
How much was it? 
The bird was sold £3.50 each with additional charge of P&P. Extra donation was voluntary.  
How long this project lasted? 
The project opened to the public on the 27th March. It was originally set up as an on-going project to help Japan long term, until the sales reach 1000 birds. Due to the huge response from all round the world, the project completed on 30th April when received all payment toward the bird order. 
Makiko thanks to all people who spread the word through their blogs and social network sites, which resulted this project so successful. 

How much did the project raise? 
Total donation on the project was £3975. Donation from HELP JAPAN HANDMADE ART SALE was added on to this, and we have raised £4933.20 in total.
Where did money go?
All donation was sent to Japanese Red Cross via the Japanese Embassy. This has been forwarded to the Donation Allocation Committees of the relevant local governments in the affected areas to be dispensed to the people affected by this disaster.
What else could we do now? 
Your thoughts and prayers for people in Japan would be great support for their on-going recovery. If you would like to continue any donation, you can visit Japanese red cross site, which currently accepts donation until September 2011. 
Thank you so much for your support on this project. 
© makikohastings all copyright reserved


  1. Anonymous27/3/11 09:31

    Maki I really love what you are doing to raise money and more love for your country, Japan.

    Much love to you.
    Michele xo

  2. This is wonderful and so are you. I will order and publicise on my blog. xx

  3. It´s agreat idea, Maki!
    Kind regards from Germany!

  4. This is so amazing Maki, I'll be promoting this on my blog, facebook page and twitter today :)
    Off to email my order now :)

  5. Great work, Maki!
    I'll be promoting this on my blog. We also raise money in the Etsy Mud Team, to help potters in Japan.All little help is like little drops of rain and lots of them have strenth to make a rainbow. Hope that rainbow shows all over Japan and heal all wounded hearts.

  6. I'll be sharing in every way I can!

    I already ordered two birds. Hope I wasn't too late.

  7. Order placed & blog post No.1 has been posted!

  8. I'll post on my blog too.
    Hurrah for your perserverance and hard work and reminding us the work for recovery is just beginning

  9. Maki, I love this project! It's a wonderful thing that you are doing. I plan to share the info and also order some birds!

  10. Fantastic idea. Off to buy mine now x

  11. naturally i screwed up right off the bat, not creating the correct title for my order. i'm sorry! i'm just really excited :)

  12. Maki,
    I've just post about this again on my Facebook. Please see the link (www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/Flora-Chang/191417900871252) and let me know if it looks ok to you. I am emailing you with my bird order as well. Love, flora

  13. Hi, just letting you know I posted/linked to your blog about this project. Best wishes!

  14. Hi there,

    I've tweeted this today too, so hope this helps. And ordered!

  15. Hi Maki,

    I've not received a reply for my order e-mail. Hopefully, it's because many other people have sent orders as well. :-)

    Would you be so kind as to check your Spam folder, just to make sure my e-mail didn't end up there?


  16. Thank you all.
    Just wanted to let you know that I am working on the orders, which went really big from the day 1. Like I said, I am doing all by myself in my spear time so please bear with me for the process being a bit slow.
    Thank you for your patient. xm

  17. Fantastic project! I've emailed of course, but also wanted to mention here that I promoted your 1000 birds on my blog (http://roosrustenregelmaat.blogspot.com/2011/03/new.html + button!).
    All the best of luck with the orders and the administration... I think I can speak on behalf of all of your readers and say we don't mind waiting a bit for our special birds :-)

  18. Hi Maki, what a wonderful project! I would like to order some birds but can't get through "default mail client is not properly installed". Could you please mention your email address somewhere so I can send you an email with my birds request? Thank you!

  19. great idea ! I have already order...hope many people ´ll do the same ... I´ll blog about it, this week !

  20. Wonderful ... so very wonderful and yes I will be back to order me some birdies soon ... I will also blog about this awesome project ... Thanks for creating a unique way for many to HELP ... We often want to do more than PRAY ... this gives many a WAY

  21. What a beautiful project! I just send you an order-email & a mail about putting a link on my blog.
    I hope you've received them.

  22. Great project! I'm joining!

  23. Wonderful, thoughtful project...I have sent my email and look forward to receiving these little birdies and helping the people of Japan.

    Jacky xox

  24. Anonymous31/3/11 10:48

    What a beautiful thought, love the birds and what they symbolize. I would love to order a few but unable to get online to order. Could I order another way?

    denita purser


  25. Anonymous31/3/11 11:18

    I would also love to order some birds - if I'm not too late, but I can't send an email from your links, could you possibly let me know your email address please?
    Many thanks

  26. Anonymous31/3/11 11:20

    sorry, here's mine!


  27. I hope I am not too late I have just placed an order for a wonderful cause.

  28. Maki,

    This is incredible - you are amazing!
    I just placed my order and will be adding your wonderful project to today's blog post!
    Thank you so much for doing this :)


  29. Hi Maki, Blog post No.2 added today to:

    Appreciate that it's a busy time for you at present (with Craft Fair too!!), good luck with fitting everything in x

  30. What a wonderful way to help. Looking forward to getting my little birds!

  31. Hi Maki,

    It's me again :)

    I just wanted to let you know I posted a link to your project here.


  32. Hi Maki...How's it going? looks like u've got orders galore :o)

  33. Hi Maki
    they have arrived and I love them I wish you well with this.I posted the link on Facebook and will blog later today.

  34. @Maki Birds arrived safely today. Thank you. Beautiful.

  35. Super project Makiko - I have just ordered (hope not too late) and will post on my blog later. http://carolinesstudio.blogspot.com

  36. Hi,
    just wanted to say, that I have linked to your blog on facebook.

  37. Hello Maki, you are friends with my Mum Fiona Mazza, I am going to promote this on my facebook so have added you as a friend, my name is Cheryl Deeming.

  38. great idea
    i have emailed an order
    posted about the birds here
    best wishes

  39. Maki, I would love to order but can't link through the links on your blog post. I don't see an email published anywhere. I am at onehappypam@gmail.com and would love to place an order! As well, I have a blog post queued to send out: http://charlestonweddingstudio.com/

  40. I got your little bird yesterday Maki - it is even nicer than in the pictures - your work is really lovely - thank you!

  41. Anonymous17/4/11 15:01

    Dear Makiko, thank you for the beautiful birds - I am giving them to family members who will treasure them.

    Many thanks, Doris

  42. Maki- just wanted you to know that I received my birdies and I am in LOVE with them!!! What you are doing, will be giving pure joy and hope to others. I linked to you on my blog, and wrote about your 1000 bird project. (http://www.twig2neststudio.blogspot.com) Best to you!

  43. Thank you Makiko ♥ see my post, hope it HELPS http://mondaysmilk.blogspot.nl/2012/07/for-japan.html
    -x- Rozalinde

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