Indian Friendship Project

Japanese businessman Atsushi Kaneda has been selling Native American art for over twenty years. Over that time he has made some very close relationships with people from the Gallup, New Mexico area. He comes so often that he even has a house in this community. When the devastating Tsunami hit Japan last year, many people in this area felt a closeness to the Japanese people that we wouldn’t have known, if it hadn’t been for our friends, like Atsushi, who makes the trip to Gallup for Native American art. That is why the Indian Friendship Project made so much sense for Atsushi. )

Perry Null Trading -

What is the “Indian Friendship Project”?

Atsushi-

The Tsunami caused so much devastation to my Country. Some people are all alone because they lost their whole family and feel like they don’t have the energy to keep living. I wanted to let them know that they are not alone, that people in the Southwest are thinking about them.

Indian Friendship Project
Perry Null Trading-

Is this your project alone, or do you have a partner(s)?

Atsushi-

I do the “Indian Friendship Project” along with Isao Nijiima who has a Native American art business in Japan called Little Cloud.

Perry Null Trading-

Was your business close to the destruction?

Atsushi-

Both my house and business. My business suffered lots of damage. I had to replace showcases and repair my roof. We are about 60 miles from the coast.

Perry Null Trading-

Did you have to shut down your business for an extended amount of time?

Atsushi-

The Tsunami happened on 3-11-2011 and I was not able to reopen until the end of April. I made my first buying trip back to the States in May and that is when I knew I wanted to do something to bring awareness to the Tsunami.

Perry Null Trading-

What were some of the original ideas for “Indian Friendship Project”?

Atsushi-

When I got back here I saw what Raymond Yazzie, Lyndon Tsosie, and Darryl Dean Begay had done with the auctions to raise money. I wanted to do something different so I put together some artists that I knew and made a t-shirt that had their name and hallmark.

Perry Null Trading-

What artists did you get?

Atsushi-

Chester Benally, Steve Yellowhorse, Stewart Yellowhorse, Harry Spencer, Gary Reeves, Bruce Morgan, Lyndon Tsosie, Darryl Dean Begay, Timothy Lee, Alex Sanchez, Darrel Yonnie, and Ernest Benally.

Perry Null Trading-

What do you do with the money that you make from the t-shirts?

Atsushi-

We have raised $13,000 from selling the t-shirts. One part of the project is to give money to have cherry trees planted where the Tsunami ended, and we have also given money to another Native American art business in Sendai to help him reopen his store, Rio Grande.

Perry Null Trading-

Who has helped you promote the “Indian Friendship Project”?

Atsushi-

In Gallup we have been a part of the Inter-Tribal Ceremonial and the Pow-Wow that happens at the same time. Plus we have been covered by the Japanese National News and have had two documentary production companies follow us in the States.

Perry Null Trading-

Thank you for sharing, and we would love to have some t-shirts to sell for you if anyone is interested.

Atsushi-

Thank you.

Want a T-shirt, $30, Send email to info@perrynulltrading.com

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