Help Japan's Relief Efforts- Join Us in Sending Luck and Aid

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The Lucky Number 7

Hotei, the Laughing Buddha (with coin)

Image by Shawn Econo via Flickr

A lucky number in most cultures, the number 7 in Japan is considered to hold special significance since there are Seven Lucky Gods of Fortune in the Shichifukujin- shichi (seven) fuku (luck) jin (beings), which are often portrayed in Japanese mythology . Each of the 7 Buddhist Gods brings a different type of good fortune. Hotei, the most famous "Laughing Buddha" is shown always smiling and is said to bring abundance and good health. As the only god based on a mortal, he embodies a Chinese monk and is said to be the reincarnation of Maitreya, a Buddhist saint. Jurōjin brings longevity in Taoism in the form of a wisdom-filled sage, Fukurokuju the deity based on the Chinese Lao Tzu, brings happiness and wealth,  verile Bishamonten is the god of warfare and portrayed as a guardian and protector, while fair Benzaiten based on the Hindu goddess Saraswati shares knowledge, beauty and art. Mahākāla, the protector of dharma serves as the god of wealth, commerce and trade and is often portrayed with Ebisu, the god of fishers and merchants who ensures safe sea travels and a guardian of the countryside. Depictions of the Lucky 7 are visible throughout Japan in art, sculptures and culture.

Help Us Support Japan's Relief Effort

But Japan doesn't need just luck; they need our support and aid. For simply becoming a fan of our facebook page here, we will make a .7 cent donation on your behalf to the Japan disaster relief up to $7,777 on April 15.  As a company whose mission is adventure and experiential travel, our goal is to help restore one of the richest cultures in the world so we may all experience Japan's beauty one day.

You Decide Where the Money Goes

And since this is for our friends on behalf of iExplore, we're letting you decide where the money goes. Comment on this post for which organization you think the money should go to- Red Cross, UNICEF or any other deserving Japan relief effort.

7 Other Ways You Can Get Involved

1. Educate Yourself- Whether you have personal ties there or not, the potential nuclear radiation affects of the tsunami are a global issue in both politics and safety. Stay current via reputable news sources like the New York Times and Washington Post.

2. Read Personal Accounts- Hearing the stories and seeing the pictures of individuals and families not only makes the story feel more "real," but it puts a face to a name and shares accounts of hope and inspiration. Travel aficionado Todd Wassel shares his experience as an American living through the tsunami here. 

3. Use Your Social Influence- "Social Good," an initiative started by tech giant Mashable highlights companies that are using their reach for worthy causes. Check it out- every tweet, facebook like or hashtag could make a difference.

4. Donate- Every little bit helps and with the ability to do it via text messaging, it couldn't be easier to give. Text the word "Japan" to 80888 to make a $10 donation to support efforts by The Salvation Army USA. You can text "redcross" to 90999 to donate $10 to help with American Red Cross assistance for Japan and Tsunami relief.

5. Organize Efforts Online- Have a website? The web is great for easily mobilizing people. Easily add a donation bar to the top of your site via "Hello Bar" a company who is giving free access to the code  with the invite promo code "helpjapan"

6. Get Active Offline- Get a group of friends together to collect and create shelter or hope boxes to send across the ocean. Essentials like packaged foods, toiletries, blankets, and letters that they are in our thoughts.  One group is making a million paper cranes to send to Japan by July, which in Japanese mythology grants good fortune to the recipient.

7. Be a Global Citizen- Japan is only the latest area to be affected by a natural disaster, but don't discount the other great tragedies that have occurred recently like Haiti and even Hurricane Katrina which still need our conscientious efforts.

On a Totally Unrelated Note- Sticking with the Theme of 7, we recently launched a 7 Wonders of the World Destination Guide. Check it Out Here.

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