A JAPANESE-BORN woman whose family escaped the worst of the Sendai tsunami has thanked people for helping to raise £1,000 to send to victims in her native country.
Yoshiko Moss held a fundraising afternoon at Shotton Hall Banqueting Suites, in Peterlee, where she has lived for the past 25 years.
Around 60 people turned up to enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and to watch Yoshiko perform Japanese dances, called Cherry Blossom and The Moon Over The Ruined Castle.
Yoshiko said £500 was raised from the event, and her friends topped this up with another £500.
She added: “I really enjoyed it.
“There were around 60 people there.
“£1,000 was raised and I’d like to thank the lovely people of Peterlee, as well as Peterlee Town Council for supporting me and local businesses, including Specsavers for donating raffle prizes.
“Sendai City has had some lovely support from east Durham.”
Children from Dene House Children’s Centre also went along to the event and Yoshiko will be returning the favour by visiting the centre at the end of the month to talk to youngsters about Japanese culture and the tsunami.
Yoshiko, a retired teacher who was born and educated in Sendai, previously told the Mail she had breathed a sigh of relief that her family, including her 96-year-old mother, Kimi Noguchi, had escaped tragedy.
But many of her relatives were left without electricity for a week and had no water for two weeks.
She met her husband Charles, a business lecturer at Sunderland University, when they were both mature students in Salt Lake City and the pair, who have a son called Aidan, 30, settled in Brancepeth Chare, in Peterlee.
The death toll since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, which took place on March 11, is estimated to be around 14,000, with 5,000 injured and 14,00 still missing.