The Cheerful Japan! charity project is the brainchild of hobby products manufacturer Good Smile Company Inc. In a bid to do some good (raising money) for those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, they sold special limited-edition figurines of virtual singing idol Hatsune Miku. Their plan was so successful that in a year’s time, the holographic sensation has raised more than 239 million yen or $3 million! This money raised by Good Smile Company has been donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Miyagi, Aomori, Iwate, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba prefectural governments.
Along with Hatsune Miku figurines, the charity sold other figurines that included Kurisu Makise and Mayuri Shiina from the “Steins Gate” animated TV series and a T-shirt featuring the “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” animated series. A huge mosaic image of Hatsune Miku was the center of attraction at the Good Smile Company’s booth at the Wonderful Hobby Life for You!! 15 convention. This special replicated image was created using images submitted by fans. One hundred yen was paid to disaster relief for every image, raising a total of 172,000 yen. Although the aid campaign is now officially concluded, the company hopes to keep doing charity work from time to time.
Hatsune Miku, Japan’s famous hologram pop idol is the creation of the Japanese technology firm Crypton Future Media. They use Yamaha Corporation’s Vocaloid 2, a singer-in-a-box kinda program that allows you to input lyrics and melodies, control elements like vibrato, and generate perfect vocals. Created in 2007, Miku has performed live for packed audiences was the face of Google Chrome’s promotion in Japan.