Richard Nickel Invited as Virginia Delegate to Empty Bowls Japan



This past October Associate Art Professor Richard Nickel was invited to represent Virginia as a delegate for the Empty Bowls Japan. Empty Bowls Japan is a charitable organization that connects, potters, educators and business to partner together to make pottery and hold fundraisers in the community to raise money for the needy.


It was an honor to meet the businessmen working with Silver City and the Mayor of Obihiro. It was humbling to see politicians and large businesses working with potters and the community to pull together to feed the displaced people in the wake of the devastating typhoon and Fukishima incident. They are hurting very much. I understand now how they still need our help and how they appreciate our support.


Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger and was created by The Imagine Render Group. The basic premise is simple: Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity.


As delegates from Virginia , Richard Nickel, Akiko Tanaka and Marjorie Ramono visited Tokyo, Shinjuku, Hakone, and various cities in Hokkaido Japan attending and giving speeches at the Empty Bowl Fundraisers in each city.


Richard Nickel and Akiko Tanaka

Bowls Made by local Japanese Potters for the Empty Bowls Charity


The Empty Bowls Ceremony