I think the civility and altruistic customs of the Japanese culture is fairly well known. I have been following news on CBC, our public broadcating radio in Canada, and last night learned of the altruistic and noble behavior of the individuals working to try and mitigage the disaster in the nuclear reactor sites affected by the eartquakes. The workers are definitely aware of the fact that they will be harmed from their work, by several kinds of cancers in their bodies, but continue to voluntarily work, and there is a pool of technologists sharing the work .Individuals putting their lives at risk for the benefit of their fellow citizens.
A Japanese Canadian student association at York University have begun an origami campaign, they have a simple table where they create origami cranes (this is a very profound, traditonal way to help - It has I think roots from Hiroshima), $1.00 per crane, to raise money to help. The idea has now been taken up by McMaster University students as well.
I am thinking of getting some children's books on this. Rosemary Wells has a couple of lovely illustrated books about a little "girl/cat" of Japanese descent living in the States, and her relationship with her grandparents in Japan, and their origami art. I'll see what my children might like to try with some paper folding, and see where it might lead us.