Fellow Student-Athletes and Community Friends,
The 9.0 earthquake and enormous tsunami that struck my home country of Japan on March 11th took thousands of lives, but the extent of the destruction is a story that is still unfolding, and rescuers have only just begun to uncover the harsh reality. More than 10,000 people have died and 17,500 are still missing since the tragedy. Along with the havoc, there have been many concerns over nuclear radiation, poor distribution of food and gasoline, lack of electricity, and the loss of tons of homes. This horrific disaster occurred 250 miles away from my home in Tokyo, Japan. As a result of the aftershocks, our house and some of our valuable possessions were destroyed beyond repair.
Shortly after the tragedy, my childhood friend from back home, who currently competes for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Shuhei Uzawa, messaged me in an effort to create a group called “Japan Disaster Relief by Japanese Student Athletes.” For days after the disaster, I was terrified that things could get worse and was imagining the scenarios of something happening to my family. But after I witnessed so many people losing their families and homes, I came to a realization that there is something I can do to help.
Fellow Japanese student athletes from all over the country have joined the group, and have willingly volunteered to be a part of it. Our objective is to raise awareness and donations through athletic events we are involved in as well as through social networking.
The Men’s Tennis team, (my team) is going to play our last match of the season on April 23rd @ 1:30 against our long time rivals, the Washington Huskies; I will be there before and during the match to collect donations. I ask that you would please come to cheer us for our most important match of the year, and if you can spare a little bit, support Japan and all the people who are still suffering from the tragedy. Thank you for your solidarity and go ducks!
UO Men’s Tennis Team