Posts Tagged ‘Tohoku earthquake’

In the wake of all that has happened, I’ve forgotten about Winter X Games Europe. On the flipside, Winter X Games has not forgotten about Japan. I’m really glad the athletes are sending out positive messages and ESPN has been encouraging its viewers to donate to the Red Cross. It’s cool to hear messages in different languages too. Japan, the world has got your back.

Soko Yamaoka, who was competing in the U.S. Open when the earthquake and tsunami hit, got a chance to express her thoughts. Gambatte, Soko! Stay strong.

Something not X Games-related but also from ESPN is Tes Sewell’s interview with FMX rider Eigo Sato. His hometown is Iwaki, in the Fukushima Prefecture, and he describes what it was like getting the news while out of the country. At the bottom of the page is a link to a fund set up by the Japanese motocross community. Eigo’s family will be in my thoughts.

Listening to: “Broken Wings” by Tane Tomoko


A couple days ago, I was expressing my frustrations at the lack of support in our community for the Japanese earthquake victims and urging everyone to donate;.  Well, I need to eat my words now (even though there is always room for more support).

Freestyle motocross rider Levi Sherwood posted a link on his facebook to MotoForJapan, a fundraiser set up by industry members Greg Hatton and Jon Bekef to help the land that gave us Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha.  They are urging fellow industry members, pro and amateur riders, and motorcycling fans to donate.  The money will go to the American Red Cross.  Mad props to Greg and Jon, as well as to all the donors!
Logo designed by Sean Huqueriza

In case you were wondering about the particular area of the surfing photo in the last post, a fellow JET who lived in the area made a blog post about it.   In the comments, he mentions that the highway to Motoyoshi has been has reconnected.  Hopefully we get more good news like that in the future.

Listening to: “Caoineadh Cú Chulainn (Lament)” from Riverdance by Bill Whelan

You’ve all heard the news about the destruction the earthquake and tsunami has brought upon Japan.  I lived and taught in the Miyagi Prefecture for a year, and I even went to a surfing competition there.  The beach, located in Koizumi, is probably now filled with debris and corpses.


I am disappointed to see a lack of support from the action sports community. Japan has given us several amazing action sports athletes: snowboarders Kazuhiro Kokubo (who must be going through a rollercoaster of emotions having just won the Burton U.S. Open this past weekend) and Soko Yamaoka, FMX rider Taka Higashino, motocross racer Sayaka Kaneshiro, freeskiier Ryo Shibasaki, and in-line skaters Eito and Takeshi Yasutoko.  It’s time we show our support for them and for a country that embraces action sports.  Please consider donating your money to the American Red Cross or another disaster relief organization.  I have compiled links at my Japanese pop culture blog: click to find the many ways you can help.

This is not to say the whole community has not responded to this tragedy..  Japanese surfer/triathlete and founder of Index Wetsuits Ikki Fujiwara has set up a fund. He has also revealed that Damien and C.J. Hobgood have shown their support. (The computer I’m on right now doesn’t support Japanese characters so I can’t try to figure out what the post says.)

Other athletes have used Twitter to either express their sympathies and/or get fans to donate to Red Cross. Here are just a selection of tweets.

  • Gretchen Bleiler – “Still can’t believe what happened in Japan. Let’s help them out~donate $10 to Japan relief just text REDCROSS to 90999”
  • Steve Caballero – “Japan had an earthquake leaving many without food & NOT ONE case of looting recorded, the world can learn sumthin from these awesome people!” – retweeted by Chad Kagy
  • Ronnie Faisst – “Wow! Praying for everyone in Japan! Hope all my homeboys and there families over there are safe!”
  • Taka Higashino – “Just got land LA from bonjour Japan is now crazy !!! So sad !!!!”
  • T.J. Schiller – “Oh my god – my prayers go out to everyone over there. Be safe!” – He also had a message in Japanese to Ryo Shibasaki and was retweeted by Justin Dorey.
  • Kelly Slater – “wavesforwater is going into action. Trying to find connections in Japan to help any way they can. If you have good info, please tweet them.”
  • Hannah Teter – “HELP JAPAN. I am. Text “Red Cross” to 90999 =$10 on bill, or donate here Save The Children”
  • Shaun White – “My thoughts are with the people of Japan today. I hope all my friends are safe. Contact me when you can please! –”

Listening to: “Hanamizuki” by Yo Hitoto