The Missing “For Japan…” Blog

This blog was originally posted on “The Kop” a few days prior to the Liverpool v Braga Europa League Game, but is another blog that suffered being removed by LFC Digital Media Staff, who couldn’t stand being shown-up.

Due to the nature of its content, I felt it deserved its own separate place.

For Japan and their LFC Reds in particular…

Are you going to the Braga game at Anfield on Thursday? Note that there will be a minute’s silence.

I see on some forums that there had been some talk of a large banner being created for the Braga match in order to show our support for the people of Japan, and the Japanese Reds in particular, of whom, at the time of writing, have not been able to contact 34 of their 91 members.

Hopefully those 34 will prove to be temporarily incommunicado and that they will all be accounted for. In the meantime however, the talk of a large banner appears to have become just that – talk. That’s a shame.

The main problem seems to be money. We have a supporters organisation that has been quiet on the issue, and once individual fans realised that such a thing may cost £300, the idea seems to have become muted.

As there doesn’t seem to have been any organisation or person who can or will take the initiative to arrange and co-ordinate a big banner, then it comes down to individual supporters to get their own done. Perhaps a lot of individual banners will speak louder than one big one.

I am keen to include something in the Japanese language, and I have used the Babel Fish translation service to come up with Best Wishes to LFC supporters of Japanthe aside, which means “Best wishes to LFC Supporters of Japan”, which I have also been able to confirm is accurate and would be understood.

However, the important thing is that we show our support and respect, and if you don’t want to be that elaborate, and fear going wrong in a foreign language, and perhaps causing unintentional offence, then don’t.

I don’t think you would go wrong with a simple Japanese flag with YNWA underneath.

Note that the Japanese also take their symbols, such as their national flag, seriously, so artwork of such may cause offence, so keep it simple, and use any such imagery carefully, and as you find it.

If you want to be precise about it – then: “The [Japanese] flag has a width/length ratio of 7:10. The sun, a circle centered on the flag, has a diameter of 3/5 the width. (The sun actually is positioned 1/100th the length closer to the pole edge of the flag.”

But exactitude aside, I don’t think it would be difficult to create a banner like that with just a piece of cardboard and a red pen.

So what do you say, Reds? Would it be so hard to show such basic support and offer this gesture, especially when there are currently 34 of our supporters unaccounted for, not to mention the thousands of other victims and people affected by this disaster?

Addendum:

Following contact with a Japanese LFC Supporter currently studying in the UK, the following phrases were translated by him:

Best wishes to LFC Supporters of Japan – 日本のLFCサポーターの幸運を祈ります

Our thoughts are with the people of Japan – 私たちの思いは日本のみなさんと共にあります

You’ll Never Walk Alone –

みなさんは一人じゃない (You Are Not Alone)

共に歩んでいこう (Let’s Walk On Together)

And this was the result:

The shirt with the message “Thank You 4 Supporting Japan” was later donated to the club.

On 22 April, 2011, Keiko Hirano, from the Liverpool Supporters’ Club in Japan, wrote the following:

Here in Japan the situation remains very unstable. We are aware that international media focus on the rediation problem, however, there are still tens of thausands of people missing and hundreds of thousands still living in the evacuation centres. There have been a few more earthquakes, the latest was on 11 April, exactly a month after the first and the most devastating one on 11 March.

Japan is a earthquake-prone country and we are well equipped against earthquakes. The latest one wouldn’t have been lethal in a normal circumstance. However, some area had already been damaged badly and the infrastructure had never been the same. As a result the latest earthquake also claimed some more lives. Sadly, I found one of my friends from university among the latest victims.

Following the recent setbacks we have double-checked all the supporters club members if they and their families and friends are still safe. We have found out that 83 of all the 91 members are all right, but some of the 83 also lost their friends.

While suffering from the loss everybody has been working hard to get the country’s economy going to help those who have been in a serious situation. Even those who were not directly hit by the earthquakes and tsunami, the life has never been easy as there are still shortages of power, some basic materials like water and food. Some of the 83 members of the supporters club were affected by the disaster to some extent, like damaged properties and so on. Therefore we have not been able to function fullly as a supporters club. We just restarted some of our normal operations only last weekend.

We have just published a first newsletter since the disaster, in which we put the messages from you, sent to us by email immediately after the tsunami from the world wide Liverpool FC family. We also published the messages on our mobile site, which has a link to the Japanese official mobile site of Liverpool FC at the same time.

Some Japanese Reds, who have read the messages for the first time via the newsletter or the mobile site, have said that they are so moved by all the warm messages. Some said that they were in tears reading them. They now know that they are not alone.

Thank you again for your support.

Meanwhile, we the Japanese supporters club have started the tsunami
donation via JustGiving Japan called “You’ll never walk alone! LFC
supporters” (http://justgiving.jp/c/5922). With the help from Liverpool FC, who sent an appeal on behalf of us to all the official branches. We have so far heard from Malaysia Branch and French Branch to help us raise fund.

We also decided to hold a charity event ourselves, on 21 May in Tokyo. In which we will have a charity auction to raise fund for “You’ll never walk alone! LFC supporters”. Our economy is not very good at the moment, as you may imagine, however, everybody who are lucky enough to help those people who have been suffering in the worst hit area, are willing to donate. Therefore all the members of the supporters club are now working hard to prepare products to be auctioned so that we can raise as much fund as possible.

We are wondering if we could get more help from you about products for the auction or any other suggestion to raise fund. We must apologise if we are asking too much. We already have so much support from you by your message. We can not explain how much your messages have encouraged us the Japanese Reds.

Thank you for your support. You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Kind regards,

Keiko

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