Heart of Japan - Ganbare, Nippon!
With so many natural disasters since the start of the year and with many of us trying to do our part to help, we have all seen various charity events, dinners and fundraisers established to help those in desperate need of support. Last week, one came across my desk in relation to Japan that is not only truly heart felt, but also simple in its execution. It made me stop, think and quite frankly be humbled by the person who's initiative it was. It is why we, and I mean we, post it here in the hope that the word is spread and the vital support given.
Established by a dear friend of ours (and to many), Masahiko Iga (and his Heart of Japan team), from the highly underrated Hanabishi
restaurant in King street, the Ganbare, Nippon!
initiative is a simple yet prolific way to support all affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The idea may be humble yet is profoundly meaningful; simply send a message of support to Japan. Masa will then translate it into Japanese and post it on their website; as I said, simple. His aim is to post over 200,000. Why this amount? It represents the total number of people directly affected by this most tragic of events. It is still in the early stages of development, but I'm sure you will appreciate the scale and ambition of this project.
So please, if you're reading this, take 30 seconds to send a message of support to this email address; email@example.com
or on the link HERE
Do it now. Masa knows this simple gesture will lift the hearts of those who read it and we, as a wine/hospitality community should whole-heartedly support his endeavor. So not only send a message, but also forward this initiative to as many people as you can so we can help Masa reach his 200,000-message goal. Yes, he is probably the nicest person I know.
If you haven't met the man yet, you are poorer for it. Not only is he the consummate host and my 'go to' sake master at Hanabishi, but a passionate and talented wine lover with a heart of gold. This is not the first, and certainly won't be the last effort he has made on behalf of a charity. I swam with him a couple of years ago for the MS Australia MegaSwim, and whilst I was quite chuffed with my 4km effort, it was nowhere near his 8km. Not to forget this year where he not only raised the most funds as an individual for the mega swim at MSAC, but he also managed to top his record and swam something close to a staggering 18km. Yes, 18km. His impressive sponsor list
is testament to the respect he has in this industry. This is a man devoted to the greater good. He is also a regular to many a wine tasting and an avid participant at Sommeliers Australia events. Did I mention he's also studying French?
So again, if you are so inclined, please send a message of support to Japan to this email address and Masa will take care of the rest. Already messages of support have been posted from super athletes like Cadel Evans, Lydia Lassila, Drew Ginn and many more. It would be great to see hundreds from the wine/hospitality industry considering our close ties to the market there.
For more information about this heartfelt initiative, please visit Gambare, Nippon!
and again, please, spread the good word.