August 9, 2011
"Should I do sports at such time?" YANAGAWA Namiko (25) was hesitating.
The earthquake hit Miyagi Prefecture where she is living, when she was preparing for the United States visit as a captain of the Japanese women volleyball team. She was not able to contact her elder sister who lived in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture for ten days.
When learning there were a lot of dead victims in the stricken area on the TV that came to be aired at last, she was going to cancel participating. At that time, she got e-mail from the coach via the cellular phone. "You are the captain. Can you tell anything to the persons struck because you do not participate in the international game in the U.S.?"
The Deaf women volleyball team won the bronze medal in the Deaflympic Games in 2009. Namiko thought of the message of the coach that he meant to tell her: it is important that she would play for even the person who was not able to do sports. She signed, "I had a chance to think over again about the responsibility as a captain".
The Japanese team visited the U.S. at the end of July, and fought against three countries including Ukraine, one of the top teams in the world. Namiko called the teammates, and collected the relief and condolence money in a handmade fund-raising box.