2012 / March 11 turns Samurai costume soccer fan to disaster volunteer: now he is heading for Los Angeles, Jan 11-16

Chonmage Tai Soccer Bus Tour

Mr. Hirokazu Tsunoda organized a soccer bus tour for 27 children from Ojika Peninsula area to the Sendai Stadium in Miyagi prefecture on Dec 3, 2011. (Courtesy of Hirokazu Tsunoda)

Chonmage Tai Soccer Bus Tour Meal

27 children from Ojika Peninsula area had a fun when they had hot meal with Mr. Hirokazu Tsunoda during a soccer bus tour on Dec 3, 2011 (Courtesy of Hirokazu Tsunoda)

Chonmage Tai  Soccer Bus Stadium

27 children from Okija Peninsula area enjoyed a soccer game at the Sendai Stadium on Dec 3, 2011 (Courtesy of Hirokazu Tsunoda)

Mainichi Newspaper of Japan reported about a soccer bus tour for children of disaster victims. Read the article (Japanese)

Because wearing his topknot on head and samurai armor, Hirokazu Tsunonda, 49-year old shoe store owner in Kashiwa city, Chiba prefecture, is well known as “Chonmage Tai” not only in Japan but also abroad.

Mr. Tsunoda is a self-appointed cheerleader for Japan’s soccer teams whenever Japanese teams are playing against foreign teams. He is following them around the world wherever Japanese teams go.

But after March 11, he changed his destinations. Until July 2011, he frequently visited Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture to help victims of the disaster. After July, he went to the Pacific Ocean side of Ojika Peninsula in Miyagi prefecture, the most remote area.

So far, Mr. Tsunoda visited the disaster areas for 17 times, and recorded long footages of video which regular TV news crews could not obtain.

Now Chonmage Tai Mr. Tsunoda is heading for Los Angeles and Phoenix, Arizona, to share his first-hand experiences with victims still living in disaster areas.

The followings are his lecture and video presentation schedule:

Jan 11 (Wed)  4-6 pm, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Collins Center for Executive Education (Building A) , Room A202 (Lecture in Japanese)

Jan 12 (Thu) 12 – 2 pm, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Room 2343 (Lecture in English)

UCLA contact: Masashi Sato masasisato35@gmail.com

Yusuke Fujita yusuke.fujita.616@gmail.com

Jan 13 (Fri) 3-5 pm, USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, Auditorium (G26) (Lecture in English)

USC Contact: Shoko Hayashi Barnes shbarnes@usc.edu

Jan 14 (Sat) 6:30 – 7:30 pm, Nibei Foundation, 11570 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064. (Lecture in Japanese)

Jan 15 (Sun) 1:30 – 4 pm, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Room 2F, B & C conference room. Sponsored by Nippon Saisei Kenkyukai (The Study Group for Japan’s Rebirth).

Nippon Saisei Kenkyu Kai Contact: Kumiko.inoue7@gmail.com (818) 609-0898

Jan 16 (Mon) Phoenix  (TBA) Lecture in English.    Shige Higashi, publisher of Cultural News will join with Mr. Tsunoda.

Phoenix contact: Ken Koshio  kenkoshio@gmail.com

Shige Higashi  higashi@culturalnews.com (213) 819-4100