Update: Metro Boston published an article about the Runners of Harvard for Japan!
Harvard for Japan is a cross-Harvard alliance created in response to the Great Tohoku Earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. Our mission is to spread awareness of the effects of the quake and the resulting aftershocks, tsunamis, and nuclear crisis and to help the affected regions.
With the help of local runners in the Boston area, we launched this section devoted to the Boston Marathon.
Like Boston, Japan has a long tradition of running. Many of you may know about Ekiden (駅伝), the long distance road relays. The lengths and number of runners on an Ekiden team can vary greatly, but the way the relays take place are the same. Traditionally, the baton in an Ekiden is a tasuki (襷) sash that runners wear across their shoulder until they pass it on to the next runner waiting for them at the start of the next leg. So from start to finish, Ekiden runners are connected to each other by this tasuki, and at each leg of the relay, runners endue their spirit into the fabric. They may be running solo, but they carry with them the trust and hopes of their teammates.
The “Hope for Japan” bracelet is our tasuki that we have passed on to you.
We will be honored if you would wear it at the Boston Marathon. We also hope that this bracelet will connect you to other runners wearing a red bracelet tomorrow. Moreover, we want you to know that this bracelet connects you the Japanese people in Tohoku, who are only beginning their marathon of recovery. We hope that you will carry Japan with you tomorrow in the form of this bracelet because we run toward Boston tomorrow, the Japanese community will be taking steps toward recovery. Ms. Wakako Tsuchida who has won the Boston Marathon (wheelchair W) for the past four years, and Mr. Masazumi Soejima who won in 2007 (wheelchair M) will join us in wearing this bracelet.
Finally, members from Harvard for Japan will be waiting for you at the finish line to congratulate and thank you for your support. With your permission, we will take a photo of you with our “Hope for Japan” sash, and post it to this website.
We will be updating this part of the website with news coverage from Japan, and other awareness efforts that will take place in the upcoming weeks.
We want to thank you for all of your support, and look forward to sharing the Boston Marathon with you on April 18th.
Runners of Harvard for Japan