W1SH RIBBON DISCOVER & CONNECT THE WORLD, a project started amid the COVID-19 pandemic to make fast the wishes of the world with ribbons, has already linked many hopes, with 13,000 W1SH RIBBONS tied at the TEMBO DECK. We received offers of cooperation from all of the globally active frontrunners who have supported this project and have been eager to help out. This is how these actual efforts to make dreams a reality have been realized.
"Amid the constrained freedom that COVID-19 has imposed on living, I want to support those who are working to achieve self-actualization and an equitable society," said Leslie Kee, the internationally active photographer in charge of overall direction for this project. This project was realized when numerous eager requests were received from all the entertainment dancer cast members working at “Banana no Kamisama”, who lost their performance venue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We wish you could see our dance and take our portraits," they said.
Leslie spoke cordially to each one of the cast members, who were initially nervous in front of the famous photographer of world-famous celebrities. As he gave them friendly, detailed posing direction, their expressions suddenly all turned abundantly, radiantly confident. Not only were the photos better than expected, but Leslie communicated to the cast his eagerness to give a boost to those determined to take on challenges. They, in turn, promised Leslie that they would continue to aim high and take on ever-greater challenges.
I want to cheer on the kids who are working so hard at their sports amid the restrictions on sports venues, and all those who support sports," said Shintaro Ikeda, an Olympian in badminton who has competed in the Beijing and London Olympics. Many requests for guidance have been received from all over the country, in addition to the athletes who appeared in the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021. This project was realized from a strong desire of the mother of a high-school junior at a school known as a badminton powerhouse, who asked, "Please encourage my daughter, who was injured just before the interscholastic competition." Although it had to be done online amid the officially declared state of emergency, Ikeda was able to give advice on training and how to spend time, thus addressing the concerns of the player, Nana, who has been playing hard since she first picked up a racket at age 3. She worried about her hand shaking when she hits a serve, to which Ikeda advised her on the importance of "letting your opponent get set first," and "doing it calmly, as a matter of routine." As Ikeda spoke while showing her his hand movement, she listened with a determined expression, and as the conversation developed, he offered to provide coaching in person next time. We look forward to Nana's further success as she sticks to her efforts, undaunted by injury and COVID-19.
"I want sporting events to be held like normal again soon," said former boxer and WBC World Bantamweight Champion Title holder Shinsuke Yamanaka. "Even in a situation like this, I want to support everyone who's doing their best in sports, in work and in business." Instead of boxing, the project was realized from a desire by Rintaro who is striving to achieve a world presence in the United States with tennis asking, "Can you to teach me various things to become a player who can play an active part around the world." Held online due to the officially declared state of emergency, the dialogue consisted of numerous questions for Nakayama, prepared by Rintaro from the standpoint of his powerfully ambitious goal of "entering among the world's top 50." Asked what is the single most crucial thing in becoming a world champion, Nakayama responded, "I was able to make my mark by continually improving the straight left that is among my strengths." And before a match, he added, "rather than strictly positive thoughts, by also daring to consider what it's like when things don't go well, like after being taken down, its paradoxically possible to create a more serene state of mind." Rintaro nodded intently as he listened to the weighty words of Nakayama, 12-time title defender. Finally, they gave each other a high five through their computer monitors, as Rintaro promised to strive even harder to make it onto the world stage.
"I want to do my best amid the many restrictions that COVID-19 has placed on sports! I want to continue to grow! I want to try awesome things! If you feel like this, then let’s do it together" said Toshiaki Hirose, a former rugby player who captained the Japanese national team. An entry from a mother wishing happiness for her daughter on a junior high-school rugby team included the message, "To my daughter: You will overcome injury and sickness! Gather the whole teammate around the greatly admired player Hirose-san and stand together on the rugby ground! Open the way to the future! From Mom" Accepting this wish, Hirose visited the school and made the team's plan of meeting him in person happen.
Anticipating a visit by Hirose, whom they admire so much, about 60 people gathered at the rugby grounds, including Yukina Wada and her family, the junior-high and high-school rugby team clubs and their family members. Hirose joined in with the team's practice, gave one-point lessons and gave a talk. In his talk, he addressed all the club members who are aiming for the upcoming nationals: "Carefully cultivate the rugby that's unique to Japanese players. Can you place importance on the way each other person plays? Take the perspective of what the other player is thinking, and make your goals and objectives clear. It's crucial whether you can stand on the rugby grounds with the powerful determination to accomplish all this." He added that, "If you like each other, like your team, and can enjoy having been out here, then you can motivate yourself to do your best." He addressed the students with these words in reference to his own growth and experiences leading the Japanese national team. Some of the club members participated in the event after reading books written by Hirose. They questioned him enthusiastically which created an occasion for the whole team to achieve a greater unity than ever. Having worked so hard to make the plan a reality, the coach expressed wishes for the future growth of the club members while speaking about how important it is to consider these key questions posed by Hirose: "Why do you play rugby? Why do you set your sights on Hanazono Stadium?"