Friends tackle earthquake relief with sumo

Fundraiser for Japan set for July 21 in Victoria

Friends Cheryl Mason and Manami Kamijo throw their weight around in padded sumo wrestling costumes. They are co-organizing Banzai Japan

Manami Kamijo’s wedding was more bittersweet than celebratory.

Missing from the James Bay resident’s guest list were two best friends who chose to remain close to their home in Japan in the aftermath of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and killer tsunami on March 11.

Given that communications following the catastrophe were so faulty, “it made everyone more scared about the earthquake,” Kamijo said.

The decimation of entire communities on the island nation covered media headlines for weeks, but the stories have since faded from the spotlight.

“I kind of feel everyone is forgetting this,” Kamijo said, adding that three months later her homeland is still in crisis mode and in need of support.

Rather than feeling helpless, she and good friend and Cheryl Mason are putting on Banzai Japan, a mock sumo wrestling competition and live music fundraiser.

For a donation, spectators can take turns battling friends on the mat in padded sumo wrestling costumes. Winners get three raffle tickets while the losers get one, making them eligible to win prizes such as restaurant gift certificates and gym memberships.

“It’s pretty awesome how generous people have been,” Mason said of the community’s support. Proceeds from the event on July 21 will go to the Canadian Red Cross’s efforts in Japan.

Doors to the Victoria Event Centre, located at 1415 Broad St. open at 7 p.m. Musical guests include Victoria-based Uminari Taiko drummers, Vancouver rockers Before Helen, Kozue Matsumoto on the koto, and Victoria-based Furusato Dancers, a Japanese folk dance group.

Tickets are $15 if purchased before Tuesday (July 19) at the Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza, 642 Johnson St., or $20 at www.brownpapertickets.com and at the door.

Just Posted

Royal Bay drama students help police train for emergency

Students helped train crisis negotiators by acting out scenarios

Westhills proposes picnic area, pier and beach by Langford Lake

The public amenity contribution is part of a proposed deal for a waterfront restaurant

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

View Royal council to discuss proposed 3.5% tax increase tonight

Budget open house to directly precede the council meeting

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

Most Read