There was a big earthquake in Kumamoto (all of Kyushu). I was born in Kumamoto. It is my hometown. To everyone greatly affected by the damage, I hope you are doing well from the bottom of my heart. I was able to reach my family and friends. They are scared but hanging in there. Everyone I contacted said things to put me at ease. They are so strong!! But there is a limit to human endurance. Before they reach their limit, I want to comfort them somehow. Adults must not worry their children. Most of all, I want the children to laugh! If they laugh, adults can do their best! Right now, it is still hard for us civilians to help. But I will definitely help with the relief effort! Don’t give up!!
-Eiichiro Oda (2016.4.17)
In April 2016, a series of powerful earthquakes struck Kumamoto prefecture. Following the quakes, manga artist and Kumamoto native Eiichiro Oda sent a heartfelt message saying he would “definitely help with the relief efforts.”
It was from this message the “ONE PIECE Kumamoto Revival Project” began. An ambitious collaboration between the hit manga ONE PIECE and Kumamoto prefecture, the goal of the revival project is to "inspire" the reconstruction efforts in Kumamoto.
The Kumamoto Revival Project held its first series of events in 2016. Exclusive ONE PIECE goods were created and distributed to those who donated to Mashiki – the town hit hardest by the disaster. Additionally, during the annual Kumamoto Castle Marathon, runners were cheered on by the Straw Hat Pirates. Other events held that year included a stamp rally and the operation of trains decorated with characters from ONE PIECE in the prefecture.
In April 2018, the Kumamoto Prefectural Government awarded Mr. Oda the "People's Honor Award" to praise his achievements and contributions to the relief efforts. Finally, to commemorate the award, the prefecture completed the Monkey D. Luffy statue on November 30, 2018.
There are plans to install statues of the remaining members of the Straw Hat Pirates in Kumamoto. Although the reconstruction may be halfway complete, let's continue going on new adventures with the Straw Hats!
Watch the reconstruction efforts underway in Kumamoto!
This link will take you to the 「気になる！くまもと」 website. ※Japanese only
Passing on memories of the Kumamoto Earthquakes
for the future to learn from.
This link will take you to the Kumamoto Earthquake Museum website.