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Japanese man reprises round-Taiwan bike trip to show gratitude

2017/12/02 16:23:46

Photo courtesy of Tzu Chi Foundation

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) A Japanese man who is biking around Taiwan for the fourth time to express his thanks for the country's assistance after the Tohoku earthquake of March 11, 2011, showed up unexpectedly at an event held by the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation Friday to personally thank the organization for their donations to his country.

Carrying a backpack with the words "謝謝台灣" (Thank you, Taiwan), Tamami Ogasawara (小笠原魂美) is currently on his fourth bike tour around Taiwan, a tradition he started to express his gratitude for Taiwan's help with disaster relief after the earthquake six years ago.

In a press release issued Saturday, the foundation said Ogasawara appeared at their annual year-end blessing ceremony in Changhua a day earlier to personally thank the organization's volunteers for the love they showed Japan in 2011.

He said that his home prefecture of Iwate, which was badly hit by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, was in need of blankets and other warm clothing after the earthquake, which was when they received Tzu Chi's timely donations.

According to Ogasawara, it was not only the material donations that helped restore Japan but also the love that kept pouring in from Taiwan.

Ogasawara is currently on his fourth bike tour of Taiwan, during which he is visiting all the cities and counties in the country to document their beauty.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Kuan-lin Liu)
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