SAGA -- Members of the Saga Technical High School Rugby Football Club here have made 1,000 paper cranes for a police officer, an alumni of the school, stabbed several times by a man in the Osaka Prefecture city of Suita.
About 70 male and female members, and their parents and guardians, made the paper cranes and tied them together with string to pray for a speedy recovery for officer Suzunosuke Kose, 26, who suffered serious injuries in the attack.
The powerhouse team in southwestern Japan produced former national squad fullback Ayumu Goromaru, who became famous in Japan for his strong performance in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Speedy Kose played in the All Japan High School Rugby Tournament as a winger when he was a second- and third-grade student at the high school.
On June 19, club members set up desks beside a training field at the school and made the paper cranes, while writing encouraging messages on them such as, "I hope you will make a quick recovery."
Runa Tomiyoshi, 18, captain of the women's team, said, "All our members are concerned about Kose."
The men's team will play in the All Kyushu High School Rugby Tournament in Okinawa Prefecture, which is set to kick off on June 22. Kugo Ishikawa, 17, captain of the team, said, "I hope Kose will quickly get well and look at the cranes. We will try hard to win the tournament to encourage him."
The squad finished creating the cranes on June 19 and will soon take them to the hospital where Kose is receiving treatment.
(Japanese original by Mio Ikeda, Saga Bureau)