Japan team plays through pain

Photo by Jim Mendoza
Photo by Jim Mendoza

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - "After the UH game they found out about the news," Prof. Mineko Yoshino said in Japanese.

Long before they took the field for Friday's warm ups the Tokyo Women's College of Physical Education watched in shock as an earthquake and tsunami ravaged their homeland. They scrambled to contact their families.

The coach spoke for her players .through a translator.

"They were having a hard time to get hold of them. Finally, they were able to do so like 4 a.m..this morning," she said.

The team -- 27 young women and four coaches -- hails from all over Japan.

"The most damage was in Miyagi area. And they're families evacuated and they're safe, but they evacuated and their house was washed away," Yoshino said.

They're here for a UH Rainbow Wahine softball tournament.

The Tokyo team could have opted not to take the field Friday. Instead they played a double header to take their minds off the deadly disaster back home.

"There's nothing they can do about it, about Japan," Yoshino said. "They are here and this is why they are here for. If they're staying at the hotel all day they just keep worrying about it."

There will be time for thought, worry and grief after the final out in the team's final tournament game on Monday.

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