Hashiru = “I Run”

Recently, I met Japanese runner Hiroshi Yamada on Daily Mile sporting a fantastic T-shirt that immediately caught my attention.  Painted in brush strokes of the ancient Japanese art of calligraphy called Shodo, it says “Hashiru” or simply, “I Run.”  Shodo focuses on simplicity, beauty, and a mind-body connection achieved by applying the elements of line, shape and space.  It was the same fascination with the boldness of the brush strokes that captured Hiroshi’s imagintion in the Fall of 2008.  When he inquired to find out who had created the artwork, he was even more impressed to learn it was an 8 yr.-old disabled boy who had never run in his life.

Inspired by the boy, the art and the message, Hiroshi founded Hashiru.jp, a Japanese non-profit organization dedicated to supporitng disabled children in Japan. I love stories like this.

I’m told I was the first person to buy the T-shirt outside of Japan.  It was only $30 including shipping and a good quality running shirt.  I now encourage others to do the same.  I like how the simple phrase, “I Run” captures the imagination of runners anywhere in the world and can serve to unite everyone in a common cause.  You can place an order at http://en.hashiru.jp and pay via PayPal.  Proceeds from T-shirt sales are the primary way Hashiru.jp supports disabled children.

Hashiru.jp is also very active at the Tokyo Marathon, now in it’s fourth year.  Hashiru supporters wave banners at the 40 km mark.  This race is on my bucket list since I’m born and raised in Tokyo.  Now I have some new friends to meet in Tokyo.

Sporting my "Hashiru" shirt at the Golden Gate Bridge, Aug. 2010