A Dire Situation

To Our Dear Readers,

Within the past week the nation of Japan has begun the mammoth task of coping with its greatest national disaster since World War II.  Many lives have been lost, buildings destroyed, communities torn apart, utilities compromised, and the entire Tohoku/Kanto region has been infiltrated by a sense of uncertainty.  The majority of our staff writers currently reside in the Tohoku region (the hardest hit by the quake and tsunami, and the site of the current nuclear reactor situation).

Although our love for the world of sumo and the ethereal realm of spirits and tobacco remain undaunted, they seem miles away compared to what the country of Japan must cope with now.  We ask you, our readers, to do what you can to aid Japan in its recovery from this most dire of situations.  The Japanese people are battling on, employees and technicians at the Fukushima Nuclear Facilities continue to fight to keep the reactors cool, and prevent further leaking of radioactive material in to environment, most likely at the cost of their own health.  The Tohoku community is doing everything it can to reach out to those affected by offering food, clothing, and shelter, and by enduring gasoline and food rationing, as well as the whole of the Tohoku/Kanto region undergoing planned black outs to conserve energy.

As I write the snow continues to fall in Tohoku, and temperatures remain bitterly cold in the evening and morning.  Whilst prayers and warm thoughts are nice in intention, they do not warm people left out in the elements.  Donations to internationally recognized humanitarian aid organizations can do more than you think.  What Japan needs right now is money, the full extent of this tragedy is yet to be revealed, and we must assume that none but authorized personnel are being allowed into the disaster area.  So sending food, clothes, tents, etc. while well intentioned will most likely result in nothing more than backed up postal routes.  Please, if you choose do help, do so by donating money to Japan, so that it can have the flexibility to do what it needs for its citizens in their hour of need.

But fear not, the snows will melt; the winter will end.  Life, green, and beauty will return to Japan, and the ancient tradition of sumo will continue.  While we will continue to do our best to inform you of breaking sumo news and recommendations of smokes and spirits, please bear with us.

The Gentlemen of Sumo & Stogies

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