The recent earthquake in Japan has caused a lot of grief and heartache. Akira Toriyama wrote a message to the Japanese people wishing them good luck in their recovery. He said:
Hang in there~!!
To all the victims,
This is truly awful, but please don’t give up,
and hang in there no matter what!
– Toriyama Akira
(Translation by Hujio, from Kanzentai.com)
The Weekly Shonen Jump Editors also wrote a message below Toriyama’s illustration, wishing everyone a speedy recovery.
In Toriyama’s illustration, Goku and Arale-Chan from Dr. Slump ride aboard the Kinto-un while a golden Immortal Dragon flies behind them and the 7 dragon balls follow our hero upward into the sky.
Goku’s cheerful appearance and the overall symbolism imply an optimistic rebirth and a long life; an eternally youthful state of perseverance and rising ever higher.
Japan, perhaps now more than ever, needs the dragon balls and a hero like Goku to save the day.
Update! (Mar 28, 2011)
Shueisha and Toriyama have collaborated along with other manga artists in a relief effort.
Shueisha released a video that allows people to contribute their “genki” to the genki-dama (spirit bomb) and send it to Japan. By watching the video Shueisha will donate a small amount of money to the affected areas.
Toriyama also drew some new art along this same theme, found on the Japanese Shonen Jump site, where it can be downloaded as a wallpaper.
The art contains a drawing of Goku holding the genki-dama above his head, and Mister Satan is cheering the world on, saying “Thank you everyone!! The genki-dama is getting bigger and bigger!!”