Shenmue Heart of Gold: Cat Shelter
In the classic video game Shenmue, recently orphaned Japanese teenager Ryo Hazuki meets a young kitten in need of care and protection. Naming her either Mimi, Tama, or Chibi, Ryo visits the local store with his daily allowance and brings her food and milk in the absence of her mother, observing: “You and I have a lot in common, our parents died on the same day.” Many of the furry residents at the Japan Cat Network shelter in Fukushima were separated from their families on the same fateful day in 2011, when a tsunami damaged a local power station. Nuclear disaster was declared, and hundreds of thousands of evacuees were forced to leave behind their beloved pets. The shelter was founded to save many of these animals from starvation, and the affected region from becoming overpopulated with feral cats left to breed in the wild. The road to recovery is a long one, and there is always more work to be done. Non-profit work that relies on the compassion of strangers to keep the shelter going. Through extraordinary willpower and teamwork, Shenmue fans around the world have succeeded in saving a video game franchise that inspires selfless acts of kindness. Not for a high score or to progress through the story, but because it feels like the right thing to do. After fifty consecutive monthly Tweetathons in support of Shenmue III and the hopeful release of the first two games on modern gaming platforms, the combined energy of this unwavering community can now also accomplish something great for a real-world cause close to the heart of any player. As the story of Shenmue progresses, Ryo’s adopted kitten is nurtured back to health and able to enjoy a full life outside of the cardboard box provided in her time of need. With your help, the same happy ending awaits all of her friends at the Fukushima shelter. It’s time for us all to demonstrate that Shenmue Heart of Gold, and raise what we can for the Mimis, Tamas, and Chibis that the Japan Cat Network strives to feed, protect, and ultimately rehome. Let’s treat that donations counter with the same determined spirit as any poll meter or crowdfunding tally that’s ever been put before us. Together we can make Ryo and his creators proud with another momentous display of solidarity in the name of Shenmue, while also demonstrating why this is the kind of game whose positive influence the younger generation should have greater access to. This fundraising page is owned and operated directly by JCN, so your donations will be paid directly to them. Whatever you can spare will be greatly appreciated by their small team of volunteers and the animals in their care.