Norwich diners on eating mission to raise �20,000 for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami fund
A restaurant owner is hoping diners will eat their way to his �20,000 fundraising target – and help Japan recover from last year's devastating tsunami.
Orlando Williams spent three years living in Okayama before later returning to Norwich to open Sakura, now in Ber Street.
And the married father-of-five is vowing to donate 10pc of the lunchtime takings from his Japanese yakiniku barebecue restaurant in a bid to boost the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Fund.
Mr Williams said he fell in love with the country because of its ability to fascinate him during his stay between 2001 and 2004.
He said: 'Before I left to go to Japan I was very apprehensive because when you are a foreigner in any country you are not too sure about how life is going to pan out for you.
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'Having taken that step to come to England from the Caribbean, St Vincent, I was apprehensive about going to Japan.
'I couldn't speak the language, didn't know the culture – I was more worried about going there and how I would be accepted.
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'The fear was just dissipated because of the way I was accepted within the community.
'There's always something to fascinate and take your interest in Japan. That's why I feel an affinity to the country and hence my wanting to do this.
'I want to do it as a personal thing and I am hoping the public will be able to support me. My target is �20,000. Don't ask me how I arrived at that but I think if that money is raised it will help in certain ways.'
Mr Williams runs Sakura with his wife Hiroko Matsuka, who he met in Norwich, with the couple enjoying their first trip together to Japan in 1996. And the former Thorpe St Andrew High School teacher, who first started living in Norwich in 1966, said he had been impressed by the sense of community and celebration of tradition rooted in the Japanese way of life.
But last year's tsunami, triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the country's north coast, wreaked havoc across these communities, killing more than 15,000 people, injuring almost 27,000 and thousands more living in temporary shelter.
Mr Williams said: 'Because we are not hearing or seeing it, it doesn't mean it has been solved. It hasn't. It's up to us in a situation where we can do something to help. I feel the desire to do something.'
Are you trying to help a good cause with an innovative idea? Call reporter Richard Wheeler on 01603 772474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org