As the survivors of the West Japan Flood are still struggling to recover from water and landslide damage and mourning the loss of their loved ones who passed away, messages of support have been pouring in from within and beyond Japanese borders. Numerous charity organizations are accepting donations and some of them are also geared towards English-speaking donors, as we reported earlier this week.

In times like these, as we have seen with the Kumamoto Earthquake, for example, Japanese illustrators and manga artists often post artwork on their social media accounts with messages of support.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a hashtag #西日本頑張ろうイラスト (which translates to something like: "'You can do it, West Japan' illustrations") began circulating on Twitter a few days ago with artwork intended to express solidarity and encouragement to the victims of the West Japan floods.

Manga Artists

Here is a sample of some of the art posted on Twitter thus far:

The more prominent names were manga artists whose works are currently serialized in Weekly Shounen Magazine.

Kōji Seo

The artist behind the popular manga "Hitman" and earlier hits "Suzuka" and "Cross-Over," posted this on July 10th:

---"All I can do is draw manga but I sincerely hope the day will soon come when the people who suffered from the heavy rain disaster will be able to return to their normal lives."

Kaya Tsukiyama

On the same day, Kaya Tsukiyama, known for his soccer manga "Eria no Kishi" (Knights of the Area), posted this:

---"I pray that (everyone) will be able to return to their normal lives as soon as possible."

Reiji Miyajima

Reiji Miyajima, known for his popular love comedy manga "Kanojo, Okarishimasu" (I'd like to borrow a girlfriend), also posted this on July 11th. The handwritten message says: "You can do it, West Japan":

---"Allow me to post! It seems everyone's free to join (this tag), so I hope this will be an opportunity for our circle of artists to spread... (I just want to watch)"

George Morikawa

The manga artist who gave us the classic boxing manga "Hajime no Ippo" contributed this sketch:

---"I hope good things are to come."

Hiro Mashima

The creator behind the hit series "Fairy Tail" also pitched in with this illustration:

---"Let's all join forces!"

Miki Yoshikawa

Miki Yoshikawa, most known for her manga "Yamada-kun to shichinin no majo" (Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches), posted this:

---"I hope our cheers encouragement will reach them...”

Amateur Illustrators

Having your work serialized in a major manga magazine was by no means the only condition for participating in the hashtag campaign, and many amateur artists also contributed original and fan art in support of the cause.

---"This is a wonderful tag so I'd also like to send my encouragement to West Japan...! I hope that (they) will be able to return to their peaceful lives as soon as possible.

---"Prayer and Hope"

Game software staff and aspiring illustrator DJ kooooo allowed us to use his fan art for our header image.

Here, he imagines Serval from Kemono Friends surprising Special Week from Uma Musume: Pretty Derby with an exuberant hug, along with a handwritten message: "We're going over there now to help, offering whatever each one of us can contribute." And at the bottom: "You can do it, West Japan!"

---"To tell the truth, I wish I could go and volunteer now or donate but I can't because of my circumstances. That's why I want to do the best in what I CAN do instead, which is drawing illustrations. In this way, I hope I can cheer up the people of West Japan, where I live. That's why I decided to participate in this campaign.

By - Ben K.