Team Yu launches the “Shenmue Heart of Gold” campaign to help sheltered animals in Japan

For those of us who have been deeply involved in the Shenmue community, Team Yu was an integral part in helping Shenmue fan’s voices be heard (on the third!) and get Shenmue III released once and for all. The group has been doing monthly Tweetathons on the 3rd of every month for 50 straight months, and currently focuses on asking SEGA to release HD versions of the first two Shenmue games.

Team Yu has decided to take their campaign a step further by launching the Shenmue Heart of Gold campaign, which aims to help sheltered animals in Japan. Back in 2011, Japan was struck with a terrible tsunami  that  devastated the country. Many families lost their loved ones, and got separated from their beloved pets too. To help out, Team Yu partnered up with the Japan Cat Network to raise money for the sheltered animals.

“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. 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.”

The fundraising page is owned and operated directly by the Japan Cat Network, so any donations that you contribute will go directly to their team. Shenmue II voice actress Lisle Wilkerson, who voiced Joy, Xiuying, and Yuan, is also helping with the campaign, and she expressed her gratitude in a heartfelt message.


“Hi guys, I am so proud to be a part of this project. First of all as a big animal and cat lover, and if I was ever unfortunate enough to be separated from my beautiful rescue cat, Princess Genki, I’d hope she’d be taken in and cared for by a shelter like this one. And also because the first 3 years of my life in Japan were spent in Sendai (Northern Japan). I remember being completely devastated by all the footage of the earthquake and tsunami when it happened.

A lot has been done to rebuild, but there is obviously so much more that needs to be done. So if you can find it in your hearts (and in your budgets :)) to help this amazing cause, I would be eternally grateful. Let’s use our passion for Shenmue to make a difference!!! xoxo”

If you would like to help out the sheltered animals of Japan, you can click here to donate. 

Via Team Yu 








Marcin Gulik

Been a gamer all my life. Studied Sociology and Criminology in college, and traveled for a bit. I like long walks on the beach and I like to listen to... (wait wrong site....) Sega Dreamcast and Shenmue all the way!

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