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Five years on from the massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that took so many lives, Japanese major leaguers who began their careers in the affected area cast their minds back to the disaster while promising to provide whatever inspiration they can from the mound.

The New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka and fellow right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners were the ace starters for the Sendai-based Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles back in 2011, and despite their careers taking them to new heights, they have not forgotten the fate of the Tohoku region.

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