With spectators barred from all but a handful of Tokyo 2020 events and live-viewing areas and fan festivals closed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, these Olympics will be bereft of vibrant international exchanges that are commonplace at sporting events around the world.

That hasn’t stopped renowned soccer superfan Hirokazu Tsunoda from carrying out his own mission, clad in homemade samurai armor and carrying banners expressing messages of thanks in over a dozen languages.

Those banners, first created for the 2012 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, were Tsunoda’s way of recognizing the many gestures of support from the international soccer community in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that rocked the northeastern Tohoku region in 2011.