Former World No. 1 tennis star Naomi Osaka is on the cover of GQ Japan's June edition, in a cover that was drawn by her sister Mari Osaka. On the cover, Osaka appears in a mask and the report intends to send a message of hope in this time of great difficulty.
Osaka has also written a piece for the magazine in which she asks her countryman to remain hopeful during this time of uncertainty. "Of course, life is not the same as it was a few weeks ago, and may never be the same. However, it has been amazing to see the human spirit and how much we all care for one another.
It has made me value my relationships with family, friends and my team even more than ever before. I have spent a lot of time reflecting, but also reminding myself of how lucky I am to have my career. And I am more focused than ever to enjoy my tennis when the Tour returns.
I am also deeply concerned for the well-being of hospital staff and all those people that go out of their way to selflessly protect others. It’s inspiring. Yes, I’ve been listening to a lot of music – both old and new.
I’ve also been watching Netflix and movies. I recently saw Parasite which won the Oscar. It’s a great movie and I recommend it. Cooking is definitely my new skill and passion. My mom has so many recipes that I’ve been trying and I’ve also found new ones on the internet.
I think one day I would like to write a cookbook of Japanese and Haitian dishes… And all other countries that I travel to and enjoy. I am staying home and inside, so doing exercise is quite difficult. I do whatever I can to stay in shape – jump rope, classes online and so on… The most challenging part of course is not being able to play tennis.
I have played tennis almost every day for as long as I can remember. For the first few days of social distancing, it was definitely refreshing not to have to pick up a racket… But now I miss tennis so much. I miss the competition and the daily grind.
Definitely the response that people have to one another. As I mentioned before, everyone that works in the medical profession, doctors nurse and so on… But also everyone that works in a hospital like cleaners and janitors.
They are risking their lives every day to help others. And the same can be said for grocery store workers and bus drivers and people that are doing essential jobs so that we can all survive. The human spirit can be beautiful when it chooses to be.
To the people of Japan I would say: stick together, take care of each other, be kind and this will pass. In 2021 we will show the world our beautiful country and hospitality and together as a nation. We will be “United by Emotion”.
Here is a drawing that my sister did. We wanted to share this with the people of Japan. We love you all and we are with you.