Japanese musician violently attacked in New York for being “Chinese”


A vicious racist attack causes a surge of love and support for the victim.

Tadataka Unno, a Japanese jazz pianist based in New York, was assaulted by eight young people in a metro station on September 27. It is not yet known whether the 40-year-old, who suffered serious injuries including a broken collarbone, will be able to start playing again.

According to the New York Police Department, the incident happened around 7:30 p.m. at a subway station near the victim’s home. When Unno disembarked at the station after work, he was suddenly attacked and punched by a boy, who appeared to be a teenager, at the ticket gate.

Unno managed to escape outside the station but was chased and beaten by a group of about eight boys and girls. During the attack, he heard them say the word “Chinese”. The suspects have not been arrested.

Following the incident, Unno was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance, which had been called to the scene by an eyewitness. It turned out to have a broken right collarbone and bruises all over his body. Although his injuries are not life threatening, it is not known when he will make a full recovery and he remains unable to play and is in pain for more than a week after the incident.

Unno recently became a father for the first time in June and he has not been able to hold his son in his arms since the attack due to pain from his injuries. The stress of the unprovoked attack also puts a question mark on if he can start playing again, this is how he earns money to support his family.

Unno on stage in New York

As Unno became the unfortunate victim of a racist attack, people around the world responded with a wave of love and support. A GoFundMe campaign was set up by Unno’s friend and colleague, drummer Jerome Jennings, who describes Unno as “one of the nicest and sweetest souls”.

The campaign, which is now over, raised US $ 89,611 in funds to help pay Unno’s emergency medical bills, physical and mental therapy, and moving expenses to move him and his family to a safer neighborhood.

Unno said he could not leave the house due to the mental and physical trauma of the attack, but he expressed his a big thank you to everyone who donated, saying he feels overwhelmed by their love and support.

This has been a difficult and stressful year for everyone, so it’s nice to see an outpouring of love to counter racist acts of violence and division like this happening around the world. The best way to fight hate is with love and this is something we need to practice more than ever.

Source: Asahi Shimbun via Hachima Kikou
Featured Image: Pakutaso
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