Ambassador OKU Memorial Rugby Cup

It has been 11 years since the tragic death of Mr Katsuhiko Oku in Iraq during his mission. Once again his friends gathered near the anniversary to honour his memory by playing the game he loved. The 10th memorial rugby cup was organised by Mr Reg Clerk, the CEO of Rhino Group, who recalls Ambassador Oku as ‘A truly remarkable man.  He brightened the lives of those who entered in all walks of his life. His assassination was the most awful shock to his family and friends.’

On a cold but beautifully sunny day a strong Kew Occasionals side registered two victories to win a trophy presented to the tournament last year by former Prime Minister Mori in his role as President of the Japan RFU. The trophy was presented by Mr Akio Miyajima, a former Waseda University and MOFA colleague of Ambassador Oku who had magnificently flown from Tokyo especially for the event. He was joined by Mr Richard Morgan who had played with Katsu at Oxford in the early 1980’s and subsequently worked with him during his own time in Tokyo with the British FCO, and by Professor Yukiko Fukagawa, a close university friend of Ambassador and Mrs Oku, who travelled from Cambridge.

Over 80 players and supporters celebrated afterwards in the Iffley Road pavilion, enjoying food and drink kindly provided by Ajinomoto, Suntory, Asahi Beer and Sake Samurai, and then were kindly hosted to drinks in Vincent’s Club, where a new framed portrait of Ambassador Oku was unveiled by Mr Miyajima.