Rob Machado with legendary tree house builder, Takashi Kobayashi.

When sports have a ripple effect above and beyond the competition scene, it’s always a good story. In this case, it’s also helping the children of the most hard hit area of the tsunami in Japan.

Iconic surfer Rob Machado has traveled the world for more than half his life. And during that time, he’s crossed paths with countless individuals who share a love for surfing and a passion for the arts. In his new series called Through The Lens, he provides a chance for others to meet these individuals via short videos and follow him as he connects with the people who’ve inspired him along the way.

In his second Through the Lens episode, Machado visits Sendai, Japan, one of the hardest places hit by the 2011 earthquake/tsunami and meets artist/surfer Takashi Kobayashi. Kobayashi is a tree house builder and has built more than 120 so far. Here, he shows Machado  the area’s surrounding waves and a tree-house project particularly close to his heart.

Takashi’s tree house in Sendai, Japan.

In a unique opportunity Machado spends a week working alongside this legendary tree house builder during the final stages of what Takashi describes as “his most important tree house” to date. By working alongside Takashi Rob begins to understand the power this beautiful, symbolic tree house can bring to the Sendai region. This great gift Takashi is offering to the surviving children of this region is one small step in bringing some joy, happiness, and light to a part of Japan heavily impacted by the Tsunami disaster.

Hurley, who is Machado’s sponsor, is also behind the Through the Lens projects and has created a T-shirt dedicated to the tree house project. 100% of the proceeds go to the Treehouse Creations Co. LTD. to build more in this affected area.