J-Symphonie Temporary Housing Concerts (1)
(originally posted in Japanese, 22 June 2015)
J-Symphonie (Natsuko Kitakata, flute; Yuki Osa, guitar) arrived in Ishinomaki in the evening of 17th May, and performed a total of five concerts between 18 and 20 May – four concerts in temporary housing units and one concert at the ‘Kibou no Ie’ (“House of Hope”) reconstruction aid centre.
We spent the first night at the ‘Ochakko House Oasis’ reconstruction aid centre. As we woke up on the 18th, our first work was watering the pansies!
Pastor Cho, who runs the aid centre, has planted 1,800(!) pansies by the side of the road, to brighten the hearts of the people in the city.
It took the five of us over an hour to water all the plants. Drawing water from the wells reminded me of the good old days!
We could hear a lot of construction work going on all over the city.
This is ‘Ochakko House Oasis’ centre where we stayed:
Drawing water from the wells and watering the plants.
We then quickly had breakfast before heading to our first venue, To-den Denshi temporary housing unit.
As it was during the afternoon of a weekday, at first there was no one except the inspection officer, but two of our staff went around the facility to invite people, and slowly people started to gather at the assembly room.
At the beginning, many had a stiff expression on their faces, but we could see them feeling more comfortable as the concert went on. When we had a meal together after the concert, they told us they enjoyed the concert, smiling. We later learnt that as people start moving to newly built houses in various parts of the city, many are sad to see the community they had build in the shelters coming apart.
It was a short stay, but it was a great comfort for us as well that the people went back in a cheerful mood after listening to music.
Here is a video of us performing ‘You Raise Me Up’ during this concert.
We wish to keep standing with those moving forward amidst the deep pain in their hearts.
(to be continued…)