Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surviving A-bomb Peace Piano Tours New York

"Hibaku" (survivor) piano on the Hudson. Via.

Walking along the Hudson last Saturday, September 11th, near Pier 40 with the sun about to set behind New Jersey, you may have noticed a small makeshift stage containing a modest, careworn upright piano placed unobtrusively next to several microphones center stage. Eager to take in the incredible views at Battery Park or the loads of fun at Chelsea Piers, perhaps you rushed past what looked like a typical and ubiquitous impromptu New York City park performance.

The set-up was in fact for a long-planned memorial concert. A little over a month after the annual remembrance of the World War II atomic bombings of Japan, a piano that survived the destruction at Hiroshima was on the first leg of a tour commemorating the 9/11 attacks on New York.

When the bomb fell on Hiroshima in 1945, the piano was located a little more than a mile from the blast center, but miraculously recevied only superficial damage from shards of broken glass. Mr. Mitsunori Yagawa, whose father survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and who restored the piano for its international travels, told Mainichi: "I've organized concerts using this A-bombed piano for 10 years. I hope that through this, people will remember the victims of the terrorist attacks and that this will form a bridge between Japan and the United States."

The concerts continue in New York this weekend with free performances at Japan Society on Friday, September 17, at 7:30 pm; Convent Avenue Baptist Church on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm; and Japanese-American United Church on Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm.

T.D., S.J.

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