Humanitarian Activities

Back to listSep 29, 2012

Spreading Hope Through Art and Music in Tohoku

FukushimaSelected artworks displayed at the newly-repaired Fukushima Prefecture Culture Center

As part of an ongoing initiative to uplift the spirits of people affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, SGI-affiliated cultural institutions--the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum (TFAM) and the Min-On Concert Association--have organized a series of events to spread hope through art and music.

From September 29, Fukushima Minpo News partnered with the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum (TFAM) to host an exhibition at the Fukushima Prefecture Culture Center in Fukushima City. The exhibition, which showcases 100 artworks from TFAM's collection, commemorated the 120th anniversary of the founding of Fukushima Minpo News and marked the re-opening of the Fukushima Culture Center, which had been closed for repairs due to damage from the disaster.  

Yuhei Sato, governor of Fukushima Prefecture; Toshihiro Endo, president of the Fukushima Prefecture's Cultural Promotion Organization; and other guests attended the opening ceremony held on September 29. At the opening, Katsumasa Saito, chair of the Fukushima Prefecture Artists Association, commented that the passion within genuine works of art has the power to stir people’s hearts and help them move forward.

The exhibition, which runs until November 4, includes paintings by Jean-François Millet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Vincent van Gogh.

Since May 14, the Min-On Concert Association, based on its longstanding experience of organizing admission-free concerts at more than 3,900 schools across Japan, has launched a three-year-long initiative to put on concerts at primary and secondary schools in 39 towns and cities in the three most affected prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.

The first "Hope Concert," cosponsored by TBS Radio & Communications, the Iwate Broadcasting Company, the Tohoku Broadcasting Company, and Radio Fukushima, was held on May 14 at Kesen Junior High School in Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture. The Japanese popular vocal group INSPi, an a cappella group of six male singers, performed a number of popular songs. The students were quiet at the beginning, but they soon joined in singing, expressing their determination to continue meeting the challenges of post-disaster recovery.

The Min-On school concert series, entitled "The Tohoku Hope Concert—Musical Bonds of the Heart" will continue until August 2015.

Min-On and TFAM are institutions founded by SGI President Ikeda  in 1963 and 1983 respectively, with a vision of making the finest works of art and music accessible to as many people as possible.

[Adapted from an article in the September 30, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan and an article from the Min-On Concert Association website, dated September 4, 2012; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]