Humanitarian Activities

Back to listApr 3, 2011

Soka Gakkai Tohoku Brass Band Performs at Shelter

Soka Gakkai Tohoku Brass Band Soka Gakkai Tohoku Brass Band performing at Mangokuura Junior High School

In the aftermath of the Tohoku-Kanto earthquake and tsunamis that hit Japan on March 11, displaced survivors living in shelters were filled with a sense of insecurity for the future. In an effort to encourage these people, 16 members of the Soka Gakkai Tohoku Brass Band performed at Mangokuura Junior High School, which is being used as a shelter, in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, on April 3.

Masahide Konno, vice chief of the brass band, is also a survivor of the quake. He shared that he believes music can help restore people's hearts and is indispensable to bringing the city back to life.

Some 70 people at the shelter attended the performance by the brass band, which began their performance with a marching song titled "Lively Avenue."

Teruhiko Takahashi and Takayuki Abe performing Teruhiko Takahashi (right) and Takayuki Abe (left) performing

Teruhiko Takahashi, a horn player in the band from Sendai City, is also a survivor of the earthquake and tsunamis. His house was swept away but eight days later, when the seawater had finally receded, he returned to the site of his house and found that the only thing that remained undamaged was his instrument, which had been protected by its case. Mr. Takahashi shared that through music he wishes to send hope to the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis and impart the spirit of "never giving up."

Drummer Takayuki Abe lost his 80-year-old grandmother Tomie to the tsunami in Ishinomaki City. His grandmother used to love listening to his music and would go everywhere to see him perform. Mr. Abe dedicated the last song, "Mother," the lyrics of which were composed by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, to his grandmother and to all those who have lost loved ones.

Following the performance audience members commented, "It's been a while since I felt this cheerful. I really enjoyed myself. Thank you," and "I feel as though I gained the courage to start all over again."

After performing at the school, the brass band members continued on to the Soka Gakkai Ishinomaki Peace Center, which is also being used as a shelter, to perform for evacuees. 

[Adapted from an article in the April 5, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]