Tohoku Soka Gakkai Youth Members Hold "Rock the Heart" Music Festival
On July 31, Soka Gakkai student members in Tohoku held a music festival titled "Rock the Heart" in Kotodai Park, Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture. The festival was organized to send a message of courage and hope to the many evacuees living in shelters and to those who, five months on, are still struggling in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Messages to participants at the event were sent by jazz legend Herbie Hancock and famed Brazilian pianist José Carlos Amaral Vieira. In his message, Mr. Hancock offered his heartfelt sympathy and support to all those who lost loved ones and whose lives have been affected by the disaster. He also lauded the power of music to inspire people to courageously move forward and overcome any situation.
Mr. Vieira's message encouraged the participants to unite and steadily persevere toward rebuilding their lives and expressed his hope that the festival would impart strength and a sense of hope to all those who took part in it.
The festival featured guest appearances by the flamenco group Don Almas and gospel singer TAEKO, who led more than 100 students in the song "We Shall Overcome."
[Adapted from an article in the August 1, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]