Erika Ito is a 1st year student at Takada High School, Mie Prefecture and one of the members of Super Kids Orchestra who played in the memorial concert on 11th March last year and also in Paris. She showed us a wonderful performance and won the top prize of “The 6th Youth Essay Jiro Abe Memorial Award” with the theme of “Regeneration”. This literary award for high school and technical college students across the country is sponsored by the Literature Department of Tohoku University.
We are happy to introduce this essay which is expressing support and affection for people in the disaster area and taking careful note of the role of music.
We would like to give a special thanks to Ms. Erica Ito, who allowed us to post the essay, and Mr. Toshihisa Yokomori, producer of Hyogo Performing Arts Center, to which Super Kids Orchestra belongs.
Arriving at Sendai Airport last summer, I was full of nerves. Even now I remember anxiously wondering what was the use of my being there, despite my underlying desire and compulsion to go. The usually cheerful orchestra members were all quiet. There were mixed feelings about the hastily arranged visit among members’ parents. The schedule was not fixed until the last minute and a lack of information heightened the anxiety. E-mails went back and forth asking questions such as “What on earth is a ‘portable bath’?” and “How many bottles of water should we bring?” Our only knowledge of the situation in Tohoku after the disaster was via the media. It was like going unprotected to an unknown world.