日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

A Warm Breeze Blows on Ishinomaki Members of the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra perform in Ishinomaki


by Iijima Makoto, executive secretary

Kyodan Great East Japan Disaster Relief

Planning Headquarters


In early January 2013, the Kyodan East Japan Disaster Relief Projects, in cooperation with Emmaus Ishinomaki, a relief center operated by the Tohoku District, held a New Year’s concert in Ishinomaki, one of the areas hardest hit by the March 11, 2011 disaster.


The plans for this event began in late summer of 2012, when members of the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra approached us with their desire to do something to help. The ensemble consisted of four members: pianist Suzuki Ryuta, violinist Yamamoto Sachiko, double bassist Watanabe Reo, and bassoonist Tanaka Shigeyuki. The four traveled to Ishinomaki in two cars for the performances, which were held on January 10. Their schedule for that day consisted of a morning concert at Ishinomaki Eiko Kindergarten (Kobuna Minoru, principal), an afternoon concert at Ishinomaki Elementary School (Suzuki Norio, principal), and an evening concert at Ishinomaki Yamashiro-machi Church (Sekikawa Yuichiro, pastor). At the kindergarten, there were roughly 50 children and parents in attendance and more than 300 at the elementary school. Over 50 members of community came to the evening concert at the church, despite the bitter cold winds from the coastline.


Although this was a somewhat unusual ensemble of instruments for a quartet, they were able to create beautiful sounds. Especially noteworthy was the violin and double bass duet of Csárdás, a traditional Hungarian folk dance. As soon as the performance concluded, the audience erupted into an enthusiastic standing ovation.


En route to the performance Suzuki Ryuta, who had been the most central figure in the planning of the event, expressed his concerns to the others in the car.“While I am performing for these people, what pops into my head is the question of whether or not the things I am trying to express can be conveyed through my music. Can the music truly have an impact on their wounds?”


The doubts he expressed lingered in my mind throughout the performance. However, as I witnessed that standing ovation with my own eyes, it became clear to me that the intended message had indeed gotten through. I suppose that what the members of the ensemble expressed in their music through their best performance and warm heart were able give their listeners relief from the pains and release from their anxieties.what they were expressing in their music with their best performance and warm heart were able give the listeners relief from the pains and release from their anxieties.


Although on that day strong, frigid winds were blowing in from the Ishinomaki coastline and standing outside was nearly unbearable, the warmth inside the hearts of the performers from the New Japan Philharmonic filled the auditoriums and embraced the listeners. (Tr. AKO)







2013年の年が明けて間もなく、日本基督教団救援対策本部が主催し、東北教区被災者支援セン ター・エマオ石巻が協賛した新春コンサートが、被災地である宮城県石巻市で行われました。

この企画は、昨年の夏の終わり、新日本フィルの現役の奏者とその仲間たちが申し出により実現した ものです。鈴木隆太さん(ピアノ)、山口幸子さん(ヴァイオリン)、渡辺玲雄さん(コントラバス)、田中成行さん(ファゴッ ト)の4人の奏者が2台の車に分乗し、石巻を訪れました。演奏会は1月10日、木曜日に行われましたが、午前中は石巻栄光教 会附属栄光幼稚園(小鮒實園長)、午後は津波に襲われた石巻市立石巻小学校(鈴木則男校長)、そして夜は石巻山城町教会(関 川祐一郎牧師)が会場でした。幼稚園は50名の園児と保護者、小学校は300名の児童と保護者、そして教会は厳寒の中を訪れ た50名を超える地域の人々が観客でした。

この4つの楽器の組み合わせは珍しいものでしたが、本当に素晴らしい演奏でした。特に、夜の部の 山城町教会では、ヴァイオリンとコントラバスによって演奏された「チャルダッシュ」が終わると、地域のおばさんたちがスタン デイング・オベショーンを演じるほどでした。

今回の企画の中心となった鈴木隆太さんが、会場に向かう車の中で言われた言葉に次の様なものがあ りました。「僕は、このような演奏をしながら、ふと考えることがあるんです。音楽がどこまで被災者の方々の心の深い傷を癒す ことが出来るのかと・・・」。

この言葉は、私の心に残りました。そして、あの、被災者のおばさんたちのスタンディング・オベー ションを目の当たりにしたとき、「確かに届いている。深い傷を負った方々であっても、この瞬間、音楽は確かにおばさんたちの 心に届いている」との確信にも似た思いが私の心に生まれました。

それは、演奏者が、自分の持てるすべての力を尽くして演奏し、生み出した善意の音の結晶が、傷つ き、閉ざされた、被災者の方々の心の厚い壁を解きほぐしていく場面であったと思います。

石巻の海岸線近くを吹く強い風は、5分と外にいることが辛く感じられるほどの氷のように冷たい風 でした。しかし、この厳しく冷たい風が吹く一方で、新日本フィルとその仲間たちのような善意の熱い想いが、幾重にも石巻の地 を優しく包んでいます。

Kyodan Newsletter
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