"A single pianist imbues this piano with light"
◆The original "Lights of Japan" Ishinomaki Piano Video is available for viewing on a Japanese government website:
http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/eng/prg/prg2578.html - there is a copy of it on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxTEGmgLyUo
Photo: Nobuyuki Tsujii performing on the Ishinomake Piano -- as seen on a video shown at the World Economic Forum on Jan 27.
"The Ishinomake piano is a grand piano salvaged from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. The piano belongs to the Sarukoya Music Store, a family-owned business operated for 90 years
The tsunami tore through the music store, thrusting instruments through the front windows. The shop’s proprietor, Mr. Inoue, found one of his cherished pianos in the street, crushed under a car. He was convinced his business was forever ruined. Volunteers, some armed with toothbrushes, painstakingly cleaned the shop and salvageable instruments for weeks. Mr. Inoue himself undertook the most important project: restoring the one piano to survive among the 30 once in his store.
This one piano, though perhaps never again pitch-perfect, has become a symbol of restoration for all in Ishinomaki."
In December, the piano was shipped to a studio in Tokyo, where Nobuyuki Tsujii performed on it for the filming of a video that was shown at the 2012 World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland.
Kaoru Koyama, the maker of the video (born 1964), was interviewed for this article at http://www.zakzak.co.jp/people/news/20120320/peo1203200830000-n1.htm . Following is an excerpt, translated from Japanese:
The first task of for his business was to produce a video for the "Japan Night 2012" at the Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. That event featured a star chef and wines of Japan, and a speech by actor Ken Watanabe, calligraphy art, and a variety of surprise.
"In the food, there were things like marshmallows and kumquat, to provide a surprising combination. "We have also prepared a similar combination of unlikely things."
While the venue was boiling with excitement, the documentary footage was shown. .It features victims in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, and a piano restored from the ravage of the Eastern Earthquake, and a beautiful percussive tone played on the piano by Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii.
It was a somewhat surprising video "That, in the sense that beyond the imagination of people, it can be said with surprise. It fills the gap between the feeling and imagination that produces a surprise, not what it will lead to the impression Some visitors said to us. "This is the best Japan Night ever", I was glad."
(Translated from Japanese)
On March 14 2012, a blog post came up with a detailed compilation of the web postings about the video, including a collection of tweets that I had seen but could not comprehend. Some moving details include:
Hi, I am American and I know this video well. In fact, I created a page about it on my website for international fans of Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii: https://sites.google.com/site/nobufans/the-japan-lights-videoI was delighted that Professor Snow posted this reply to my comment:
On the page you will find extensive information about that video, collected by me.
You are right - this video is not well known in Japan - mainly because it is not on YouTube and even more so because the narrative is in English. Mr. Tsujii's own official site mentioned the video on a Januray 2012 entry on this page http://www.nobupiano1988.com/news/, ending with "全編英語。(completely in English)" I have also heard from some Japanese citizens that they thought the video has too much government propagandizing.
I agree that it is a beautifully made video. I teared up also when I watched it for the first time (after waiting for a very long time for it to show up on the web -- in fact, I wrote to notify the webmaster of Mr. Tsujii about the video's appearance) and again when I read that Mr. Tsujii begged, during filming, to be allowed to play one more piece, an elegy ( それでも、生きてゆく) that he wrote for the earthquake victims. Of the three pieces that Mr. Tsujii played on the restored piano, only Liszt's "The Sigh" was finally used on the soundtrack for the video.
As you can easily tell, I am a huge fan of Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii. He has made numerous performances to raise funds for the earthquake reconstruction, the latest in March in Paris at a UNESCO concert with Mr. Yutaka Sado and others. When he performs abroad, such as last week in Taiwan, he also gives thanks for helps offered to Japan during the 2011 disaster.
How wonderful to hear from you and thanks so much for sharing the link from your website that gives more information. I did not know Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii until I watched this video. He is an wonderful cultural ambassador for Japan, as well as exquisite pianist who breathes so much emotion into every note. I look forward to downloading some of his music for my enjoyment and meditation. I greatly appreciate your note. Btw, every government uses propaganda. That’s to be expected. I once worked at the United States Information Agency (USIA) and we were the government propaganda agency responsible for “telling America’s story to the world.” Such films like “Lights of Japan” are going to present a positive, forward-looking message. We saw all the negative media stories coming out of Japan. We know that many mistakes were made by the Japanese government and private industry regarding not only a lack of information but even withholding of information about the dangers in the aftermath. This film has a different purpose, propagandistic, I suppose, but nevertheless a beautiful, powerful message that doesn’t seem to do harm but uplifts. As I say at the beginning of my blog, “Come for the music. Stay for the story.” If nothing else, just watch the video for the music.
◆ On April 7, this article appeared
昨 年１月の世界経済フォーラム（ダボス会議）では、全盲の世界的ピアニスト辻井伸行さんが再生ピアノを弾く映像が流され、日本からの復興メッセージとして世 界のエスタブリッシュメントに送られた。ピアノは東京・銀座のヤマハ楽器のスタジオに運ばれ、そこで辻井さん演奏の収録が行われた。
さらに渡部さんは 「カネを持っている人がカネを出していないのが日本の一番の問題」 とセレブらの 寄付文化の薄さを指摘した。
The stricken Ishinomaki piano, Cyndi Lauper, coco O.N.E., GLAY, Mr. Tsujii
Apr 07, 2013
... When the U.S. popular singer Cyndi Lauper visited Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture in March last year, she bought a piano restored from the tsunami, to be presented to Ishinomaki City Hospital.
At the World Economic Forum(Davos) in January last year, a video was shown of blind pianist Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii playing the piano, as a message about the reconstruction of Japan. The piano was transported to the Ginza Yamaha, Tokyo, for the recording of the performance of Mr. Tsujii. <See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxTEGmgLyUo>
<The article mentions other celebrities who contributed: Coco O.N.E. and ＧＬＡＹ(a rock band) and lamented the culture of "thinness of donation" by celebrities in Japan.>
◆In January 2013, in an article that appeared in the Seattle Times, Nobu answered a question about performing on the Ishinomake Piano:
Q: In December 2011, you played a grand piano — part of your benefit work for earthquake victims — that was restored after being damaged in Japan’s quake earlier that year.
A: In March (2011), the eastern part of Japan was hit by a huge earthquake, and coasts were seriously damaged by a gigantic tsunami. In May, I met students from a devastated area. A young girl said her house had been washed away and she had lost her piano. It was shocking and heartbreaking. I imagined that one day, if I lost my piano, I would feel as if I’d lost my life.
Since then, I’ve wished to help and use music to soothe the pain and sorrow of those who lost family, friends, a lover, or other important parts of their lives. In December, I was given an opportunity to play this restored piano that had been totally washed out by the tsunami.
It was carefully and patiently restored, though it was not at the standard of a normal concert grand. But when I played it, I felt as if the piano was telling me stories about its own painful experience. The piano had survived, but, probably, he may have lost his partner, the person who had shared the joy of making music together. And there were many other pianos who lost their partners, and many people who lost their pianos. I felt the piano was moaning and grieving. Yet, those who had survived, including the piano, have the future to live. It was a deeply emotional experience.
Here is a 2012 news article about the video http://s.nikkei.com/w6YlyK -- rough English translation http://bit.ly/z2scAR According to this article, the video was shown 4 times during a party held on "Japan Night", and received a round of applause from the guests, which included former Prime Minister Sadako Ogata.
And here is an article that came up in late February: http://www.faust-ag.jp/road/road_to_recovery/vol02-2.php
On March 14 2012, this blog post came up with a detailed account of the web postings about the video, including a collection of tweets that I had seen but could not comprehend.
Rough English version http://bit.ly/yr7td5
The text of the blog post is copied below for preservation. Some moving details include:
LIGHTS OF JAPAN lightー"
during the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (Davos) "JAPAN
NIGHT" has been screened at (the night of January 26 local), the message
to the world from Japan was held in Switzerland in January 2012
Resilience tone of a grand piano survived the disaster, want to convey to the world
※ Resilience: (force overcoming resilience, resiliency, and difficult) .
Put the message "The Power of Japan can contribute to the world", "force Japan to recover from the disaster",
Play the piano as this axis, has been restored by the hands of people to the world pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, while victims in the city of Ishinomaki.
Based on the contents of this tone, that will convey the light of various Japanese.
※ planning and production: Examines Kaoru Koyama (writer broadcast, Orange & Partners representative) /
Full-length English / about 5 minutes
Video and can be seen from here ↓ ↓.
What the world needs now, is the light of "Resilience".
(Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii, pianist)
Video work, this axis the music Nobuyuki Tsujii plays the grand piano damaged by tsunami the earthquake East, played in the hands of shopkeepers instrument in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan rising from disaster, you try to contribute to the world representation of the power of.
Not only to appeal to Japan to foreign countries,
Here is that it is put into it the thought that light also want to feel the Japanese people.
Here, when an episode of last year, this performance was recorded.
I was impressed by gently pure and strong performance ·;;
To see the site's Sarukoya instrument,
Sarukoya instrument was involved in the tsunami in Ishinomaki "( Http://Www.Sarukoya.Com/ there is a musical instrument shop called).
Yesterday, Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii is that playing the piano.
Will be included as a video message to the World Economic Forum.
Through this earthquake, we have support in connection with the people through the net myself.
Twitter is also an opportunity was tied 82-year-old president of musical instruments store with me.
Through Twitter, we can also can help the earthquake in your neighborhood friends also.
I wish I want you to arrive safely, piano playback.
Every network in the likelihood NHK. Sarukoya came out.
Piano playing, go into the studio to arrive safely to Tokyo from Ishinomaki.
I have adjusted various.
Charity Concert for "Fund of children playing music."
Today Mr. Harry Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto. http://t.co/dmK3gb92
Home page photo of the Fund to victims of one of "instrument Sarukoya" Ishinomaki has been used. http://t.co/qiYP1qSQ
Ironic really. In
a separate studio on the floor of the same building as the venue of the
association sponsored event but went for assistance to the piano
playing was not flatly response has been made,
That the consultation of repair to the piano was in fact quite often seems to tsunami-affected.
I heard the same story from the workshop piano repair story comes around here and there and always refused.
Does not pay quite the reality.
Goods because of the memories, some people who want to re-spend money but also absolutely.
not who I also think that technology in the repair shop under the
direct management of the leading manufacturers, and I want to play the
piano will be repaired in the tsunami.
Good morning. Grand piano that has been repaired and play the tsunami in Ishinomaki.
I arrived safely in Tokyo yesterday.
President arrived in Tokyo yesterday 82-year-old musical instrument shop of Ishinomaki.
Piano "Piako" Play of Ishinomaki was played at the hands of Mr. Tsujii
Performed by Nobuyuki Tsujii's recording by the piano playing, has been successfully completed.
Personnel have been asked this boss was coming.
Is "an international public relations office official residence of the Prime Minister".
Played by the grand piano playing of Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii
"Etude in D flat major S144/R5 sigh for a single concert List 3"
Try to go into the studio to play immediately.
And sometimes lightly, sometimes gravely.
Tsujii's breathing was heard from time to time.
After finishing to play the trial, Mr. Tsujii Standing straight, she said being asked to comment.
And finally we take the production.
He has to interact with the piano and played two songs twice.
It's original songs played Tsujii "Still, Yuku alive".
"This piano. All means, we want to play to people in different places. Thank you"
Tsujii's finished playing, as it was on a tour of Kyushu journey again.
Piano playing by Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii of this time, at the World Economic Forum on January 26 next year,
to the story of the Assistant Deputy Director of Public Relations
Office Prime Minister's official residence International had come to the
of the piano playing was watching the play, 82-year-old president
instrument store look and fullness of the heart the way from beginning
If you thought this before when you went to Ishinomaki, and forgot to wish Inoue president say it "a happy new year",
Is a great piano.
I was overwhelmed by playing @ uncle78. Was also impressed by the president folded excited Inoue.
Was a good time.
To 28 who have played in Mr. Tsujii, CD paid to play at Carnegie Hall last month actually has been released immediately.
Today, when workers packed the piano after Mr. Tsujii's playing, they removed the legs and found mud from the tsunami trapped in them Even after the cleaning, mud was still oozing out.
It was after Mr. Tsujii had left the studio, we wish we could have let him touch it by the hand.
Good morning. And I feel once again that yesterday was amazing.
(At least, end quote)
The following is Mr. Tsujii song was played.
Without the recording of video can also Tachiau impressive,
- Not take it turned into full and book tickets for a concert ☆
Ne will be healed when tired
"Franz Liszt" sigh A sigh "by Franz Liszt" "Nobuyuki Tsujii performs Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii"
http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/eng/prg/prg2578.html is the same song with the picture.
○ Mr. Nobuyuki Tsujii "Still, living Yuku ~ Main Theme"
Chopin 's○ Op. 27 No. 2 in D flat major Nocturne No. 8 in the two pieces 27 "/ Nobuyuki Tsujii" "
Watching the video of "LIGHTS OF JAPANーlight",
Then, suddenly, before, I remembered the Empress Outa something I read in the book.
After the Kobe earthquake, Emperor and Empress are royal visit to Kobe, was sympathy please.
folded to the people of Northeast Recall Outa that, and share with
everyone the joy of reconstruction to overcome together the experience
of last year is peace, sustainable living in harmony with nature rich,
new city shining light I wanted to see.
I think that I can benefit and property-wisdom of mankind.
In fact, seismic technology and renewable energy, geothermal power generation, such as automotive technology,
From abroad to learn from other things, incorporating
In addition something unique to Japan, the fusion,
Polished and effort, improve, you will be developing,
Make beautiful things, things that harmony.
Town than in other cities in Japan, environmental issues and energy-saving measures the city is progressing,