Peace concert held to mark second anniversary of Obama’s visit to Hiroshima

by Tatsuharu Fujita, Staff Writer

On May 27, the day Barack Obama, then president of the United States, visited Hiroshima two years ago, a peace concert was held in the Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima. Mami Hagiwara, 31, a pianist from Asaminami Ward, and others conveyed a message of peace through music.

Ms. Hagiwara played three pieces, including “Liebestraum” by Franz Liszt, on a piano placed on the opposite side of the river from the A-bomb Dome. Thirty-three students from Hiroshima International School in Asakita Ward and 31 members of a “peace choir” that is active mainly in the city of Hiroshima, sang five songs to the piano accompaniment of Ms. Hagiwara. An audience of about 800, including tourists, listened attentively to the music.

It was the third such concert after an interval of two years. Although the past two concerts had been organized by an executive committee comprised mainly of Hiroshima Prefecture staff, a non-profit organization called “Music Brings Peace” has taken over the event from this year. Yoko Yugen, 52, a homemaker from Minami Ward, said, “I was moved by the beautiful sound of music that was performed near the A-bomb Dome.” Ms. Hagiwara said, “People will not be affected by music unless they live a peaceful life.”

(Originally published on May 28, 2018)