Concert with A-bombed piano is held on Peace Boat with pianist Mami Hagiwara

(by Takafumi Hatayama, Staff Writer)

On August 6, a concert with an A-bombed piano and violin was held on a passenger ship operated by Peace Boat, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) based in Tokyo. The ship was docked at the Hiroshima Port in Minami Ward, Hiroshima. Mami Hagiwara, a pianist from Asaminami Ward, and violinist Tatsuki Narita played a number of well-known classical pieces. The audience of about 370 people thoroughly enjoyed the music.

The A-bombed piano once belonged to Akiko Kawamoto, who was then a third-year student at Hiroshima Jogakuin Senmon Gakko (now Hiroshima Jogakuin University). She died at the age of 19 on the day after she experienced the atomic bombing. The A-bombed violin was formerly played by Sergei Palchikoff, a Russian man who also experienced the atomic bombing.

Ms. Ogiwara and Mr. Narita played ten pieces of music that included Chopin’s Mazurka Opus 7 No. 5. The soothing sounds and effervescent rhythms they made drew loud applause from the audience.

Yayoi Izumi, 9, a fourth grader at Ushita Elementary School in Higashi Ward, came to the concert with her family. Ms. Izumi had just learned about the A-bombed piano at school on this day. (In Hiroshima, August 6 is a school day during the summer vacation.) She expressed admiration for the performance, saying, “The piano had a very beautiful and gentle tone. It’s amazing that the piano has been kept for such a long time.”

The concert was organized, for the first time, by Peace Boat and the HOPE Project, a general incorporated association in Saeki Ward. More concerts will take place on the Peace Boat ship at ports in Nagasaki and Busan, South Korea, two destination cities for the ship’s voyage.

(Originally published on August 7, 2019)