@73 days until Hiroshima Summit: A-bombed piano

by Aya Kano, Staff Writer

An upright piano originally made in the U.S. and damaged by the atomic bombing in Hiroshima is placed at Rest House, an A-bombed building located in Naka Ward, Hiroshima. The original owner of the piano was Akiko Kawamoto who was killed by the bombing at the age of 19. Many pieces of glass are stuck into the side of the piano, because the bomb blast broke the windows of Ms. Kawamoto’s home (located in present-day Mitaki-honmachi in Nishi Ward) and the broken pieces were spread around.

A citizen who was close to Ms. Kawamoto’s family repaired the piano in 2005 with a wish that the story of a girl who had to die mercilessly would be conveyed to others through her piano. More and more people felt empathy for that wish, leading the world-class pianists such as the late Peter Serkin and Martha Argerich to play her piano.

Akiko’s diary contains descriptions of her teenage days in which she devoted herself to her studying and singing in chorus. The tone of her piano makes us imagine a girl who had been alive at that time.

(Originally published on March 7, 2023)