Past Event: OVERCOMING THE DISASTER ARIGATO from Japan

Event Report:

On Friday, March 2nd, 2012, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, in cooperation with the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, organized the event "Arigato from Japan: Overcoming the Disaster" at the Music Theatre's Ahmanson Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. This is one of the largest events organized by our office with a group of over 40 performers and supporting cast members and an audience of over 1400 guests. The evening kicked off with a moment of silence for the victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami led by Director Misako Ito of the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, who was also the MC for the event. This was followed by speeches by several guest speakers including Consul General Nimi of the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, Mayor Ronald Loveridge of the city of Riverside, and Deputy Chief Terry Hara who presented Consul General Nimi with a Certificate of Recognition, from the City of Los Angeles, for the event. There was an eight minute video, after the speeches, showing the people of Japan expressing their thanks to the US military and other emergency response teams from all over the world who flew in to help with the recovery efforts immediately following the March 11 disaster. The performance started after Kagura, a folk dance from Tohoku, with Ondekoza taiko and Bamboo Orchestra. This event was a huge success with all the available tickets given out a week before the event and all the attendees gave excellent reviews of the concert and were all very grateful for the opportunity. We hope to have more events in the future so please check back frequently to view our events calendar.

WHAT:

On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami inspired shock and horror among all who saw the unbelievable footage of the disaster. But people all over the world sprung into action immediately, establishing emergency funds, sending relief supplies, and even going to Japan themselves to lend a hand wherever it was needed. The gratitude of the Japanese people for these acts of kindness is immense. With this concert tour, featuring some of Japan’s top performers in several musical genres, the people of Japan hope to be able to express some of their appreciation for the care and assistance of so many people around the globe, to show that the nation is recovering, and that the affected region is rediscovering joy after so much destruction. The tour will take the performers to Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongchin, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong and features some of the best musical artists from the region most greatly impacted by the disaster.

WHEN & WHERE:

6:30pm, Friday, March 2, 2012
Music Center's Ahmanson Theatre
135 North Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

This Event Has Passed

WHO:

Tohoku Folk Performance Group

  • Wakumizu Kagura

Taiko

  • Ondekoza (Japanese taiko drums)

Musicians

  • Bamboo Orchestra (musical instruments made from bamboo)
  • Kazutoki Umezu Orchestra (saxophones, trombone and tuba)
  • Ochi Brothers (percussion)
  • Sizzle Ohtaka (vocal)
  • Several others

Performers include Ondekoza, Japan’s master players of the taiko, which are enormous drums. Playing them is as much dance as it is drumming, and the bone-rattling sounds produced must be heard live to truly experience. Also on hand will be a Bamboo Orchestra performing with traditional Japanese instruments. The day before the concert, they will offer a workshop to teach children how to make their own traditional Japanese instruments out of bamboo. The Kazutoki Umezu Orchestra, with sax, percussion, horn, and synthesizer, represents the best of Japan’s more contemporary music. The Ochi Brothers will be performing percussion, and Sizzle Ohtaka will be providing vocals. A folk performing arts troupe will also be on hand to show the audience the beauty of eastern Japan’s traditional musical arts.