Iitate mayor updates N.Y. music fans

Kyodo

Iitate Mayor Norio Kanno addressed an audience in New York on Saturday about his village’s effort to recover from the Fukushima disaster and their present situation.

Kanno gave a preconcert lecture on the first day of the “Music from Japan” festival in Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center. The event, which showcases traditional and contemporary Japanese music, marked its 37th season this year.

The title of the lecture, “Japan’s Recovery Lies in Iitate’s Spirit of Madei,” refers to a traditional expression in the village based on the word “madei,” which is an attitude of devoting a great deal of time and care to life.

The village is one of the municipalities near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

All of Iitate’s 6,500 or so residents were ordered to evacuate during the month after the quake and tsunami when the government said last April that their cumulative radiation exposure would likely exceed 20 millisieverts within a year.

During a concert after the lecture, two pieces of music composed for the village made their world premiere.

A tune titled “To Be Human” was composed by Fuyuhiko Sasaki and Jotaro Wakamatsu wrote a poem for it.

Another piece, “Four Haiku: Four Seasons in Iitate,” was composed by Takehito Shimazu and Madoka Mayuzumi wrote the haiku.