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The date March 11, 2011, carries a lot of weight in Japan. When the magnitude 9 Great East Japan Earthquake rocked the Tohoku region in the northeast of the country, it devastated the landscape and altered the lives of residents. And now, eight years since the disaster, Takeshi Kobayashi is dedicated to bringing life, in many senses of the word, back to the affected area.

A respected musician and producer who has worked with Japanese acts such as Mr. Children, Southern All Stars frontman Keisuke Kuwata and Kyoko Koizumi, and has written several film scores, Kobayashi also founded the Reborn-Art Festival, a two-month-long event focusing on art, music and food. The festival was first held in 2017 and it is now poised to kick off its second edition this August in the area of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, and the broader Oshika Peninsula, roughly 70 kilometers from the earthquake’s epicenter.

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