• Kyodo

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A grand piano damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and repaired by the owner of a local musical instrument store will soon be donated to a hospital that is being rebuilt in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, after it was destroyed in the disasters.

The piano, restored by Teruo Inoue, 87, with financial backing from American pop singer Cyndi Lauper, will play “recovery tunes” at the reopening ceremony for Ishinomaki Municipal Hospital on Aug. 10.

On March 11, 2011, Inoue’s shop, Sarukoya, in Ishinomaki was hit by the tsunami, leaving 30 pianos on the store’s first floor piled on top of each other or pinned under a vehicle.

Undaunted, Inoue made up his mind to repair the damaged pianos.

Lauper, who was impressed by Inoue’s activities after hearing about him through an interpreter, made a surprise visit to his shop in March the following year. While Inoue did not know her, he felt excited after hearing his acquaintance say that Lauper is “like a female version of Michael Jackson.”

Inoue and Lauper did not exchange words during the visit, but the pop singer offered to provide financial support for his project. Believing that she wanted to help disaster-hit areas through music, he decided to use her money to repair the piano intended for the hospital.

The piano had been used in an ordinary household, and Inoue said it was the most challenging repair job among the five damaged pianos he has restored so far, he said.

The repair costs totaled more than ¥1 million.

“This piano is a great present from a great singer. It is sure to cheer up patients and disaster victims,” Inoue said.

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