Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 10 & 11 Shunan-Hiroshima

Our concert with the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus went exceptionally well. They sang the first half of the concert, and premiered a new work by Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. We sang all Canadian works in the second half. Our ensembles have such different sounds; I honestly think it would be hard to compare the two. A friend of mine from Vancouver was visiting her brother in Tokyo, and she came to the show. She said she was very proud of us.

Anyway, we got up early the next morning and went on a fast train to Osaka where we transfered to another train -- apparently not as fast -- to Tokuyama station. (Even the "not as fast" train was going well over 200 km per hour!)

It is farther in the south and you could feel the difference in temperature and see more tropical vegetation. On the way, we caught a glimpse of Mt. Fuji.

We arrived to find ourselves in a hotel full of sumo wrestlers... of course!

He is the grand champion.

This is the only person I have ever seen who tried to stare down Vi...

We sang at a peace concert. The concert opened with about 10 children from the community who got up and sang "O Canada"! It was possibly the cutest thing I have seen.
We sang a set, then there was a short film about human torpedos!
The area that we were staying in was famous during the war for its young men who sailed out in these kamikaze torpedos. They were martyrs in that they sacrificed themselves for their country.

Jenny had some pictures and stories that her choir and students had made, which she presented to the children. It was so lovely that the children actually made some pictures for her to bring back to her kids in Vancouver. It is true that music has no borders.

All I am saying is... this bus would be illegal in Canada. 26 people in a vehicle built for 12...

A great group of ladies!!

In the morning we got up and headed for the train station again. We had a long trip to get to Izumo, but we were going to stop along the way for a couple of hours at the museum in Hiroshima. I was not prepared for, nor expecting, the impact that visiting Hiroshima museum had on each of us.

This building at ground zero is left in ruins as a reminder of the horror of the nuclear bomb, dropped Aug. 6, 1945. It killed hundreds of thousands of people and has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Childrens' peace memorial.

Please read Jenny's following post about her experience and reaction to this profound place.


  1. Thanks for these wonderful posts Tom. It's almost as good as being there!