Pianos Struck by A-Bomb Pass on Message of Peace

Society

Hiroshima, Aug. 6 (Jiji Press)--A piano tuner from Hiroshima is spreading a message of peace with pianos that miraculously survived the U.S. atomic bombing of the western Japan city in August 1945.

Mitsunori Yagawa, 67, fixes pianos that endured the bomb blast and travels around the country for music events. Himself a child of hibakusha atomic bomb survivors, Yagawa hopes that his activities will inspire young people to think about the importance of peace.

Yagawa first encountered a bomb-struck piano while he was involved in a project for donating used pianos to hospitals and other institutions. An owner of the piano contacted Yagawa, asking him to make good use of the instrument.

The piano had been slammed against the wall by the bomb blast and pierced with shards of window glass, but it could be played after Yagawa tuned it. The piano was used first in a concert on Aug. 6, 2001, the 56th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

Yagawa now has six bomb-struck pianos, which he transports around the country on a 4-ton truck and lends to some 150 performances annually. The pianos have been used at events ranging from chorus performances by junior and senior high school students visiting Hiroshima on school trips to concerts by schools and organizations inside and outside of Hiroshima Prefecture.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press