Mr. Nekohachi (right) and Mr. Suzuki
The sixth folk music tour was held at 10 temporary housing complexes in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture from November 11th to 13th. The performance of ‘Minyo-jin’, a folk music team which consists of folk musicians and popular entertainer Mr. Nekohachi EDOYA, amused and cheered up as much as 277 participants. The temporary housing complexes where we visited accommodate evacuees from Okuma Town, Tomioka Town and Naraha Town, which suffer immense and long-lasting damage caused by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
At the venue before the concert, the audience sat still without much expectation on their face. However, once Mr. Nekohachi stroke up the cheerful introduction with his soothing smile, the atmosphere gradually softened and the audience began to relax and enjoy. The audience heartily laughed at Mr. Nekohachi’s performance of mimicking animals and avidly listened to the powerful folk music. As the program proceeded, the audience stood up and started to dance together with the performers and after the concert, many of the audience rushed to the performers to tell how amazed they were at their performance.
Here are some comments from the participants.
A 76 year-old lady who evacuated from Naraha Town told us, ‘I have been unable to go out since I have suffered shingles, but I was really looking forward to this concert. After the 3.11 disaster, I moved from temporary housing complex to complex seven times and I felt so sad to have nowhere to settle at this old age. I am now growing dahlia in planters but I miss the large garden where I grew various vegetables and flowers’. In the last part of the concert, she happily joined the dancing circle of the audience and performers. ‘I really enjoyed dancing to ‘Soma Bon-uta’. It made me forget bad things’, she beamed.
A lady in her seventies excitedly told us that at the concert she was able to meet one of her friends who used to live in Okuma Town together. The friend came from a temporary housing complex in Aizu City to join the concert and it was their first time to see each other since the 3.11 disaster. ‘I feel so happy to see my friend after 2 years and 8 months, thanks to the concert. Thank you for coming all the way to Fukushima Prefecture,’ the lady said with a deep bow.
The audience laughed heartily
One of the participants started to dance
The audience talked excitedly to the performer
Group photo of the audience and performers