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Hiroshima ‘Hibaku’ Survivor Piano to Be at Tillman Chapel

Women's Division Welcomes 'Atomic Piano' to the Church Center for the United Nations

By Leigh Rogers, The New York Buddhist Church, The Stand Up for Peace Project

 

The Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries welcomes a Global Harmony Peace concert featuring the Hibaku “Survivor” Piano September 13, 2010, at 6 p.m. in the Tillman Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza at 44th St. and First Avenue.

The concert, organized by the New York Buddhist Church and the Stand Up For Peace Project, features Japanese rock star Shinji Harada performing on the Hibaku “Survivor” Piano, with guest artists Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Russell Daisey, Tomoko Shibata and others. The Hibaku piano will be featured in a series of concerts and ceremonies throughout New York City September 7-14.

The Hibaku “Survivor” Piano, or the “Atomic Piano,” survived the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945. The piano was only three kilometers from the hypocenter of the bombing, referred to as “ground zero” by the people of Hiroshima. Today “ground zero” in Hiroshima is the sight of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Park, an international center for global peace. 

Harriett Jane Olson, Women’s Division deputy general secretary, and Jennifer McCallum, seminar designer with the United Methodist Seminar Program on National and International Affairs of the Women’s Division, recently visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Park last month as part of a weeklong trip to meet with leaders and visit schools and organizations started by Methodist women missionaries as well as other organizations serving women, children and youth. Hiroshima Women’s University, is one of the schools.

“Work for peace is an important part of the legacy and commitment of United Methodist Women,” Olson commented. “We observed a school and a city that has recreated their lives in amazing ways. While not defining themselves merely as victims or survivors, many Hiroshima residents feel a special responsibility to be part of the movement for peace and global understanding. The opportunity to host this concert is a way for us to offer our support.” In addition, the September 14 opening of the General Assembly of the U.N. and the International Day of Peace observed September 21 makes this event a profound call to the U.N. community: Make peace now.

The “Hibaku” Piano Concert Schedule in New York City

  •  Friday 9/10/10, at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, 86th and West End Avenue, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday 9/11/10, at Pier 40 on the Hudson River at West Houston Street, the 9th Annual 9/11 Japanese Floating Lantern Ceremony and Memorial, 6 p.m. to dusk
  • Sunday 9/12/10, Outdoor concert at the New York Buddhist Church, 105th Street and Riverside Drive, 2 p.m.
  • Monday 9/13/10, The Tillman Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 First Avunue, at 44th Street, 6-7:30 p.m.

Bios

Shinji Harada is a pop music artist in Japan. Born in Hiroshima, Harada became a musical sensation when he released his debut single “Teens’ Blues” in October 1977 when he was 18 years old. He released two more singles in the same year, all ranking in the top 20 in the Oricon Chart simultaneously, the first artist in Japanese music history to accomplish this. His debut album became number one in the first week of release in 1978. Harada has released more than 70 singles.

Russell Daisey is the Stand Up For Peace Project co-producer, a singer-songwriter and nationally acclaimed musician. He has performed at concert events worldwide including New York City, Japan, Mexico, Canada, the West Indies and Haiti, and has performed for world leaders including Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the Princess of Kuwait, Madame Anwar Sadat, and Elie Wiesel. He was the musical musical director for “The Taffetas” first national tour with Ray Charles.

Dr. Judy Kuriansky is the co-producer and co-lyricist of the Stand Up For Peace Project and is a radio advice host and television personality who often appears on CNN. She teaches psychology at Columbia University Teachers College and runs workshops and seminars about peace worldwide. An expert in trauma, she has done disaster relief after the recent Haiti and Yushu, China, earthquakes, 9/11, SARS in China, and the Asian Tsunami. An nongovernmental representative at the United Nations, she is also on the board of the Committee on Mental Health. Her books include The Complete Idiots Guide to a Healthy Relationship and Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Grassroots Peacebuilding between Palestinians and Israelis

The Reverend T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki is the resident minister of the New York Buddhist Church, former president of the Buddhist Council of New York, vice president of the Interfaith Center of New York and clergy on call for Columbia University. He was ordained in 1980 and came to the United States in 1985 as an overseas minister from the Hongwanji Temple, Kyoto, Japan. He has helped organize International Peace Day and Universal Peace Day events to commemorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings as well as the annual 9-11 WTC Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremonies.

Tomoko Shibata has performed in New York City, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Japan. She regularly performs with leading Japanese orchestras, opera companies, in musical theater and on television and radio in Tokyo. Ms. Shibata is an exclusive artist with EMI Records. Her recordings include Manhattan Dream and My American Dream, dedicated to the victims of 9/11 and their families. The New York Times said, “Miss Shibata has a fresh, sweet lyric soprano voice, a secure sense of intonation, a spontaneous musicality, and no small degree of charm.”

Last Updated: 09/09/2010
 
 

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