Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Memorial 2019 - August 09

Actors Refuge Repertory Theatre




This year makes the 74th anniversary of commemoration of atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is also the 50th anniversary of John Lennon & Yoko Ono's "Peace Protest," coincidentally the theme of this production: IMAGINE PEACE.


As a producer and performing artist, I firmly believe that our role, as artists, is to "keep telling the stories" of the past, in order to better our future.  This is the reason and meaning of this special event.

This year, like the previous 2 years, you will see many young performers who will be standing up for their own future and our planet.


In this production of Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial, we will be presenting what it takes to "declare" peace to our lives, community and world.


We have Sarah Infini Takagi, appeared in last year's memorial, singing Lennon's "Imagine." Christina R. Chan, appearing as a second-generation Japanese-American whose parents were Hibakusha (a-bomb survivors) from Nagasaki in Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro's "My Parents and Nagasaki. Ahura Z. & Nirakazi Diliiza, a father-daughter duo from ME joining us again to present Ahura's original peace song with Nirakazi dancing hula 'auana as the Goddess Of Peace.


We have three "Messages of Peace" this year: Hibakusha Testimony by Yutaka Araki(78), visiting from the City of Hiroshima, Message Of Peace from the Mayor of Hiroshima to be read by Kokoro Tanimine(11) as Messenger, also from Hiroshima, and Message Of Peace from the Mayor of Nagasaki to be read by Yui Takeuchi as Messenger(11). Followed by Paper Lantern Ceremony Of Peace with soprano, Miho Sato, singing two Japanese songs and Sarah Infini Takagi at piano accompaniment and improvisation. The turning point of this program is presented by the dynamic dancers from the MOVE AND INSPIRE, the only kids' dance troupe, taught in Japanese, will show us that they are taking charge of their own future and that of this planet earth.


Then, the last two musical sets involve a large number of performing artists whose heart yearns to make the world a better place. In Lotus Sound~music of the world, the sanctuary will turn into a Night Sky, and you will be introduced to a form of musical improvisation called "Circle Singing."  The finale song is called "We Declare Peace" written by Utako Toyama of the SkyBridge. The song was written in 2014 when Utako was attending Berklee, and is a recepient of the John Lennon Peace Music Composition Award. The entire program is structured to lead up to this finale song with kid panel-handlers bringing out the key words on the path to a peaceful world.


I also would like to inform you that this event would be my last year as an artistic organizer. With my intention to lay out an opportunity for younger and more vibrant next generations to take charge of their own future, I am handing downt the torch to my successor, Paola Munda, whom you will see as a performer in this year's event. I will be bringing my event 'formula,' and launching a 'satellite' event in another town during next year's Peace Week.


"I hope some day you will join us. And the world will be as one."


That "some day" is Friday, AUGUST 9th, 2019. I sincerely hope that you will be part of this precious, peace-loving community for years to come.




Mariko Kanto

Founder, Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial Boston

Producing-Artistic Director, Actors Refuge Repertory Theatre

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