In a royal performance that tugged at the heartstrings, Crown Prince Naruhito played a special viola made from March 2011 tsunami wooden debris at an orchestra concert of Gakushuin University’s alumni in Tokyo on July 7.
During the concert at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district, the 53-year-old Naruhito played “Unfinished Symphony,” composed by Franz Schubert, using the viola manufactured as a part of a relief project by violin maker Muneyuki Nakazawa.
Nakazawa is promoting a project to support the devastated areas by making instruments from driftwood and debris that were left scattered in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
The instruments are to be passed along and played by as many musicians as possible as a symbol of solidarity.
In addition to the driftwood and debris, a part of the lone “miracle” pine tree that survived the tsunami on a beach in Rikuzentakata was used for the sound post, or “soul post,” connecting the front and back plates of the viola, manufactured at the end of May.
The pine later died due to the saline soil left after the retreating seawater, but a replica has now been erected on the original site as a preservation project.
At the concert on July 7, Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Crown Princess Masako were in attendance.
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