Hibaku Pianos

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Perhaps the topic that brings together most the themes of war, memories, (contents) tourism and music is the hibaku piano movement.

Hiroshima piano tuner Yagawa Mitsunori has been collecting, preserving, and restoring pianos that were damaged during the Hiroshima bombing since 1998 (his website is here). These have been lent out for peace concerts since 2001. He opened a museum in 2021.

Television report (Japanese only) about the opening of the Hibaku Piano Museum.

When the group ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, one of the pianos was sent to Oslo and played during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

Television report (Japanese only) about a hibaku piano at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2017.

The pianos also feature in the Hiroshima Memorial Ceremonies on 6 August, or can be placed in the Peace Park for people to play.

A Hibaku Piano at the A-bomb Dome

In 2020, a film title’s Okasan no Hibaku Piano (Mother’s Hibaku Piano) was released based on Yagawa’s story.

Trailer for the film Okasan no Hibaku Piano

On NHK in 2020 there was a TV docudrama telling a similar story: Akiko’s Piano.

Akiko’s Piano

The story has also inspired a Piano Concerto by UK-based composer Dai Fujikura (commissioned by Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra).

Dai Fujikura talks about “Akiko’s Piano” Piano Concerto No. 4

To listen to the full performance see the page Hiroshima.

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