Date of this Version
Suite For The Forgotten is an original composition that is dedicated to people who are currently living in Fukushima and its surrounding areas. The piece is comprised of three movements (“I. Grief and Wrath,” “II. Wasururuka,” “III. A Song for Children.”) The tragic Great East Earth Quake and tsunami occurred in Japan March 11, 2011. The disaster not only took thousands people’s lives away but also caused Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown.
Due to high radioactive leakage from the plants, thousands of people had to leave their hometowns. It has been said that some of those areas that have been contaminated by radiation will not be safe for habitation for the next fifty to a hundred years. There was also a report that the children’s thyroid tumor ratio in Fukushima has gone up three hundred times higher than normal (Pantsios, 2015). More than 230,000 people are still living in temporary housing and many of them have been struggling with their inconvenient living environment (Sink, 2015). Since the earth quake in 2011, the total number of stress related deaths has reached to 1,660 in Fukushima. This number has exceeded the total death toll of 1,607 people who were directly killed by the earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima (Tabuchi, 2014).
There issues are only some of the obstacles Fukushima has been facing. Even though Fukushima has been going through those on-going issues, I feel that they have been forgotten by the world. My hope is to raise awareness of severe hardship Fukushima will continue to confront.
The first movement, Grief and Wrath, focuses on feelings of people in Fukushima who have been struggling with various problems caused by radiation leakage. The second movement, Wasururuka, reflects my own sincere sympathy toward this incident. Wasururuka means “Have you forgotten?” in Japanese. In this piece, I have applied an old Japanese poem included in Kanginshu, a collection of Japanese songs and ballads written about five hundred years ago. The final movement, A Song for Children, represents children in Fukushima who have been facing these extremely tough situations, yet have fountain of energy that gives us a light of hope for the future.
Advisor: Eric Richards