Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

President, Shinnai Association
(from the printed program, Shinnai Association Concert, February 26, 2022)

This past winter was unusually cold. The parts of Japan that always get snow were hit by a snowfall that was heavier than normal. Overall, the weather has been different from what we typically expect. The meteorologists have found it extremely difficult to prepare accurate weather forecasts.
The 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be held in neighboring China. The whole world is in the midst of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which has continued from before last year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics. I feel that because of the necessary precautions, there is a lack of excitement at the Games, and I have sympathy for the athletes. Because the Olympic sites have been on high alert in order to avoid spreading COVID-19, it’s as if the games were being held in the midst of wartime.
The athletes have endured intense training, shedding blood, sweat, and tears in preparation for the days of the competitions. Athletes will continue to train only if there is an upcoming competition, no matter what the size or importance of that competition may be. We who live for the performing arts practice hard only when we are preparing to make a presentation to an audience.
The strict restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have now extended for more than two years, leading to stress that causes both physical and mental exhaustion. However, no matter the difficulties of these times, we will never neglect our daily practicing.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to hold today’s concert despite the emergency situation in which both the performers and the audience find themselves. I rejoice that we can have this precious and joyful encounter.
When winter comes, spring is never far away. Let’s cherish the present and wait for a brighter tomorrow.

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