Shinnai Association-sponsored concert
A Year of Natural and Man-Made Disasters
(Comments from the program of a Shinnai Association-sponsored concert December 4, 2011 )
There is only one month left in 2011. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all of you who love shinnai and provide great support to our shinnai events.
This was a difficult year. For those of us who dedicate ourselves to studying the traditional art of shinnai, our life depends on trends in the world.
This year was the first time since World War II that Japan has suffered so much.
Needless to say, the great earthquake and tsunami natural disasters that hit East Japan resulted in many victims and immeasurable losses. The surviving victims will bear lasting scars.
After those disasters, heavy rains drenched the same area. Many people died, and others lost property in the resulting floods. Thus, the area suffered further severe damage.
These natural disasters, together with the man-made nuclear plant accident which polluted the air with radiation, plunged the country into a financial crisis. Japan’s ratio of public debt to gross domestic product is the highest among industrialized nations. What to do about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). And so on.
There are now many problems in the world, such as the sudden appreciation of the yen as a result of the financial crisis in European countries. Everywhere in the world, there are problems, including relations with China and North Korea, and the uprisings of the Arab Spring.
Like many other countries, Japan has a financial crisis. It’s not surprising that the country is on a dangerous course.
I cannot predict what is going to happen.
I cannot imagine what next year will be like, or our future after that… We might return to the way Japan was after World War II.
We who love our art and strive to progress in our field cannot be unconcerned about what is going on in the world, but even so, we want to continue to perform in front of audiences and continue to improve our skills, with good health in body and spirit, detached from current events.
Thank you for coming to our performance today, even though you are surely busy.
Please spend the rest of the year with good cheer and a positive spirit. Best wishes for the New Year.
President, Shinnai Association