Japan House London is hosting a concert by the Tsubasa Children’s Choir, taking the audience on the journey of Anno Mitsumasa’s life work with a special performance of Shōwa period songs directed and accompanied on piano by its founder, classical musician Jason Kouchak.
One of Japan’s most beloved and prolific illustrators, Anno Mitsumasa was born in 1926, the first year of the Shōwa era which would come to encompass most of Japan’s social and economic changes. From the struggles of early modernity to post-war economic growth, and the outward-looking approach to the rest of the world with its sense of purpose and achievement, these six decades are carved in the collective memory, often eliciting a sense of longing for a lost past.
Let yourself feel the spirit to the Shōwa era while experiencing Anno’s book illustrations and listening to the choir’s vision of hope and harmony expressed through Japanese songs of childhood nostalgia. Together with these iconic Shōwa songs, they will also be performing their interpretation of the well-known piece Sakura Sakura.
The Tsubasa Children’s Choir was created by Jason Kouchak in 2011 as a direct response to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of the same year. The choir has performed twice at London Matsuri festivals and at Kew Botanical Gardens in 2012. During the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 two members were honoured to sing a song of hope (‘Tsubasa wo kudasai’) for Empress Akihito and Empress Michiko.