Intern report: Flower Joint Concert 2013

On the 14th of January 2013 this year’s part of the Flower Joint Concert, which was organized by Groundwork Fukuoka for the 15th time, took place. Performing on the impressive stage of the Fuku Fuku Hall in the Fukuoka City Citizen Welfare Plaza Hall in front of a large audience, the various handicapped and non-handicapped artists could feel like world famous superstars. In fact, their performances were in no way inferior to those of the professionals. From 1:30 p.m. onwards they perfectly entertained everyone for more than two hours.

After the concert’s moderators  had warmed the audience up, the show started with the “Deaf body percussion Club” from Kurume. By making the audience participate in their “even without an instrument, even if I can’t read the notes, even if I can’t sing a song, everyone can enjoy the sound” music, the kids quickly broke the ice. In the end of their performance the whole hall was playing a circular canon by just using the body as an instrument. Not only the sound, but also the feeling of unity was overwhelming.

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Afterwards it was time for some calmer tunes. The blind teacher and musician Kōno Shōhei was responsible for many open mouths when he flawlessly played heart-warming pieces of music on the piano. When his wife and daughter, who seem to support the musician with all their strength, joined in to sing Groundwork Fukuoka’s theme song “Kimi wa subarashii” (engl. “You are wonderful”) nearly everyone failed to keep emotions in check.

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The atmosphere was underlined by the decoration of the venue: After the winter sunflowers that were planted in October last year unfortunately had been frostbitten, Groundwork Fukuoka’s staff decided to use dozens of origami sunflowers instead. Furthermore a slide-show with pictures of healthy sunflowers and staff members presenting the concert posters was shown in the background. Since the sunflower is the official symbol of Groundwork Fukuoka’s “You are wonderful”-campaign, everything was fitting perfectly! Additionally, in order to emphasize the songs message Groundwork Fukuoka’s founder Otani-san was giving a short speech on the NPO’s work and achievements.

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He was followed by a group of students who were “singing” a song without even using their mouths. Instead the lyrics were presented in sign language. The young women gave their very best to cope with this way of communication and stay in the beat of the music at the same time. I am convinced that many people in the audience hadn’t seen anything similar before.

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Afterwards Pure Heart, a band of children suffering from Down’s Syndrome, rocked the hall. Although they are still so young, those local heroes know how to entertain the masses with their own interpretations of famous pieces of music. The highlight definitely was the song “Rising Sun”, which originally is performed by the chart stormers of EXILE. The crowed was going wild!

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Last but not least the dancer and entertainer Okuda Seiya entered the stage in his crazy superhero outfit. Seiya-san invited the other artist as well as the audience to dance with him. So in the end he turned the concert into a real party. A whole hall of people was celebrating the splendor of life and even the modest Yamaguchi Chie, the mentally disabled girl, who painted the concert’s artwork, showed herself on stage to rightfully receive her applause.

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The joyful clapping of the audience, the respect towards the artists and their amazing abilities and most importantly the proud faces of the ones suffering from handicaps – the Flower Joint Concert 2013 definitely was a successful step towards an integrative society were everyone can live a life in happiness.

Written by Andreas

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Flower Joint Concert Part 15

Visit this year’s part of Groundwork Fukuoka’s annual Flower Joint Concert to enjoy wonderful music while helping to create a 22nd century society where everyone can live happily.

YOU ARE WONDERFUL

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Since 1997 the “Flower Joint Concert” offers music as well as dance performances, painting, poetry and lots of other art activities, which are presented by handicapped children and adults, who overcome their disabilities on stage in order to impress the mixed audience (handicapped and non-handicapped) and give everyone a joyful time.

The concert’s focus doesn’t lie on the handicaps. Instead the music is used as a medium to reveal all those wonderful individual personalities and to underline the splendor of life and existence. No matter if handicapped or not, every human being is a precious enrichment. Asking for mutual respect and support, the “Flower Joint Concert” is a step towards the barrier-free society Groundwork Fukuoka aims at.

FLOWERS AND SINGING

Since Groundwork Fukuoka provides environmental as well as social welfare activities, the concert tries to combine both fields by connecting flowers with singing. So with respect to our nature, the venue will be decorated with winter sunflowers that were planted in volunteer work on Umi’s fallow land in October 2012. As Groundwork chose sunflowers as the symbol for their “You are wonderful” campaign, it is also a pleading for more respect and tolerance among people.

Flowers, environment, sustainable town planning, music, understanding of people with disabilities – everyone who is at least interested in one of these topics should come to the “Flower Joint Concert”. Spend a good time and understand the concert’s message. This is the first step towards the realization of a society where everyone can live a life in happiness.

PERFORMER’S PROFILE

1.)   Deaf body percussion Club

Body percussion is “even without an instrument, even if I can’t read the notes, even if I can’t sing a song, everyone can enjoy the sound” music. The body is used as an instrument. So everybody can join in and enjoy together.

Music education, the healthy development of children as well as international exchanges – the group from Kurume is not only providing their activities for the local hearing impaired but is also offering support for a wide variety of children and citizens all across the country.

2.)   Kōno Shōhei (piano)

In 1979 the artist – a former student of the Chikushigaoka Prefectural High School – suffered blindness as the result of an accident during a scientific experiment.

Nevertheless he was able to successfully pass the entrance exam for Kyūshū University’s Faculty of Law using Braille in 1985. 1993 the artist passed the teacher recruitment examination of Fukuoka Prefecture. Currently he is working as a teacher at a special-needs school. Moreover the musician visits local schools and community centers where he spreads interest for his way of playing the piano and tries to give enlightenment about the visually impaired in order to reduce prejudices.

3.)   Okuda Seiya (dancer)

As a teenager he already has been an actor and successful musician, but mainly assisted other talents. Numerous commercial performances finally turned him into a famous talent as well. In recent years the artist appeared in advertisements for “National JOBA” and the “Ad Council Japan” showing his choreographies. Furthermore he supported the “Last Life” welfare campaign of singer Kobayashi Yuka in 2010. Twice a month the dancer offers barrier-free workshops for people with disabilities and their families in Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture.

4.)   Pure Heart (band)

When they gave their debut in November 2004 the band only had one song. By now the number of titles increased to 20. Beyond that they perform about 50 times every year – on local and city events, school festivals as well as company events. Because many people have difficulties to understand intellectual disability, Pure Heart made it their business to make the audience gain interest and knowledge. They want to convince people that regardless of their handicap they are able to make wonderful music everyone can enjoy.

5.)   Yamaguchi Chie (paintress)

Yamaguchi Chie was born in 1989. Ten months after her birth, she had to undertake surgery because of a heart disease, but multiple organ failure complicated her uremia. Due to acute encephalopathy, her whole body was paralyzed. Due to rehabilitation, the paralysis only lasted until she was three years old and so she slowly became able to walk for the first time in her life. When she was about five years old, as a hobby and a form of rehabilitation, she started learning how to paint under the tutelage of her teacher, Fuji Junko. At the age of sixteen, by recommendation of her teacher, a picture of hers was accepted at the Pacific Western Japanese Exhibition (Taiheiyou Nishinihon Ten). When she was seventeen, she was chosen to be the winner of said exhibition. From 2008 onwards she was exhibited at the Pacific Exhibition in Tokyo.

WHEN AND WHERE?

2013 / January / 14th

Opening:13:00

Start:13:30

End:15:30

Arato 3 Chome 3-39, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City

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* 7 minutes walk from Tojinmachi subway station
* 5 minutes walk from Kuromon bus station
* 1 minute walk from Fukudaiwakaba Kokomae bus station

TICKET SALE AND COST

500 YEN

To the Groundwork Fukuoka Office:

–       Name

–       Number of requested tickets

–       Contact phone number

You will receive your ticket after payment at the venue.

Beyond that, tickets will also be sold directly at the Groundwork Fukuoka’s office. Please feel free to contact us in case of further questions.

 
CONTACT

Non Profit Organization Groundwork Fukuoka

4F, Nichidai Bldg., 2-16-8 Minoshima, Hakata-ku, FUKUOKA, 812-0017 JAPAN

TEL: +81 –(92)-414-1234                              FAX: +81 –(92)-414-1155

E-mail: gw-fuku@d3.dion.ne.jp         WEB: http://www.h3.dion.ne.jp/~gw-fuku/

[Intern report] Planting Winter Sunflowers

8th October 2012, we went to Umimachi (宇美町) to plant Sunflowers for the winter. Or to be more precise we put the Sunflower seeds into the soil and they are going to bloom in winter. There will be a “flower joint concert” in January and it is planed that the hall where it takes place will be decorated with these sunflowers.

24 persons participated in this event. There were younger and older persons and also someone from Korea helped out. We started around 10 o’clock.

To plant the Sunflowers was very exhausting. I think the main reason for this was the weather. It was very hot and the whole field was in the sun. During the break and after we finished planting the seeds, we got cake from the Korean family and Onigiri from the estate’s owner’s family. Both were very delicious.

Afterwards everyone seemed to be very tired, but you got the feeling that they were happy that they participated.

I also was very exhausted and tired, but I was very happy too. I think, although it was a much harder work as I thought, it was a lot of fun. And I’m very glad I could have participated and was able to work side by side with the other participants. It was a very nice feeling and I would definitely help again.

Written by: Sarah

Flower Joint Concert 2010

On the 22th of August, 2010, the members of Groundwork Fukuoka, as well as a group of interested people, came together in the University to celebrate the 13th Part of Groundwork’s famous Flower Joint Concert, a concert done for and by disabled people and children.This years opening act was “Kenkousou”, a band made up of disabled children and people, who quickly broke the ice between the performers on stage and the audience with their cheerful, happy version of “country roads”. Later on, they were joined by a groupe of rattle-players, who added a traditional japanese style to the band’s music.

Also very impressive was the performance of the “ALS Support Project”, whose emotional songs caught their listeners from the very first moment.

Fujimoto Shinobu astonished her listeners with a collection of classical piano songs, before she later on joined the Chikushi Country Herbs on the piano, who then gave their upbeat, positive closing performance. The last song was, of course, Groundwork Fukuoka’s Theme Song “You are wonderful!”

All in all, it was a joyful day that brought disabled and non-disabled people together, and a very good concert in it’s own right.
Stay tuned and look forward for next year’s Flower Joint Concert Part 14!

Written by Renee and Carl

次の記事について: Yamaguchi Chie

元の記事からの引用

Yamaguchi Chie

Here comes a short report about Yamaguchi Chie, the artist who designed the poster for the Flower Joint Concert. Enjoy the story how she overcame her disability and became a respected artist, as it was written by her mother.
“Yamaguchi Chie
Yamaguchi Chie was born in 1989. Ten months after her birth, she had to undertake surgery because of a heart disease, but multiple organ failure complicated her uremia. Due to acute encephalopathy, her whole body was paralyzed. Due to rehabilitation, the paralysis only lasted until she was three years old and so she slowly became able to walk for the first time in her life. When she was about five years old, as a hobby and a form of rehabilitation, she started learning how to paint under the tutelage of her teacher, Fuji Junko. At the age of sixteen, by recommendation of her teacher, a picture of hers was accepted at the Pacific Western Japanese Exhebition (Taiheiyou Nishinihon Ten). When she was seventeen, she was chosen to be the winner of said exhibiton. From 2008 onwards, for three years in a row, she was exhibited at the Pacific Exhebition in Tokyo. Her work for this years exhibition, which is the 106th Pacific Exhebition (At the Fukuoka Art Gallery: 9/7~11), again, will be exhibited.”

Written by Carl