Resonance: A Tsunami Violin Concert

This concert, held on Friday 16 March at Melba Hall, commemorated those who lost their lives in Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. Award-winning violinist, Kana Ohashi, performed for an audience of 300 people on a Tsunami violin, made from debris left by the Tsunami on the seashore of Rikuzen Takata, one of the most devastated areas.

The sound post of the violin is made of the nearly 280 year-old ‘kisekino ipponmatsu’ (the miraculous lone pine tree), the only survivor of 70,000 pine trees on a 2-kilometer-long coastal line. The tsunami violin may evoke images, emotions and memories of great loss, but it is a symbol of resilience and hope. All income from purchased tickets will go to the Rikuzen Takata city scholarship programme to help students who have financial difficulties to continue learning.

The concert was also a reminder of the very strong bond between Australia and Japan. Julia Gillard (Alumna of The University of Melbourne) was the first world leader to visit Japan’s Tsunami stricken areas. The Australian government was quick to send a rescue team and food and donated generously through the Australian Red Cross and Pacific Disaster Appeal. In addition, very strong links between the people of Australia and Japan were evident during this difficult time. This is a testament to the long relationship between the two countries.

As the Asia Institute celebrates the Centenary of Japanese at the University of Melbourne, our collective endeavour paves the way for a new generation of scholars to grow the Australia-Japan relationship into the 21st century, and promote peace and understanding through a commitment to the highest ideals of language education. The Centenary celebrations are jointly organised by the Asia Institute and the Faculty of Arts.

Read the Kyodo News report of the event

Violinist, Kana Ohashi