[TOKYO, JAPAN, 22 March 2012]
On 10 March a performance was held at Otsuchi Preschool in Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture to celebrate the end of the school year. The Japan Committee for UNICEF (JCU) has provided ongoing assistance to Otsuchi Town since the earthquake last year, including the construction of temporary school buildings, provision of supplies and the dispatch of nursery care staff. Just over nine months have passed since Otsuchi Preschool restarted its classes at its new temporary building on 1 June 2011, and the school? children have been diligently practicing with their teachers in preparation for this big day; for it was the day of the end-of-the-year performance. On the day of the event the children performed dances and skits at a local town hall in front of an audience packed with teachers and parents
|The infant class, who was still unable to walk at the time of the September 2011 athletic festival, was now up and walking!||The four-year-old class presented an energetic song and dance.|
Last up was the oldest class performing Japanese taiko drums. The school’s drums were soaked in the tsunami, but the school was able to maintain them in playable condition. The school told JCU that the drums were set in a space to dry for nearly eight months, and were finally restored last November. It is tradition at Otsuchi Preschool for the oldest class to perform on taiko drums. Usually the class will begin practice from around June; however, this school year their drums were still wet from the tsunami. The school’s principal, Ms. Yagisawa, said that the students started practice using cardboard boxes. On the day of the event a class of seven determined students performed two powerful pieces of traditional drum music for a crowd of students, teachers and parents.
It was evident at the event that each of the students had grown tremendously over the past year. Principal Yagisawa said, “We’ve made it this far thanks to the support of so many people. I feel that the children have given something back today.”
All photo credits: © Japan Committee for UNICEF