Remembering Japan’s tragedy

Kaua‘i residents today will mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly tsunami and earthquake in northeastern Japan with a free mokutoh, or moment of silence, and musical performances at 11: 45 a.m. at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

A moment of silent prayer at the “Mokutoh for Japan” will be followed by performances from Hironobu ‘Hiro’ Saito from Miyazaki and guitarist Kazz (a native of Hokkaido) from Hayama at the shopping center’s main stage. The shopping center is hosting the event open to the public.

On March 11 (May 10 Hawai‘i-time), 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake was followed by a tsunami in the northeastern Tohoku region of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, with effects also felt in Tokyo, The disaster claimed 15,000 lives and more than 3,200 people are still missing a year later. Millions of homes were without electricity and 1.5 million people were without water in the ensuing days. A meltdown at the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima added more chaos, hampering recovery efforts.

 Kazz, a native of Hokkaido, has performed at a variety of events and concerts in Japan to raise funds for disaster victims. Saito was born and raised in Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture. Saito later attended college in Boston, where he now lives. Other musicians  invited to perform  include Kaua‘i percussionist Koko Kanealii, who was recently featured in the movie “The Descendants,” teen ‘ukulele virtuoso, John Medeiros from Waimea High School and singer/recording artist Daphne Sanchez.

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