As we gear up for our trip to Japan, a lot of our Japanese friends and family have been contacting us. Today, I received an email from Yasuko in Hiroshima, and she talked about our upcoming participation in the annual Hiroshima Flower Festival, one of the biggest festivals in all of Japan:
“There are opposite opinions about having Flower Festival. One of my friends living in Chiba says all the festivals should not be held to express sympathy to the victims. But other says we should have festivals to activate Japanese economy or to cheer up for them and ourselves.”
Dad, Alex and I have had conversations about this, but we always come to the same conclusion: people need to heal and need to smile. Music has a unique ability to translate across languages and transport your soul to a happier place. We are honored and determined to give people that.
I understand Yasuko’s friend’s opinion; in a way, cancelling festivals is a good way to peacefully honor those lost or those suffering. However, I believe that by having the festivals, you are celebrating life and healing the soul. Holding on to the pain and the suffering for too long is not a good thing, and hopefully for a couple of days, people will come together to be happy, to enjoy the sun, to eat good food and listen to good music.
We really look forward to seeing smiles on people’s faces after a month of sadness.