Japan chorus performing to apologize for war
An amateur Japanese chorus group is holding two concerts in Taiwan to apologize for Japan’s wartime actions and send the message of peace.
Braving Typhoon Soudelor on Saturday, the Shikinsou chorus gave its first ever performance in Taiwan at the Taipei Railway Station performance hall.
Before the concert, members of the chorus presented flowers as a sign of respect to Taiwanese soldiers who fought in the Republic of China’s Eight-Year (1937-1945) War of Resistance against Japan.
The group then performed a dozen songs that described the suffering and horrors of war.
Three Taiwanese choir groups also participated in the concert and performed war-themed songs and popular local folk songs, such as “Song of Triumph” and “Longing for the Spring Breeze” ( ). The Shikinsou chorus, which got its name from the Chinese violet cress, or the “flower of peace,” was to hold another concert in Tainan in southern Taiwan on Sunday.
“We would like to express our deepest apologies to the Taiwanese people for what the Japanese people have done in the past,” Japanese songwriter and leader of the group Takako Okado said at a press conference in Taipei on Aug. 6.
The group’s visit came as Taiwan celebrates the 70th anniversary of the end of the war against Japan this year and as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushes for a security bill that could send Japanese troops abroad to fight for the first time since World War II.
Okado said she the bill.
“We don’t want to repeat history, and we will work hard to ensure that Japan does not make the same mistake again,” she said.
The Shikinsou chorus performs
is opposed to regularly in Japan. It has also held concerts in China and the United States.
On Monday, members of the chorus are scheduled to meet with descendants of those who participated in the Tapani incident ( 1915) and Wushe incident ( 1930), both uprisings against Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945) in Taiwan.
The following day, chorus members will visit a memorial park dedicated to Mona Rudao, a tribal chief who led a group of oppressed Seediq indigenous people to revolt against Japanese rule in what is now known as the Wushe incident.