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Yoko Kanno Writes Song to Mark March 11 Quake Anniversary

posted on by Justin Sevakis
Director Shunji Iwai pens lyrics; 33 celebrities from quake-hit areas to sing

The Japanese public broadcaster NHK announced on Wednesday that it is producing an original song composed by Yoko Kanno, with lyrics by film writer/director Shunji Iwai, to mark the one-year anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster. Kanno and Iwai are contributing their earnings from the song to earthquake relief efforts.

The "Hana wa Saku" (Flowers Are Blooming) song's instrumental recording is complete, and vocals are now being recorded. 33 singers, celebrities, and sports figures who hail from Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures — the prefectures hardest hit by the diasters — are contributing to the vocals. Kanno, as well as Iwai, are from Miyagi Prefecture, and their hometowns were affected by the disaster.

The one-year anniversary will occur on March 11. NHK will air a "Shinsai Kara Ichi-nen 'Ashita e' Concert" (One Year Since The Disaster: "To the Future" Concert) on March 10 on its General channel (from 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.) and its BS Premium channel (from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.). The full version of the song will debut during the live concert, which SMAP member Masahiro Nakai will host.

Kanno is best known for her original soundtrack work in such anime as Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus/Frontier, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. She has also composed for video games and live action films. She previously posted a tribute song, entitled "Kimi de Ite Buji de Ite" (embedded below), to the victims of the disaster only a few days after it occurred.

Iwai is best known for directing such films as All About Lily Chou-Chou, Hana and Alice, and PicNic, as well as acting in Hideaki Anno's 2000 live action film Shiki-Jitsu. He is now finishing his first English language feature film, Vampire.

Currently, the following singers have been announced:

Iwate Prefecture: Chikaco Sawada, Masao Sen, Sayaka Nakaya (AKB48), Kenji Niinuma, Hiroaki Murakami, Erika Yamakawa

Miyagi Prefecture: Shizuka Arakawa, Hiroshi Ikushima, ikemen's, Karen Iwata (AKB48), Kōhei Ōtomo, Eiko Kano, Caoli Cano, Ikumi Kumagai, Muneyuki Sato, Sandwichman, Mayo Suzukaze, Kyōka Suzuki, Masatoshi Nakamura, Katsuya Nomura, Miyūki Hatakeyama, Maggy Shinji, Kumiko Mori, Keaki Mori, Mimori Yusa

Fukushima Prefecture: Kumiko Akiyoshi, Tomio Umezawa, Cha Kato, Yuki Kadokura, B-saku Sato, Toshiyuki Nishida, Naoyuki Harada, Takeshi Honda

Source: Oricon News via A Gabriela Robin Site

Update: Miyagi in list corrected. Thanks, maaya.

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