On August 12—more than two years after a series of earthquakes left 31,000 people dead or injured in Nepal—a Japan-Nepal Friendship Concert was held in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu in order to encourage the victims and promote friendship between Nepal and Japan. It was sponsored by Koshi Branch Church’s Kathmandu Fukyosho, headed by Mr. Taro Monguchi.
Kathmandu today is gradually recovering from the 2015 earthquakes; however, rural areas near their epicenters still face huge restoration efforts. Without sufficient relief and support, the reconstruction process there has drastically been delayed.
Kathmandu Fukyosho, established in 2005 in the Nepalese capital, has been engaging in salvation work and fife and drum band activities. Although many of its followers had to live in temporary shelters for an extended period of time, they joined the salvation work corps comprising Yoboku and other followers connected to Nepal Renrakusho and have been engaging in relief and support activities for those affected by the disaster. The concert was one of their relief activities.
The concert featured the Cheerful Family Band—a brass band consisting of the Boys and Girls Association members and others belonging to Koshi Branch Church—as well as Mr. Kikuo Atarashi, former conductor of Tenri High School Brass Band. A civilian brass band’s performance being quite rare in Nepal, the concert attracted a large turnout of some 550 people at the venue, Army Officer’s Club. During the concert, Mr. Masashi Ogawa, Japanese ambassador to Nepal, took the podium and expressed his appreciation for the Fukyosho’s music activities.
Also the Nepalese army band made a guest appearance at the concert and played the national anthems of Nepal and Japan together with the Cheerful Family Band.
Following the joint performance, the Cheerful Family Band was joined by local followers in playing ten songs including “Torch of Liberty,” “Oya no Mamori (Blessings of God the Parent),” and some traditional Japanese pieces.
For two days after the concert, the band visited schools and other locations in afflicted areas around Kathmandu to give performances.