The sound left by the teacher December 21, 18:03
"Farewell, my friend, I'll see you again someday." The
teenage schoolgirls were supposed to sing hope for the future.
It's a song made to celebrate the beginning of graduation.
But singing didn't come true.
(News Production Department Digital Reporter Kobayashi Ikudai)
Songs that are sung
The title of the song is "Farewell song (song)".
The Himeyuri students were mobilized to care for injured soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa 75 years ago, and many female students were killed.
It is a song that is still being sung among the former students and bereaved families.
A tree-lined road of Acacia confusa that leads to the school you are accustomed to attending.
And the lyrics that spell out hope for the future that promises to "see you again" are put on a gentle melody.
It is always sung at the memorial service of the Himeyuri students held in June every year, and is also played in the exhibition room of the Himeyuri Peace Museum, which tells the tragedy of the students.
It was a song for Hanamuke
The composer is Kochinda Keii.
I was a music teacher at the Okinawa Normal School Girls' Club, where the female students of the "Student Corps" attended.
"Farewell song" was given to the students by Professor Kochinda to sing at the graduation ceremony in March 1945.
Himeyuri Peace Museum Curator
"It's like the favorite song of the students at that time, and the female students practiced hard for the graduation ceremony, saying,'We had you make a song for Hanamuke.'" It seems that it was. "
"Our song" that I couldn't sing
However, the graduation ceremony I envisioned was completely different.
Due to the Battle of Okinawa, the graduation ceremony was held not at the school but at the barracks at night with two candlelights.
In the situation where shells were falling around, I sang the military song "Umi Yukaba" without even awarding a diploma.
I couldn't help singing an important song that I had practiced with "our song".
Professor Kochinda, who was mobilized as the leader of the "Student Corps", was on June 19, 1945, four days before the end of the organized battle of the former Japanese Army, and is now near the place where the memorial monument "Himeyuri Memorial Tower" is located. I lost my life.
I was 23 years old.
"Farewell song" at my alma mater
In March, Kumiko Hashimoto, a part-time lecturer at the History Museum of the Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts, prayed for the Himeyuri Memorial Tower.
I came to look for the name of Mr. Hashimoto, who is studying music related to students who were victims of the war, and Mr. Kochinda, who was engraved on the memorial monument.
An old document found at the university.
The predecessor of the university's Faculty of Music, "Tokyo Academy of Music," had the name "Kochinda Kochinda" in the application form for admission in 1945.
Kochinda was a graduate who once studied at this university.
Mr. Hashimoto, a graduate of Tokyo University of the Arts, wanted to tell about the "farewell song" at his alma mater 75 years after the war.
"I think that making a song for a student at the graduation ceremony was a special gift with a lot of love. It became impossible to sing because of the war. About such a" farewell song "and Mr. Kochinda I hope you can get to know me. "
Some people still shed tears ...
Mr. Hashimoto was wondering how he could convey the "farewell song" and Professor Kochinda more deeply at a university in Tokyo, which is far from Okinawa.
Two days after visiting the Himeyuri Memorial Tower, I headed to a house in Okinawa Prefecture with Masami Fujikawa, a director from the same university who worked on the stage about the Battle of Okinawa.
Fumiko Taketomi (95) welcomed me with a smile,
"Please come in."
Kochinda-sensei's younger sister, 4 years younger.
He recalls that Kochinda-sensei was a kind brother who gave him the bananas he had picked up when he was young.
It is said that the last time I met him was in 1945 when my brother returned to his hometown of Miyakojima.
Mr. Taketomi was in Taiwan with his family during the war, but Mr. Kochinda refused to go with him.
The reason was that I was with my students.
It is said that he learned of his brother's death in the war when he returned to Japan after the end of the war.
said, "I won't go. I won't go because I have a school, so I won't go because I'm with my students." When I returned to Miyakojima after the war, an acquaintance said, "Your brother died in the newspaper." I was surprised and cried. My brother was alive somewhere, I'm sure he was alive, I believed. "
It was a long time after the war that I learned of the existence of "Farewell Song" and that the composer was my brother.
Since then, Taketomi is said to be singing this song every day.
At the time of farewell, Mr. Hashimoto and his colleagues decided to sing "Farewell song" with Mr. Taketomi.
Taketomi sings in a whisper while biting the melody.
Gradually wrinkled between the eyebrows and the voice faded.
A song that my brother made with his students in mind.
Many of the students also died.
Mr. Taketomi was singing with tears in his eyes.
"I remember. I'm always crying. I always water the altar in the morning. Why did you die so early ... It's been 75 years now."
The appearance of Kochinda-sensei, who thinks about his students, and the reality that there are still people who can't sing without tears when this song is played.
Mr. Hashimoto had a strong desire to keep it in people's memory.
"Juniors" tell in a recitation drama
Mr. Hashimoto and others are preparing to convey the "farewell song".
We have decided to have 6 men and women who are active as professional singers cooperate.
All of them are juniors of Professor Kochinda, who studied vocal music at Tokyo University of the Arts and graduate school.
We planned a recitation drama that conveys the war experience of the "students".
Six people will play Kochinda-sensei and female students, and will sing "Farewell Song", depicting the teacher's assignment to Okinawa, how the song was born, and until the final moment.
This is to help people understand the meaning of this song that I felt in Okinawa, along with the historical background of the time.
Mr. Fujikawa, who visited Okinawa with Mr. Hashimoto, wrote the script based on the testimony of a former student.
What are your thoughts on each note ...
At first, the man who played the role of Kochinda felt that "Farewell song" was easy to sing with a simple musical score.
However, it is said that his thoughts changed when he played a certain scene in the recitation drama.
It was a scene depicting Mr. Kochinda, who thinks of his student while on the fierce battlefield.
"The plane plummeted from behind and started strafing. I jumped into the grass and lay down. It feels like I'm not alive. At that time, there is a person who hits my shoulder from behind.
" Are you okay, are you injured? It was a dangerous place ... Listen carefully. Don't die. You'll definitely come back alive. "
" I wonder what you're suddenly told. . Many friends have died ... Then, please live the teacher too. "Mr.
" I can't play the piano anymore. "
" Please live again. Please tell me your teacher's piano. "Mr.
" It wasn't supposed to be like this. Bringing you guys to such a battlefield ... So don't die. Survive no matter what. You can do it. "
A man who played the role of Kochinda Kochinda:
"I was really thrilled. When I wondered how I was writing this note, and how regrettable I was, I really thought about how I was watching only a part of the song. I was made to
Memories in people's hearts
"Mr. Kochinda returns to his alma mater".
The day of the performance at the beginning of this month, which the juniors welcomed with such thoughts, was a sunny and calm day.
Although the event was temporarily threatened by the influence of the new coronavirus, people of a wide range of ages gathered by taking thorough measures to prevent infection, such as by spacing the audience seats.
The recitation drama that began.
This is the scene where the "farewell song" was born.
"I found some song score written on the blackboard in the music room. It's the handwriting of Professor Kochinda."
"I tried to sing while hitting the piano. The six years I spent at school were eyelids. I was crying over my eyes. "
" Yes, this is our song. "
Performers who perform with emotion and expressiveness.
Until this day, I have been preparing by repeatedly watching videos of former students talking about their experiences of war.
And at the end of the play, the singing voice of "Farewell Song" echoed powerfully along with the melody played by the piano.
The woman who played the female student said that she wanted the people at that time to feel the thoughts about the "farewell song".
A woman who played a female student
"I was able to express my emotions because of the recitation drama and songs. It is unimaginable now, and it is deeply engraved in people's hearts with our expressions so that memories will disappear and will not be forgotten. I wish I had
Mr. Hashimoto recalls that he needed to be prepared for this attempt.
Still, the coming era where generations who have not experienced war must pass on.
I renewed my desire to continue these activities.
"I don't think it will reach the depth of the feelings of those who lived at that time, but it is important for people living now to face the time with their sensibilities, perform with their bodies, and sing. I thought, and I would like to continue to listen to the reaction and continue without interruption in order to inherit the memory. "
75 years ago, Okinawa.
A music teacher who died in the middle of his career.
That thought and the testimony of living are about to be engraved in people's hearts with the singing voices of the juniors who are living now.
News Production Department Digital Reporter