"Children are fun when their mother laughs" -Walking with my child with an intractable disease-June 30, 11:53

Women who beat the drums with a big smile.

It is a member of the Japanese drum group "Himawari no Yauni" made by mothers of children with intractable diseases.



The group name has the idea of ​​"looking up like a sunflower and living powerfully with a smile."



Every day I go back and forth between the hospital and my house while raising children with intractable diseases.

Many people have lost their smiles once because they feel isolated from society.



It is said that they gathered only once a month and connected with those who have the same feelings, which encouraged them, made them aware of them, and regained their smiles.



When I heard that their concert was going to be held, I turned the camera around.



(Video Center Photographer Naoyuki Takeoka)

There is a sound that only we can make

The concert was held in the lobby of a hotel in Kyoto.



One of the members, Junko Morimoto (46), said, while about 60 people including tourists gathered.

Wadaiko Dan "Himawari no Yauni" Junko Morimoto


"14 years ago, I gave birth to a little boy weighing 495 grams. My son is blind and can't walk. He has various illnesses and disabilities. Still, the day when he held his hand for the first time, the day when he heard laughter for the first time, all were anniversaries. Even if he couldn't do what he was supposed to do, he was happy to feel that he was growing at his son's pace. We're not professionals, we're just moms, but I think there's a sound that only we can make. "

After the speech, the six mothers in black costumes started playing in response to Junko's shout.



"Yo!"



The rhythm that does not disturb even if you hit it at high speed, the sound of a drum that pushes up the drumsticks high and reverberates with your soul.

Perhaps they felt the "beating of the mothers" who lived powerfully, the audience seemed to be drawn into the appearance and the echoing sound of the drums without looking away from the moving mothers.

Audience listening to the performance


"I think I have various thoughts, but the powerful smile was impressive."



"I could feel the thoughts of the mothers behind the smiles, and I couldn't take my eyes off."

I couldn't do my first job as a mother ...

"I'm going to have breakfast from my stomach. It's warm, I'm going."



Junko, who lives in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, pours a pasty meal into the tube connected to her child's stomach while gently calling out. It starts from that.



The eldest son, Riku (15), suffers from multiple illnesses such as retinopathy of prematurity, hydrocephalus, and epileptic spasms, and is blind, speaking and walking. I can't do that either.



Ryuhisa, who was born prematurely, weighed only 495 grams and was not breathing.

He managed to survive with hard work, but his small body was connected to numerous tubes and required seven surgeries in eight months before he was discharged from the hospital.



While staring at her child in her incubator, Junko says she continued to blame her for failing to complete "her first job as her mother" raising a child in her tummy. increase.

Junko Morimoto


"If it was true, I wondered why I was born early when I had to raise my baby. I wonder if I had done something wrong. Maybe because I caught a cold at that time. The other moms were breastfeeding, but I couldn't even do that. It was pretty hard at that time. "

Daily trips between hospitals and homes Isolated from society

Even after I was discharged from the hospital, I continued to go back and forth between the hospital and my house with Mr. Ryuhisa, who needs medical care.



Junko couldn't leave Ryuhisa for 24 hours because of the frequent seizures in her house.

My husband also cooperated, but when Mr. Ryuhisa reaches the age of going to elementary school, he needs to work with the Board of Education to get a support system such as helpers in place, and more measures are taken. I did.



For Junko at this time, Ryuhisa and her family were everything in the world.

Junko Morimoto


"I didn't have much of my own axis, and I spent most of my time for my family because I was a child. I used to work, so it seems that I'm separated from society if I don't work. I felt it. "

I want to make it bloom A smile like a sunflower

"I want to eliminate people who are isolated from society through the care of children" The



Japanese drum group "Himawari no Yauni" was formed seven years ago with this in mind.

Mr. Ozumi, who started the group, is the representative of an organization that supports families with children with intractable diseases, and has seen many mothers losing their smiles while being involved in nearly 1000 families. say.

Mr. Ozumi, who founded "Himawari no Yauni" " If you


continue to go back and forth between your home and the hospital, your smile will decrease, even if it's for your beloved child. I thought it would lead to the happiness of my family. "

Isn't there something that mothers can forget about their usual anxieties and become uneasy?

I came up with a Japanese drum.

I thought that with Wadaiko, which even beginners can start and practice while caring for their children at home, mothers with similar circumstances can come together and work together toward one goal.

The sound of drums is the heartbeat of the stomach

While gathering the formed members, Mr. Ozumi called out to Mr. Junko.



Seeing her running for Ryuhisa, she wanted to release her tense feelings.



Junko said she couldn't afford it because Ryuhisa was gradually getting used to elementary school, and she was still worried about her, and she was also raised by her second boy, who was two years old. I declined to participate.



But she says she was pushed on her back by a word from a taiko leader when she went to see her practice only once.

Junko Morimoto said,


"The sound of Japanese drums has something in common with the" sound of heartbeats "when I was in my mother's stomach, and my child will surely like the sound of drums." "

Mr. Ryuhisa cannot see, but his ears can be heard firmly, and the "sound" is the world of Mr. Ryuhisa itself.



Junko decided to join the group when she was able to deliver the "beat" that she couldn't keep listening to in her stomach.

Monthly joint practice 12 hours of Cinderella

Mr. Ozumi, who founded "Himawari no Yauni," calls the members "12-hour Cinderella."

All of them are mothers raising children with intractable diseases, and they can only get together and practice once a month because it is difficult for them to make their own time.



Of the month, only 12 hours, including travel and preparation time, are called because I want them to leave their homes and hospitals, devote themselves to drums for themselves, and become the main character.



Junko, who felt she was separated from society, says she has come across Wadaiko and can now feel the connection with society.



In the past, caring for children at home and picking them up at hospitals and schools was all about life, but now that I'm on the stage of a concert, I'm "living hard even if I'm sick or have a disability." This is because I feel that many people are being told that there are children who are having children.

Mr. Ozumi thinks that "Himawari no Yauni" is a place where mothers can regain their smiles by gathering together people with the same feelings, encouraging each other, and being noticed.

Riki Ozumi


"It's important that there is a place to share. When I stand on the stage, I set my hair neatly, put on my costume, and dress up like I don't usually do. My mom shines with someone's applause. By becoming the main character, their smiles will increase, which will lead to the happiness of their families. "

Take a step for my child

In mid-March (2022), a joint practice that had been suspended since the spread of the new coronavirus was held for the first time in a long time.



Members who are happy to meet again.



A mother with an elementary school girl visited there for a tour.

"I'm Chihiro Nakamura."



When Junko and his mother heard their mother's name, they immediately gave them a nickname, "Chi-chan, debut!" And made them hold a brand new drumstick.



Chihiro-san stands in front of the drum while being confused.



Her daughter, Chinatsu-chan (10), is looking happily at the situation.

Three years ago, Chinatsu found a tumor in her brain and could hardly walk or talk.



Chihiro also stopped contacting her close friends because she didn't want to know about her daughter, who had changed her appearance due to her radiation therapy.



She quit her job as a nursery teacher and focused on caring for her daughter.

After three years of rehabilitation, Chinatsu gradually increased her ability to use chopsticks, draw pictures, and walk.



Seeing her daughter, Chihiro came to think, "My way of thinking may make it difficult for Chinatsu to go out into society."



Under these circumstances, she learned of the existence of "Sunflower no Yauni".

Chihiro Nakamura


"If I also appear in public like the members, Chinatsu will also appear in public with nature. I don't want to sneak anymore. For the future of Chinatsu, the people around me I want you to know about your illness. "

Her husband, Nobuo, is supporting his wife as she tries to take a step for her daughter.

Nobuo Nakamura


"My wife was so busy accepting her daughter's illness that she was convinced that she wouldn't do something fun. But it's more fun for her children to laugh than to cry. It's great for the whole family, so I think it's great for my wife to have a place for moms in similar circumstances to work together towards something. "

After observing the practice, Chihiro says she was relieved by the atmosphere of "Sunflower no Yauni".

Chihiro Nakamura


"I didn't touch my daughter's illness, and I felt like she was saying,'You don't have to say anything. I know.' I thought I could do it. "

Chihiro decided to join the group and promised the members that he would rush to cheer for the concert as an audience.



When I asked Natsu-chan about her feelings while watching the situation, she replied:

Chinatsu Nakamura


"The appearance of hitting the drums powerfully and quickly touched my heart. My mother's favorite thing is that she is doing her best with a smile."

And on the day of the concert.



There were Chihiro-san and Chinatsu-chan at the venue.

Chihiro-san, who heard Junko-san's speeches and first learned the thoughts behind her smile.



When the performance started, I remembered the days of rehabilitation with Chinatsu-chan, and tears overflowed.



Then, I hugged Chinatsu-chan and said, "It's amazing," and one day I wanted to stand on the same stage and live with her daughter in front of her.

Chihiro Nakamura


"I felt that it was meaningful for my mother to act as a woman. I realized that it would be good for my family to take a step forward. "

After the interview

This interview left an impression on me with a bright and gentle smile and the words "there is a sound that only we can make."



They work hard to support their children in the fight against serious illnesses and disabilities, and continue to face "life" every day.



Some of the members are mothers who preceded their children after fighting illness.



That's why I think they value "living to the fullest" and make them smile like sunflowers.



The sound of pushing the backs of people who are unable to step forward in difficult situations while thinking "I want to move forward one step".



I felt that it was a sound that only they could make.

Video Center Photographer


Naoyuki Takeoka Joined the station


in 2011 After working at the Kumamoto station and Fukuoka station,

he covered the Kumamoto earthquake and heavy rain disaster that


he currently belongs to.

He also continues to cover the welfare field.



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