May 2008


It's now over two weeks since the Sichuan Earthquake.Together with the cyclone in Myanmar,one wonders why there must be so much suffering and pain and sadness in this world.
It's quite difficult to watch the news without becoming emotional. It is not those who have died but to see those who have been left behind which really breaks my heart.
I pray that all those who have died in these two events rest in God's peace,but even more that those who have lost their loved ones will have God's special blessing at this difficult time.


Hyde%20park%20corner_resize.jpgIt's interesting how one notices the change in mood when you visit a place after a certain amount of time. I think you are more aware of it when you don't actually live there but are familiar with the place. It was 8 months since I last visited London and I definitely sensed a change in the feel of the city.

When I first arrived in London 20 years ago,it was just emerging from it's recession. I remember that so many shops were closed and that my impression was that everyone seemed to be wearing black! There was definitely a "heavy" feeling to the city.It was a big contrast coming from Japan which was starting to enjoy it's "bubbled" economy. As a musician though I thought this was as near as I would get to heaven.I loved how people put so little importance on money (and food!) and really seemed to know what mattered in life. The culture seemed so rich and so integrated into everyday life and people seemed to be so much more thoughtful than in Japan.

In the next ten years,I saw a definite but gradual change in London,but I have to say the next ten years after that have just been mind boggling. First of all,the food! All these amazing restaurants emerging - and the variety is unbelievable.I still have a hard time convincing my friends here in Japan that the food in England is actually really good now! The bad reputation had stuck for so long that everyone can't believe that all that could change in just a decade! I am so impressed to see people eating sushi walking down the street. Japanese cuisine was unheard of in London 20 years ago - now you can get it in Tescos!!!
The other big difference which I sensed was the colourfulness of the city. So many people wearing bright colours! Black is now a minority!

Cab_resize.jpg But sadly I have to say that I have seen the down side of all this prosperity as well. People seem to be putting so much importance on money and material things that I think it has taken away a great deal of their time which used to be poured into cultural things and matters of the heart. I used to always see people giving up their seat on buses and trains for people who were in need of it - I haven't seen this happen in London in the past 5 years!!!

Going back this time though,I really sensed a change of mood.The whole city seemed a bit quieter and there was less of a buzz to it - less people around and about and everyone seemed much calmer. There used to be this sort of over confident feel to the city but I guess this is calming down. I hope the economy won't be as hardly hit as it was in Japan,but I hope that at this time,London will be able to rediscover it's greatness that it already had and combine it with what it has gained.

Trio Concert at Leighton House


  Leighton House
Leighton%20House_resize.jpgI've just come back from London. It was a 10 day trip with a great deal of hard work,but the trio concert at Leighton House went well so I am feeling happy and relieved.

I arrived in London on the 22nd,welcomed by the cherry blossoms in full bloom. From that day on till the 28th,the day of the concert,it was solid practising and rehearsing. I was in good condition though,so the hard work was not a chore but a very fulfilling time. It's wonderful to be able to work with musicians that you trust and are musically inspired by.

Leighton House is such a beautiful place and I had already been imagining and so looking forward to playing the Ravel there. I could just imagine the colours of Ravel and the colours of the interior of the house blending perfectly.

after%20concert_resize.jpgMany friends had come from quite far away and I am truly grateful for those who made an effort to come to the concert. It was so nice to see so many familiar faces and to feel their support.

I am so grateful that we were able to do this concert with so many people helping to make it happen and supporting us.It was such a wonderful and fulfilling trip!