The Takachiho town is located in the mountains of Miyazaki prefecture. If I thought hilltops of the north were beautiful, I was terribly mistaken. When the morning mist of the mountains cleared, it revealed the most colorful foliage I have ever seen. From pale yellow and orange to deep red and purple, the sight took my breath away. Towns built in the deep valleys and in the mid-mountains, rivers running through mesmerizing gorges, temples bathing in clouds on mountaintops. I could hardly recall seeing anything so beautiful. The sun began its slow descend from top of the mountains but for the moment, their tips were immersed in its golden glow. Now I knew why Victoria persuaded me to wake up at 6am. Kids’ cheerful laughter, morning’s brilliant sunshine, dog’s distant bark, mountains’ peaceful slumber, every single moment was magical.
Victoria's oldest son Reo
When I was 7 years old, my mom enrolled me in a music school. I learned how to read music, play piano, sing in choir, and recite biographies of famous composers. Music has been a part of my life and me as a whole since before I remember. I truly believe that people cannot exist without music. Any form or genre of it. My whole being trembles at the sound of delicate strings of violins which are ever-present in classical music and my heart beats in rhythm with drums and electric guitar pulse of hard rock. I can go to the “Nutcracker Ballet” and weep the moment the “Waltz of Flowers” begins its beautiful medley and I can get in a car, turn the volume of “30 Seconds to Mars” so loud I would feel it more than hear. My world is always accompanied by music.
I haven’t been to a classical concert in a long while. And so when I heard that I was getting a chance to listen to Tokyo Philharmonic, I was beyond happiness. Teachers, kids (grades 1st through 9th), parents and other guests had gathered in the gym. There were only a few chairs for the elders, the rest of the crowd sat on the floor. Some people brought blankets, some blankets were provided by school. The kids sat in front of the orchestra, Victoria and I kneeled right behind them and the parents sat in the back. The concert was everything I expected and more. Nodding my head with the rhythm of familiar music I was filled with wonderful thoughts and total happiness. But I was soon to find out how small that happiness was in comparison to real “treasure.”
The concert lasted for a few hours. The conductor was quiet entertaining and in-between each piece he introduced members of the orchestra and their instruments in a playful manner. Some older people were seeing violins for the first time in their lives. Overall mood was very fulfilling. I felt the end nearing and was sad I would have to part with the orchestra and its amazing music. Finally the principal of the school stood in front of the orchestra and thanked them for coming to Takachiho to perform and in return the school had something prepared for them. All the students stood up. Soft music started to pour from the orchestra and then the kids started to sing. I felt my heart grow beyond the boundaries of my body . Their voices reached into the deepest part of my soul and gently embraced it with their wondrous magic. This was the best part of my day. In one sweep moment I forgot the magnificent sunrise over the mountains and the beautiful music of the orchestra. The children were standing in front of me and singing. At that moment, I was the happiest person alive.