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Child of victim plays violin that survived A-bombing

Aug. 2, 2022 Updated Tue., Aug. 2, 2022 at 12:53 p.m.

Tomoko Kurita in Hiroshima, Japan, on July 31, 2022, playing a violin that survived the atomic bombing of the city.    (Japan News-Yomiuri/Japan News-Yomiuri)
Tomoko Kurita in Hiroshima, Japan, on July 31, 2022, playing a violin that survived the atomic bombing of the city.   (Japan News-Yomiuri/Japan News-Yomiuri)
Washington Post

HIROSHIMA, Japan - A professional violinist who is the child of a hibakusha atomic-bomb survivor played a violin that also survived the bombing in Hiroshima on Sunday, ahead of the A-bomb memorial day on Aug. 6.

Violinist Tomoko Kurita, 56, played “Gigue” by Johann Sebastian Bach in Hiroshima Nagarekawa Church in Hiroshima as about 80 members of the church and others listened to the music.

The church’s former cathedral was about 800 meters from ground zero. All but a part of the exterior walls were destroyed by the bomb, and a large number of the church’s members died.

The violin was a beloved possession of Sergei Palchikoff (1893-1969), a Russian who was a music teacher at Hiroshima Jogakuin girls school. Palchikoff survived the atomic bombing at his home, about 2.5 kilometers from ground zero. It is assumed that the violin was also there.

Kurita is a member of a Dutch orchestra. She was born in Hiroshima and now lives in Amsterdam.

“I heard about atomic-bomb experiences from my grandfather and others,” she said. “There should never be nuclear weapons or wars. I played the music with a prayer for peace.”

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