Posted March 8, 2012

Song offers message of hope on Japan tsunami anniversary

As the world marks the one-year anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of northeastern Japan and sparked a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a group of Temple alumni, faculty, staff and students is offering up a message of hope through the universal language of music.

Led by Temple Associate Professor Jack Klotz, the group has recorded “Fukkatsu no Uta” or “The Song of Rising,” a spirited song expressing support for those who have suffered from the disaster. Klotz, a musician and director of the recording industry concentration in the School of Communications and Theater’s Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media Department, wrote the piece to tell the people of Japan “we’re with you and thinking about you,” he said.

“I felt the need to do something,” said Klotz. “Like everybody else, we went to the fundraisers and the bake sales and bought t-shirts and wrist bands. It just didn’t feel like enough.”

With only a few brief Japanese lessons under his belt, Klotz teamed up with Satoru Sasaki, a singer/songwriter in Japan, working to build the song around a basic musical idea. Sung by Temple students, staff and faculty, along with professional singers in Philadelphia and Tokyo, the song's chrous offers inspiration as the nation continues its recovery:

Friends. Brothers. Hope. Future.

Friends. Brothers. Stand strong. Don’t be defeated.

Friends. Brothers. Hope. Future.

Friends. Brothers. Strength. Rising.

The song is being used as a way to support the Temple University Japan Relief Fund, which was founded to help Japanese Temple students, staff and faculty affected by the disaster, as well as Japanese students from disaster areas who wish to continue their education at one of Temple’s campuses. An animated video of "The Song of Rising" has been posted at Vimeo. It also can be downloaded at Temple's MyOwlSpace website in return for a donation to the fund.