- JAPAN IN FOCUS
Yuming and Ayaka Hirahara Perform at Save the Snow Concert in Iwate Prefecture
9:29 JST, February 12, 2023
HACHIMANTAI, Iwate — Save the Snow Concert, a two-day event to raise awareness about global warming and the preservation of snow, was held at Appi Kogen Ski Resort in Hachimantai, Iwate Prefecture.
Popular singers Yumi Matsutoya, commonly known as Yuming, and Ayaka Hirahara appeared at the event, giving spirited performances in front of about 1,500 spectators.
The concert, the first of its kind, was held on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17, and was put together by The Winter Industry Revitalization Agency, headed by former Olympic alpine skier Kentaro Minagawa. The agency has been working to bring attention to the importance of preserving snow as a resource, as global warming is expected to reduce snowfall in some regions.
“I grew up with snow,” said Minagawa, 45. “So I wanted to draw attention to environmental issues by having people enjoy the music and the snow.”
The stage production was directed by Yuming’s husband, music producer Masataka Matsutoya. He used projection mapping to depict a future world in which snow has disappeared due to global warming. The production was inspired by a picture book written by former Olympic freestyle mogul skier Aiko Uemura, 43, who is also Minagawa’s wife.
Yuming has composed many songs with the theme of snow and has been holding concerts in Naeba, Niigata Prefecture, every winter for more than 40 years. She sang her popular numbers including “Mamotte Agetai” (I want to protect you) and “Yuki Dayori” (A letter from the snow), while Hirahara sang her classic hit “Jupiter” during an encore, with both performers delighting the audience.
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