Child of hibakusha plays violin that survived A-bomb in Hiroshima church

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tomoko Kurita plays a violin that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Sunday in the city.

HIROSHIMA — 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 J. S. Bach in Hiroshima Nagarekawa Church in Hiroshima as about 80 followers 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 of the cathedral were destroyed by the bomb, and a large number of the church’s followers 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. There should never be nuclear weapons or wars. I played the music with a prayer for peace,” she said.