Support for Beirut from Japan – Traditional Noh for a good purpose
On October 4th, a grand charity event “Support for Beirut from Japan” was held at the Cerulean Hotel in Tokyo. Over US$100,000 were raised at this event for the victims and people of Beirut which was hit by a large-scale explosion at the port of Beirut in August. Tickets and charity auction sales were donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society and UNESCO.
The purpose of this fundraising event, organized by the Beirut Support Group, was to support the reconstruction of Lebanon, which was hit by one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history. The blast was caused by a chemical reaction that killed more than 200 people, injured thousands and lost homes for hundreds.
Famed Nohhiko Umewaka and Shonosuke Okura performed a Noh theme called “Ishibashi”. This “Stone Bridge” symbolizes a prayer for the bond that Lebanon and Japan share, and which should be deepened and nurtured through traditional arts and culture. The Noh performance was attended by HIH Princess Takamado.
After the performance, guests were led to a large banquet hall where the Lebanese Ambassador to Japan Nidal Yahya briefly introduced Lebanon’s rich history and Lebanon’s long relationship with Japan. Guests were served traditional Lebanese dishes and a grand auction was held.
The event was organized and hosted by Madeleine Umewaka and the Embassy of Lebanon in Japan. Madeleine, who fled from Lebanon during the 1976 Civil War, married Mr. Nohhiko Umewaka, a Noh performer of the Umewaka family which has a 600-year long history in the arts of Noh.
Madeleine: “I am so grateful to everyone who came to the “Support for Beirut” Charity event. I felt honored to be able to act as a bridge where we leveraged support from Japan to Lebanon. Thanks to everyone’s incredible generosity, we raised 100,000 USD for the victims of the blast in Beirut.”
Congratulations to all organizers and contributors for their hard work and skills to make it happen under these challenging circumstances.