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Shinnyo-en Foundation Supports Program to Bridge US-Japan Relations!

Shinnyo-en Foundation Supports “21st Century New Tales of the Heike”

2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Kanrin Maru to San Francisco, the first official Japanese ship to land on American soil. The Kanrin Maru’s arrival marks the beginning of official relations between the United States and Japan, seven years after Commodore Matthew Perry sailed to Japan to end two centuries of Japan’s self-imposed isolation.

The Kanrin Maru, with 96 Japanese sailors, arrived in San Francisco on March 17, 1860, followed by the USS Powhatan nearly two weeks later.

To commemorate the anniversary, both the local San Francisco community, including many Japanese American organizations, and the Japanese community headed up by the Consulate General of Japan have come together to plan various Japanese cultural and educational programs and activities throughout theyear.

Professor Teruo Shiina, Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley and Ms. Soei Mouri, Grand Tea Master of Omote Senke (one of the two most distinguished schools of Tea Ceremony), who are members of the Kanrin-maru 150th Anniversary Committee visited Shinnyo-en Foundation to express their gratitude for the support of a special cultural event – “21st Century New Tales of the Heike”  in San Francisco.

The Tales of Heike depicts the prosperity and decline of the Heike clan in late 12th Century.

In “21st Century New Tales of the Heike,” new light is shed on this prominent masterpiece in Japanese medieval epic with original text by Eiji Yoshikawa narrated by Mari Komaki – Narration well-known professional singer of Japanese traditional folk songs, with regular television appearances, as well as stage appearances in musicals with more than 100 recordings. Komaki will be accompanied with music by Tomona Miyazaki who pursued post-graduate study at Moscow Conservatory. She is celebrated internationally, having presented a number of concerts in Japan and other countries. She has produced two CD albums, “Lux ex Tenebris” and “Via ad Secretum.”