Memory of Fukushima

The 8th symphony of Dvorak has been one of my favorite pieces for a long time since I played it at the university orchestra over 40 years ago. I wanted to play it again somewhere before quitting playing cello. I knew the orchestra of Fukushima University would perform it in this month and had been looking for some extra cellists. Even though they had seemingly intended to gather cellists of university students, on my application, I got a quick response from a student member of the orchestra to be willing to accept me for an extra member.

I have already posted about this music and how I was involved with the Fukushima university orchestra in this post.

While preparing for the rehearsal there, I noticed it would take me over 3 hours to drive door to door to the university. It would seem to be too adventurous for me to drive that long way back home on the high way after hectic practice for hours. In addition, the other program, Czech Suit by the same composer, turned out to be a tough one for cellists. Sadly enough, I had to cancel joining the orchestra. I was sorry for that to the students who prepared things for me.

Dvorak's music generally won't hit me in my mind. But this symphony is exceptional for me as stated in the previous post quoted above. It is full of nostalgic tunes in pretty simple structure. It also brings me back to the days when I played at the med school orchestra.  

While there were other orchestras with this symphony in their programs, why have I chosen the Fukushima University among them? I should return to the days when I decided to change my major from mechanical engineering to medicine. I was studying at a college in Tokyo those days. While having progressed to specialized subjects of mechanical engineering, I felt I would study not mechanical engineering but the other subjects doing directly with human being. A teacher or a medical doctor was in my mind. I was reading those of Jaspers, Frankle or Kamiya, mainly regarding psychiatry. I have known of a girl with a family member of schizophrenia, who was a school teacher and eagerly told me to major in medicine. She also told me that school teachers had been too busy with paper works to do with children directly. It was a reason why i have chosen medicine for my future profession. It was also a challenge for every applicant to university to get through the entrance exam for faculty of medicine those days. That might kick me to turn to medicine also. Finally, I decided to though my parents were not wealthy enough to let me go to another school, they haven't complained of my changing mind at all.

I should had started preparing for the entrance exam for medical school then. It was, however, the political days, probably, the last time for students to have protested against the authority. It has started from a faculty of medicine of Tokyo University. Our college was involved in that policital movements also. Our college had been established by the authority, as the activists insisted, when they needed engineers without any political will or intention after they had experienced the most political year in 1960. The students has moved against the revision of Japan US Security Treaty those days.

In the first half of the my last year at the college, the political movement has reached its peak there. Even though I was not belonging to any sect, I was busy at a lot of political meetings. The class rooms were blocked with barricades in the building. Having felt sympathetic to the political activists, I was aiming to remove the barricades and to normalize the school. When it was settled down, the graduation research has kept me busy again. Anyway, such activities have prevented me from preparing for the entrance exam.

I have taken the entrance exam of medical university without having done any preparation for that. It was the Fukushima Med University which I had applied for. Early in March, I stepped out the station building of Kanayagawa in Fukushima to take the exam. Cold wind was blowing at a pretty pretty large concourse surrounded with a few buildings and vast farms in countryside. With much anxiety for my future as well as a bit of expectation for that, I was standing there for a while.

This is a photo of that railway station in the past taken from the internet. I am not sure if this was from the time when I was there. Not so far if it was not identical to the building I took off the train.

Of course, I failed in the exam that time. Later, I have started medical student at another university in Tokyo. Anyway, this was an unforgettable place for me. Fukushima university is located in this town near to this railway station of Kanayagawa. I wanted to stand at the same place where I had started the 1st step of my life to the career of medical doctor. It was a reason why I wanted to play at the orchestra of Fukushima University.

The other reason was that I had been concerned about the situation of Fukushima after the tragedy of the devastated nuclear power plants. It is located 30 or 40km east of this place. But I was still anxious to know how the things had been going on there. I might write about this story in another post.

I wish the orchestra of Fukushima University will perform this piece successfully at the concert. I would give applaud from here. 

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