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Japanese, expat Vietnamese boost Tuoi Tre’s Tokyo show

Japanese, expat Vietnamese boost Tuoi Tre’s Tokyo show

Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 20:15 GMT+7

In addition to the artist schedule, the latest edition of a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper-sponsored program taking place in Japan later this week will be an opportunity to form bonds between Japanese and expat Vietnamese friends.

The program, ‘Canh Hoa Hoa Binh,’ roughly translated as ‘Flowers of Peace,’ is scheduled to run at Tokyo International Forum at 5:00 pm on Thursday.

The show is the fourth edition of ‘Tuoi Tre Vietnam – Cau Chuyen Hoa Binh’ (Vietnamese Youth – The Story of Peace), jointly organized annually by Tuoi Tre and the Vietnam National Union of Students Central Committee.

Apart from the artists who have performed in previous editions, the latest show will also feature maiden performances by Japanese expats in Vietnam and Vietnamese youths studying and working in the East Asian country.

Among them is Pham Hai Trieu, an avid Vietnamese singer in Japan.

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Hoang Minh Hiep

He has even released two albums, ‘Diem Xua,’ in 2006, featuring haunting songs by the revered late Vietnamese composer Trinh Cong Son, and ‘From Tokyo’ in 2008.

Trieu will sing ‘Loi Me Ru’ (A Mother’s Lullaby), a popular song by Son, and the much-loved Japanese piece ‘Hana wa Saku’ (Flowers Will Bloom) in the Tokyo show.

“My performances of ‘Loi Me Ru’ have always been warmly embraced by Japanese audiences, who relate to the Vietnamese people’s familial bonds, particularly maternal affection,” he explained.

Matsushima Yoshio, a veteran Japanese artist infatuated with Son’s music, has written Japanese lyrics for the song.

Finally, he will also perform ‘Hana wa Saku,’ the theme song to a namesake project carried out by Japan's public broadcaster NHK to call for support for survivors of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011.

Trieu, who considers Japan his second home after living there for 16 years, says he felt profound empathy with the victims’ tremendous loss, motivating him to render this particular piece into Vietnamese.

The young man said that most Vietnamese in Japan have heard of the ‘Tuoi Tre Viet Nam – Cau Chuyen Hoa Binh’ show, with many trying hard to get their hands on a ticket.

“Hopefully with a choir performance of the song by popular Vietnamese singers and the influence of Japan’s powerful Mainichi newspaper, the Vietnamese version of ‘Hana wa Saku’ will melt more Vietnamese and Japanese hearts,” Trieu said.

Another special member of the upcoming Tokyo show is engineer Hoang Minh Hiep, who was an active singer at high school and would perform alongside emerging Vietnamese singer Ha Anh Tuan, a fixture in the Tuoi Tre-supported program. 

He has held onto his passion for singing since moving to Japan, performing at various events, including festivals held at the Vietnamese Consulate General in Osaka.

Hiep proudly chanted the Vietnamese national anthem in the Vietnam-Japan match as part of Kirin Challenge Cup in 2011.

Along with his performances in the Tokyo show, the young man has also forged connections between Japanese partners and the show organizers, and introduced appropriate Japanese songs for them to choose from.

He has also translated four of the main songs to be performed in the show, including the Japanese hit song ‘Genki wo Dashite’ (Keep Your Chin Up!), into Japanese and Vietnamese languages.

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Expat Vietnamese singer Pham Hai Trieu

Despite his hectic work schedule, Hiep has enthusiastically assisted the show’s organizer over the last month or so, as “it is such an honor to be part of such a large-scale, significant program.”

Japanese friends

Maiko Bikkey Mizubayashi, a young Japanese woman, will host the Tokyo show alongside a professional Vietnamese host.

“I’m quite nervous, but I believe that with my diverse experiences during my multiple-year stay in Vietnam, and my ceaseless love for Vietnamese people and Tuoi Tre as well, I will do a good job,” she said.

The Japanese woman first arrived in Vietnam under the 2008 Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program.

Shortly upon university graduation, she boldly decided to pursue a career in the Southeast Asian country as a manager at operators selling tours across Vietnam to Japanese holidaymakers.

She also appeared recently in the third edition of the ‘Tuoi Tre Vietnam – Cau Chuyen Hoa Binh’ program, which took place in Hanoi on March 20, singing an excerpt of a Vietnamese song in Japanese as a prelude to the Tokyo show.

Like Mizubayashi, Oguri Kumiko, another young Japanese woman, is also head over heels in love with Vietnam.

Born to a mother who was a singer and music lecturer at a university in Japan, Kumiko took up piano lessons with her mother as early as three years old.

She is also adept at playing the trombone and is now an active member of a marimba association in her own country.

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Japanese artist Oguri Kumiko is seen in a photo posted on her Facebook.

Kumiko said that her heart skipped a beat when she first heard and touched the T’rung (a traditional Vietnamese bamboo xylophone played by the ethnic minority people in Vietnam’s Central Highlands) during an excursion while a university freshman.

She has repeatedly returned to Vietnam since then to learn how to master the unique instrument and the Vietnamese language.

A master’s degree holder with a thesis delving into Vietnamese culture through its traditional musical instruments, Kumiko is almost inseparable from her T’rung and ‘ao dai’ (traditional Vietnamese long gown) during her performances and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

“I will perform a Vietnamese tune on my T’rung during the Tokyo show, as I want Japanese audiences to learn of the instrument and its cradle – Vietnam’s resplendent Central Highlands,” she explained.

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