On the 11th March 2011 a magnitude 9.0 earthquake rocked the Tohoku region in Japan and unleashed a cataclysmic tsunami which devoured whole towns and devastated families. The tsunami also damaged nuclear power plants in the area which left large areas of land contaminated and uninhabitable.
It was probably difficult to find anyone in Japan who was not deeply affected by the crisis then and four years later, many still commemorate the day. One of those is anisong group angela.
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KATSU from angela quietly tweeted a little reminder to fans about their yet to be titled song “Untitled”.
“Untitled” was a song that KATSU had written immediately in the aftermath of the Great East Japan earthquake and angela first performed the song at their live tour “mirror☆ge” in July of 2011. A clear file with the lyrics of the song and music notations printed on it was sold at the concert venues and all proceeds were donated to the relief fund for the disaster.
The song was then made available on YouTube one year after the disaster but remained unreleased on any physical format till 2014 when it was released in a limited release 5 disc Blu-ray box-set “angela TREASURE Blu-Ray Box”. To date, this song remains unreleased in any other format except on Blu-ray in this set and the YouTube streaming video.
The simple MV is accompanied by a heart felt message from the group who say that this is a day that they can never forget. Even before they became professional artistes, the duo already felt that music can help and save people. They feel that music can give people courage, can inspire and can bring laughter. The song remains untitled because they wanted to convey the meaning that “there is no title”. Their idea then was that they would only name the song when the Tohoku region returns to what it was before. But four years later, while lives for many in the Tohoku region have regained a level of normalcy, the region has not yet been able to return to what it was. Hence, “Untitled” still remains untitled and KATSU did not attempt to name the song but only tweeted a reminder and a silent prayer.
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For those who are new to angela’s music and are unfamiliar with their lesser known songs, have a listen to one of their rare non-anime related songs. It is no less powerful and no less moving than their best anime OP and EP songs.
Another Japanese band Radwimps also continues to commemorate the date of the disaster with the release of another song on the anniversary of the 3.11 earthquake.
This is the fourth song that the alternative rock band has released on the anniversary of the quake. This year’s song is titled “aitowa” and is also accompanied by a heartfelt message from Yojiro Noda, the vocalist and songwriter in the band.
Noda writes about how some do not want to remember that day any more and others do not want to forget the important person that they have lost. Some still wait for that important person to return and others move on towards a new life, while others hover somewhere in-between. He knows that while some of these positions are on opposite ends, he feels that there is no wrong way to face it and each person must decide for himself. For Noda, he chooses to continue remembering and facing the events of that day.
Noda continues to write saying that even now more than 50,000 people still live in temporary shelters and some 220,000 were displaced by the disaster. He hopes that they will be able to return to a normal live quickly. And for those who still suffer and who have lost their lives, he offers a prayer.
If you’ve not seen the previous songs that Radwimps have released, you can view them below. They are all powerfully moving songs.
2012 ~ Hakujitsu
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2013 ~ Buriki
2014 ~ Kaiko
While many readers of AFAChan were not directly affected by the 3.11 earthquake, most of us love Japanese pop culture which is why some of us write for the site and others come to read the articles. It is likely that a lot of us viewed that day’s events with horror on television or via the internet, so while we have passed the anniversary of the 3.11 earthquake at the time this article is published, let us perhaps spare a moment in solidarity with those who still suffer.