• Yuriko Yagisawa

Children from Japan #1 Tokyo White Hand Chorus

This is the first of a series that introduces children from Japan who will perform at the World Children’s Music Festival. This performance will feature the Tokyo White Hand Chorus from El Sistema Japan.


In 2017, a group of children with partial or total hearing impairment formed the Tokyo White Hand Chorus, performing song lyrics using the hand movements of Japanese sign language. The following year saw the addition of a voice chorus which comprises of children with partial or total visual impairment. This collaboration between the sign-language and voice groups allows for the performance of songs through hand movements and voice.

Since then, other children with and without disabilities, have joined the Tokyo White Hand Chorus, which allows children from different backgrounds to not only enjoy themselves but also have an output for them to constantly improve their musical skills.



At the World Children’s Music Festival which will take place in Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre , the Tokyo White Hand Chorus will perform over two days.


On April 3, they will perform Ame Tsuchi no Uta, or Song of Nature, on the Chorus Stage, together with Soma Children’s Chorus.


This song was composed to cultivate love and care for nature, such as the sky, water and wind, through music. The children’s clear voices in harmony and the hand-sign performances with youthful sensitivity bring out the charm of this song.


The hand movements of the children, along with the facial and body movements, will offer a unique experience to the atmosphere.


On April 4, the Chorus will perform Beethoven’s glorious 9th Symphony, “Ode to Joy”, in voice and sign-language.


Composed by Beethoven after he became permanently inflicted with hearing loss, the 9th Symphony is considered to be one of the finest compositions in music.


Ode to Joy represents a unique challenge for the children. At each rehearsal, they learn and practice the piece through the method of trial and error. We believe that this daunting process of learning will further develop the children’s abilities to cope with various challenges in the future.



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