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Soothing strains from Japan at Purana Qila

Posted on Dec 03, 12:24PM | IANS

It was an evening of soul-stirring music and poetry from the Land of the Rising Sun as two eminent Japanese artists performed at the historic Purana Qila here.

Piano therapist Idaki Shin and poet Keiko Koma from Japan performed "Legends of Kokuryo Rediscovered" on a stage built with the the 5,000-year-old Qila in the background. The concert Sunday evening began with a piano recital by Shin.

The audience, braving the severe winter cold, listened as Koma recited poetry and Shin accompanied on his musical instruments.

The duo transported the audience to the time of the Koguryo (also Goguryeo or Kokuryo), an ancient Korean kingdom (one of the 'Three Kingdoms' of Korea) and empire located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, and parts of the Russian Far East.

Koma is a scion of the dynasty which founded the kingdom.

Koma recited poems concerning the foundation myth of the kingdom (by King Tomei in 37 BC) and its monarchs and emperors.

The Koguryo kingdom ended in 668 AD, when it was defeated by an alliance between the rival Korean kingdom of Silla and the mighty Tang Empire of China.

The concert was organised by the Japan Foundation and two NGOs.

Before performing in India, Koma and Shin have performed in 109 different destinations around the world, including Azerbaijan, Iran, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Georgia and conflict-ridden areas of Russia, besides Japan.

Earlier, welcoming Shin and Koma to Delhi, former union minister, Brig (Retd) K.P. Singh Deo said East Asia and India had always shared a very close relationship.

"India's leaders have always vouched for a 'Look East' policy, whether it be Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the past or Dr. Manmohan Singh in the present," Deo said.