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【CenterNews】 One Hundred Fifty “Find My Parasport” Supporters Invited to Special Concert and Tour

On May 20, The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center invited 150 supporters of the Find My Parasport website to The Nippon Zaidan Building in Tokyo. The invitation was to attend a special concert by Koshi Kishita and also tour the center. The event was held specifically for people who supported the crowdfunding of the Find My Parasport website that opened in April. The website offers parasports diagnosis according to a person’s disability type and helps people find teams according to parasport and geographic area.

At the start of the event, Paralympic Support Center Director Katsuhiro Motoyama expressed words of appreciation for support of the Find My Parasport website

Blind singer-songwriter Koshi Kishita made an appearance following ParaFes2016
and the national anthem he sang at Para-Ekiden in Tokyo 2017

The first half of the event was a “blind concert” in which the lights of the venue were dimmed and the audience was given eye masks to wear. They listened to Koshi Kishita and immersed themselves in Mr. Kishita’s world. Comments heard from participants included, “My senses felt different after I put the eye mask on. It was as if the music came directly into my body,” and “I was able to focus on the music. The time felt very gratifying.” The audience enjoyed listening to “Amazing Grace,” which Mr. Kishita sang without a microphone while playing the piano. It was followed by pieces he had written including “Music,” “Tohri-ame (Passing Showers),” “Sekai no Ha-te he (To the Ends of the World),” “Love Is Everywhere,” and “Just A Closer Walk with Thee,” which the audience enjoyed listening to with their whole body.

The lights on the entire floor were dimmed during the first half of the concert

Midway through the concert, a talk show was held with blind marathon runner Yohei Yagi as guest. It included a demonstration of the Find My Parasport website. Comic duo Ochanomizu Danshi (Yoshimoto Kogyo talent agency), who served as emcees, asked Mr. Yagi, “Are there any other sports you’d like to try?” He responded, “I’m interested in blind soccer,” and the result of the parasport diagnosis was “five-a-side football (blind soccer).” Meanwhile, the parasport diagnosis results for Mr. Kishita, who gives off an impression of being somewhat frail, were strenuous sports such as cycling, swimming and the triathlon, and the venue was filled with laughter. Moriya Saito of Les Freres also appeared as guest artist. He played piano four hands (two people playing on the same piano) with Mr. Kishita and added to the audience’s excitement.

A talk show with blind marathon runner Yohei Yagi took place midway through the concert. The emcees were the comic duo Ochanomizu Danshi, who had participated in Para-Ekiden 2017 as Ekiden runners for the Yoshimoto Kogyo talent agency team.

Moriya Saito of Les Freres (on right) appeared as guest artist and performed a session with Mr. Kishita

The second half was a tour of the Paralympic Support Center, which is shared with the offices of 28 para-sport organizations. It was the first such tour for the general public. Participants split up into groups of about 30 people each for a look around the center. Guided by a tour navigator, they had an opportunity to see and touch various para-sport gear. They expressed their expectations for Find My Parasport, which included, “We’d like you to introduce para-sports even more to people who are not familiar with them” and “Since you started this, we’d like to see you continue your activities for a long time. Please don’t stop your activities when the 2020 Paralympics are over.”

Commemorative photo with (from front row left) Omoshiro Sato (Ochanomizu Danshi), Moriya Saito (Les Freres), Koshi Kishita, and Shiihashi Justaway (Ochanomizu Danshi)

Many wheelchair racers and other para-sport gear lined the Paralympic Support Center

The tour provided a rare opportunity to touch various para-sport gear

Some took souvenir photos while holding a para-sport gear that they had found particularly interesting

text&photos by Parasapo
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