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Ukrainian violinist to hold charity concert in west Japan to support home country

Ukrainian violinist Maryan Lomaha, who holds charity concerts to support the people of his home country, is seen in the Ashiya Municipal Government building in Hyogo Prefecture on April 26, 2022. (Mainichi/Kayo Inada)

ASHIYA, Hyogo -- A Ukrainian violinist is set to hold a charity concert in this west Japan city on May 13 to support victims of the Russian invasion of his home country.

    Maryan Lomaha, 35, who plans to play Ukrainian folk music at Luna Hall in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, said he wants to deliver clothing and medicine to people who have lost just about everything, and have supporters learn about Ukraine's arts and culture.

    Maryan is from Lviv in western Ukraine. He has performed with various musicians, mainly in Europe, and has based his activities in Osaka since his arrival in Japan in 2017. Following the Russian invasion, he began to hold charity concerts in the city of Osaka to show support for his home country, and was also able to make arrangements for a gig in Ashiya with the help of friends and others in Japan.

    While his older brother's wife and children, as well as his older sister and children, fled Ukraine for Poland, his mother and brother still remain in Lviv, where civilians reportedly died in an air strike on April 18. Maryan said that he heard from his mother that air raid alarms have been going off four to five times a day, and that she escapes to an underground shelter each time. He revealed that his mother seemed to be very frightened during their daily phone calls. When he told her about support shown by Japanese people, as well as the charity concerts, she apparently congratulated him, calling him her small ray of hope.

    At the concert on May 13, Maryan will play Ukrainian folk music as well as gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt with five other musicians from Japan and the United States. He also plans to have a performance incorporating Japanese traditional music.

    The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Seats do not need to be reserved, and cost 3,500 yen (roughly $27) each. Excluding necessary expenses for holding the concert, all money will be donated to the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan. For inquiries, call Maika Sumimoto at 080-4492-1020.

    (Japanese original by Kayo Inada, Hanshin Bureau)

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