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Ukrainian woman plays folk instrument at east Japan pref. assembly hall for peace

Kateryna plays the bandura, a Ukrainian folk instrument, at the assembly hall in the Kanagawa Prefectural Government building on Sept. 26, 2022. (Mainichi/Mami Miyajima)

YOKOHAMA -- Ukrainian musician Kateryna played the bandura, a popular folk instrument in her home country that is under invasion by Russia, at an assembly hall here after a Sept. 26 meeting of the Kanagawa Prefectural Assembly.

    In between her performance, one of the only two bandura players in Japan told assembly members and observers that she continues to wish for world peace.

    Kateryna moved her performance base to Japan when she was 19, and currently travels across the country to share Ukrainian culture and other aspects of her homeland through her songs. Kateryna brought her mother to Japan from Ukraine's capital Kyiv in March after the Russian invasion began, but her sister and friends still remain there.

    The performance was held after prefectural assembly speaker Hiroaki Shikida proposed the idea, saying, "We would like to conceptualize our stance to stand together with Ukrainian evacuees." Kateryna played a Ukrainian lullaby and other songs.

    She told the Mainichi Shimbun after her performance, "I was nervous, but am happy to be able to perform at a place like this. Music is a language that can be understood worldwide, so I want to convey my message through music."

    (Japanese original by Mami Miyajima, Yokohama Bureau)

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