- 大流行（後出 pandemic も同意）
- cheer up
- succeed ～
- ～を継ぐ（後出 take over ～ も同意）
- ignite ～
- sense of duty
- tackle ～
- 感染性の（後出 infection は感染〈症〉）
- catch the eye of ～
- media outlet
- 【写真説明】 set off
Burst of Inspiration
Japanese pyrotechnician Murase Isao once had a different future in mind for himself, but his recent work with peers to mount surprise fireworks displays across the country on June 1 indicates that his aspirations in his highly specialized profession are now skyrocketing.
With regular fireworks shows throughout Japan canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the "Cheer up! HANABI" project was organized as a surprise event to brighten the mood while preventing crowds of spectators from gathering. Around 160 fireworks businesses from Hokkaido to Okinawa agreed to participate in the event amid the pandemic.
Born in Gifu in 1985, Murase is the fourth-generation head of fireworks company Murase Enka, founded in 1923. He initially had no intention of succeeding the business. But during a period when he was thinking of getting a job at a "normal company," his father Mitsumasa told him, "You don't need to take over the business. It's dangerous work." His words had the opposite effect, and ignited a sense of duty in Murase to protect fireworks culture.
Murase has been searching for new skills while also preserving traditions, and he visited fireworks businesses across Japan to learn ways to make fireworks light up in neater circles and more vivid colors.
With the arrival of the viral outbreak, Murase approached other pyrotechnicians to see if there was anything they could do to help tackle the crisis. Fireworks festivals are said to have started in the Edo period (1603-1868) as a way to pray for an end to infectious diseases, among other reasons. With this in mind, they arrived at the idea to hold surprise fireworks shows — an endeavor that even caught the eye of foreign media outlets.
Although the surprise fireworks displays have ended, Murase has decided to hold an unprecedented show in August in Hyogo Prefecture incorporating preventive measures against infection.
"We'd like to show that fireworks shows can be held as long as proper measures are taken," he said.
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