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The chanson concert was held Thursday last week (May 20) in memory of Natsuyo Fukamidori who passed away last August.  I had known Ms.Fukamidori since three years ago when I saw her at the charity concert.  I had known her even before over several decades, but had never seen (and heard) her live at the concert.  She sang at the charity concert for the hospice I have supported, and I became a big fan of her since then.

Her songs touched my heart so much at the concert that I wrote her a letter, admiring her. (It is my philosophy that I write to let the people know how much I love what they do and how much I respect them, regardless of the field or regardless of how famous they are.)   She wrote me back and I was elated.

Since then, I bought most of her CDs and went to the concerts where she sang.  I loved her lyrics as well and kept listening to her repeatedly.  I never got tired of it, as every time I heard her sing, it filled me with such an emotion, whether it is love, lost love, war, death or life.  She had an exception way of telling the story.

The last time I heard her live was November in 2008 in Osaka.  She passed away at the age of 87 last summer.

This memorial concert  was a part of the series held in Kobe and in Tokyo.  The one I went was the last of the series and it was full.

As she taught at Takarazuka theater group and other places, she had many students.   Some are well known singers and musical stars. Many students of hers sang and at the end, they talked briefly about her.  It was quite obvious how much she was respected and admired by her students.  She was dedicated to singing, making chanson (French song) popular in Japan, and above all, to developing the younger generation.  She also seemed to believe that she had to perform herself, while teaching.  I admired her for her energy, passion and commitment.  Despite her strong passion and high energy level, she was so down-to-earth, easy going and had a great sense of humor.  She was so unassuming.  What a role model and how fortunate I am to have met her! I found video on You tube. (but not sure how and whether I can post it.)

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