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K-State Today

May 15, 2013



Japanese language program students to be on Japanese television

By Communications and Marketing

Students in Kansas State University's Japanese language program recently raised their voices -- and money -- to make a difference for Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims.

Their efforts will be broadcast nationally in Japan.

Kumiko Nakamura, an instructor of modern languages and director of the university's Japanese language program, taught the students a special song created by a Japanese television network to benefit victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster. Nakamura videotaped the students singing the song, "Flowers Will Bloom," and sent it to the Japan Broadcasting Corp., known as NHK in Japan, in late March. The network had encouraged people around the world to do the same thing.

Last week, Nakamura received an exciting email from the network.

"They said that they received hundreds of music video clips of 'Flowers Will Bloom,'" Nakamura said. "Among all of the submissions, we have been picked to be the featured video and will be broadcast nationally in Japan on Thursday. The program will be as short as two minutes, but my students and I are very excited about this opportunity to reach people in Japan from Kansas."

The clip was shown around 5:56-5:58 a.m. Thursday on NHK.

The song wasn't the only way the Japanese language program students helped support victims of the disaster. They also raised $500 by selling flowers before, during and after the program's Japanese festival in April.