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Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Japone Artists will have a charity concert for Ukraine again in this year! Performers are Utako Arakawa (Soprano/Vocals) and Yoshimi Kawai (Pianist, Componist). And we will have a special guest performer Jeroen van der Ham (Storyteller). The program is very special, unique and varied as it will contain original music (Japone original music/Yoshimi's original piano music), Gospel music, Classic music, Anime/game songs and etc...! This concert will invite you a fantastic music world with a refined high qualified performance! *Date & Time; Saturday 30 September 2023, 20:00PM *Place ; Evangelisch-Lutherse Kerk Haarlem ( Witte Herenstraat 22, Haarlem. *10 min walk from the station Haarlem).   *Tickets;15 Euro > Admission is free for Refugees from Ukraine (a donation is welcome)!

This time as well all proceeds of the concert go to the activity “Supporting and helping the refugees from the Ukraine by the Japanese church” (*see the articles below)

“Supporting and helping the refugees from the Ukraine by the Japanese church” Since 3 weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24th February in 2022, for the sake of supporting the refugees of the Ukraine, Reverent Nobuyuki Uchimura (The paster of Milano church /Japanese Church of the Southern Netherlands) is continuing activities of transporting supplies, foods and donation money directly to the Ukraine with driving 2,600 km round trip from Milano to Ukraine. Mr. Uchimura and his wife Mariko are cooperating with local churches and Ref. Funakoshi and his wife who live in Ukraine as missionaries and help local people and refugees in Ukraine.

Mr. Uchimura says ; Supporting refugees is normally done by professional organizations, but at the same time, the activity of local churches is essential and should not be forgotten. My mission is helping such local churches in the Ukraine. In my view, the big problem is that children are suffering greatly. They are one of the biggest victims. I would like to help for the week such as children, family and elderly people who need great help."

*Here we introduce parts of his reports* On Monday April 10, 2023 we left Milano (Italy) and helped one week in Ukraine. On Friday 21st of April we were safely back again in Milano.

All our work was blessed; the transfer of donations and medical assistance for refugees in a church in Kherson, where heavy fights are taking place, church services and a leadership training in a church in Odessa.

The destruction of the province Kherson and the scars of the invasion of the Russian army are beyond words. The church was also hit by a cluster bomb. But the reverent and his wife were not evacuated and continued to support the villagers. While we are driving in the car with reverent Funakoshi and his wife, there was artillery fire at approximately 300 yards from our car. Ukrainian soldiers warned us "Hurry up!" so we left the car behind en jumped in the trenches nearby. As soon as the shooting stopped the soldiers said "The next shooting will start in 2 minutes. So leave here immediately! ” We went back to the car, started it quickly and left the area. Your prayers have supported us. Thank you very much!

(*From left to right; reverent Funakoshi, reverent Uchimura, Mrs. Uchimura and Mrs. Funakoshi) On Friday April 28, 2023 cities all over Ukraine were attacked by Russian rockets and in the central city of Uman an apartment complex was hit by rockets, which killed 17 people including a child.

This city has the largest Jewish community in Ukraine, it was the city where I and my wife stayed 2 weeks ago with Mr. and Mrs. Funakoshi from Odessa. Most of the civilians were evacuated after the Russian invasion began. From the thousands of Jews who lived there only 30 people remain. We went there to pray near the catacombs in the city and we met a Jewish man who lost his son during a Russian shelling and he himself suffered from a serious brain attack (the man in the center of the picture below). Every time when I hear news about bombarding in Ukraine I worry about the safety of the people that we have met.

Despite the situation that news is diminishing and that people are getting used to the ongoing war, we hope that we will continue to raise our hands in prayer.

On Friday, August 25th, my wife and I returned to our home in Milan from Ukraine. We are grateful for your prayers. We left Milan on August 8th, driving 4,500km for 17 days. On Saturday, August 19th, I accompanied a team from Odesa Church to a hospital where soldiers injured on the front lines are hospitalized. To be honest, I was conflicted “Would it be all right if I could go to this place ?” and I was also nervous about “What I can do and what kind of reaction I will get if I appear in front of those people?”. However, when we entered the hospital room with small supplies and tracts to share the gospel, the soldiers cried tears of joy at our visit. And they entrusted their precious troop badges and watches to me. I got a glimpse of the fact that there are many people who went to the battlefield to protect their country and family against the Russian invasion and suffering severe wound to their bodies and minds, and who feel like they have been forgotten by the world. I would like to continue to support the work of the church in Odesa that be a neighbor of these people.

We are happy to that we will perform at Atsusacon 2023 in Gent,Belgium! We are looking forward to meet you at this event! Date: 9 July (Sunday) Time: 16:00 More information: At the Atsusacon 2023, 4 members of Japone Artists will present wonderful music (Japone Artists’ original music and Anime & Japanese film songs) stage acting and dance mixed with Japanese tradition and modern taste. The show will be with magnificent screen image-art! (*Yusuke Morita in Tokyo, Japan, Electronic Bass player/Composer will join as a creator of programing music.) This show will invite you an extraordinary world! *Performers: Utako Arakawa (Vocals)

Ayumi Matsuda (Recorder)

Hiromi Haneda (Screen image-art)

*Yusuke Morita (Programing music)

Our manager Francisca Hagen has decided to step down as a manager and leave our group. We would like to say lots of gratitude to her! *Francisca's message: At the end of 2019, I was asked by the group leader of Japone Artists, Utako Arakawa, to become the manager of this multifaceted and inspiring group. I said yes with a lot of motivation to work together with the group members to make the name Japone Artists more known in and outside of the Netherlands, and to get them on stage more often. Although the pandemic brought the group's activities to a standstill in regards to performing on stage, the passion could not stop them to take the digital route to push forward. Resulting in the attendance of the digital events of AnimeCon and HYPER JAPAN but also the release of two digital singles and several music videos. But we have also worked together to start a video podcast to connect with fans. Eventually the possibilities arose for the group to perform at Heroes Made in Asia in 2021 and to tour in 2022 with HYPER JAPAN in London as the tour final. I have to say that I am very proud of this group and what they have achieved in the three years I have been able to do my best as a manager. With all these great experiences, I have come to a point to step down as a manager for Japone Artists as it is time for me to follow a new path in life. With all these lovely memories in my backpack, knowing that we had a great collaboration and great experiences and growth, I am looking forward to the next steps that this wonderful group will take. I hope you can support me in my other work and that you will keep on supporting the members of Japone Artists. I want to thank every group member of Japone Artists for their trust in me and for the great collaboration.  Francisca

*Member's messages to Francisca: Dear Francisca, I can’t thank you enough Francisca!!!! You will be very sorely missed and so many memories with you come to my mind.  …Specially, when Makiko-san was passed away, that moment was the most saddest time for myself in the Japone's history. But I have no words for how I was supported by you!! We made her memorial video together and I got so much encouragement, love and compassion from you. I greatly appreciate for your love, passion and friendship for this group. We will never forget how our great manager you were!!! Please take good care and stay in touch! Love, Utakoxxx Thank you very much for being such a great manager it is not only that. You are incredibly kind and patient I learned a lot from you. It was a fun time to share the rooms with you during festivals. It is a special memory for me! The 3 years were so condensed time for us with you! Take good care. Ayumi Oh no that's so sad to hear... Francisca Hagen .. we will miss you a lot... you have been really really amazing. I really wanna express my thanks for all your hard work! It felt amazing to have someone who has our back..but health comes first for sure. Hope to see you as an audience in our future shows! Kazuma Francisca, it is a big loss for Japone Artists that we lose such a great manager... I appreciate that you did a lot for us. But first of all, I respect your decision and I hope for your happiness and healthy life. It was so fun time to work with you, especially in 2022! Thank you so much Francisca, see you again. Yusuke Francisca, first of all thank you so much for your love passion and effort you put into Japone I am so happy I had the opportunity to work with you and Japone was so lucky to have you to lead the team to new challenges and bring to the next level. You are an amazing person, so open, so kind, so patient, so communicative, so smart, so talented... You are gifted Please take good care of yourself. Hiromi Dear Francisca, Thank you very much for your hard working for us. I hope to meet you face to face someday. Yoshimi Dear Francisca, Thank for your support over the last years! The group has really gone to the next level with all the social media events, videos and performances. Also I was happy that you could take over my manager role since you have a much bigger network in the Japanese festivals and know your way around in social media. You will be missed! Take care and stay in touch! Andries

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