Civil Society

January 9, 2005


Musical Based on Child's Book Marks 10th Anniversary

Keywords: Civil Society / Local Issues NGO / Citizen 

A Japanese musical based on a comic authored by an elementary schoolgirl will be staged for the first time in the town where she spent most of her childhood, marking its 10th anniversary in March 2005. The musical is called Ai to Chikyu to Kyobainin (Ai (the heroine's name), the Earth, and an Auctioneer), and is based on a booklet, "Secrets of the Earth," written by the late Ms. Aika Tsubota of Hikawa Town, Shimane Prefecture. A total of 250 citizens of Shimane, mostly children, will perform the play.

When she was in the sixth grade, Aika was given a class assignment about environmental issues. To help overcome the difficulties of the task, she decided to use a comic book format to help other children understand the complexities of these issues. However, on December 27, 1991, the day after she completed her project, she suddenly died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 12 years old.

Her comic book, "Secrets of the Earth," uses plain words and pictures to explain the history of the planet and the balance of ecosystems, as well as pollution of the oceans, acid rain, and destruction of the ozone layer. It concludes with her personal message.

Her work was turned into an animated video film, and an NGO called the Foundation for Global Pease and the Environment issued an English version of the booklet in April 1992, followed by a Japanese version in June of the same year. At the Earth Summit held in Brazil also in June 1992, then-governor of Shimane Prefecture distributed Aika's work after referring to it in his speech.

"I will stop thinking that the Earth will all right even if I am the only one harming the environment," wrote Aika in her message. "If everyone in the world thought that way, the Earth would be destroyed overnight. I wish that everyone in the world would help each other sustain this beautiful planet as it is," she wrote

Posted: 2005/01/09 02:33:45 PM
Japanese version