Concert to memorialize ‘Fuji’ KawashimaWritten by Allison Wingate | | email@example.com
A collective of musicians are paying tribute to the life and work of Fujiya “Fuji” Kawashima, Ph.D. Kawashima was an Asian Studies professor from BGSU who died from acute leukemia in 2006.
The memorial concert is to benefit the creation and dedication of a Japanese peace garden in Kawashima’s honor in Simpson Garden Park in Bowling Green. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. June 5 at the Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.
The half-acre garden, designed by Mark J. Cyr, a designer of Japanese gardens, will feature a tranquil setting with a waterfall, flowering trees and shrubs, as well as calming ponds, to achieve a sense of tranquility and inner peace, according to Teri Sharp of the Bowling Green City Parks and Recreation Department.
Sharp said Kawashima’s contributions to the community have had a lasting impact on Bowling Green and Northwest Ohio. As a Japanese native, Kawashima used his connections in Asia to strengthen ties in the United States and was instrumental in establishing the Asian Studies Program at BGSU. Around the time of his death in 2006 at age 67, Kawashima was working toward establishing a Peace Studies Program for the university.
“Fuji was extremely important to relations between Japan and Northwest Ohio because he encouraged businesses from Japan to develop here,” Sharp said.
Among the scheduled performers June 5 are vocalists Shawn Mathey and Sujin Lee, and internationally known pianists Jason Hardink and Kimi Kawashima, Kawashima’s surviving daughter.
She began her career as a pianist at the age of 14 with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and has since continued to pursue music professionally. She has most recently concluded a string of performances with the Utah Symphony, as well as a Schubert program, alongside her husband and fellow pianist Jason Hardink for the NOVA Chamber Music Series.
Kawashima continues her father’s legacy for scholarly growth and is continuing to pursue a doctorate of musical arts for piano performance at the Shepherd School.
Mathey, a Bowling Green native and son of BGSU faculty member Richard Mathey, has recently returned from vocal performances in Europe. Mathey often performs alongside wife and fellow vocalist Sujin Lee, a South Korean native, who has appeared in various operas across America and Europe.
Tickets for the concert are $25 and are available at Grounds for Thought: Calico, Sage and Thyme, 115 Clay St. and the Bowling Green Community Center, 1245 W. Newton Road. Any remaining tickets will be available for purchase at the door on the day of the event at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets can also be ordered by mail from the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green, OH 43402.
For information on this event and others, contact the Bowling Green City Parks and Recreation Department at (419) 354-6223.