American artist Ben Shahn’s painted series called Lucky Dragon is dedicated to the Japanese tuna fishing boat, Daigo Fukuryu Maru *(Lucky Dragon V) that was exposed to and contaminated by nuclear fallout from the United States’ Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini atoll in the south Pacific on March 1st 1954. Later, the series was compiled into a picture book called Home Is Here: Ben Shahn’s Lucky Dragon by Arthur Binard. When I discovered this book, I was inspired to write a composition in memory of Daigo Fukuryu Maru.
A quote from the book says, “This tragedy will not be forgotten; however, there are those who eagerly wait for it to fade from one’s memory”. I composed this work to promote remembrance of the Fukuryu Maru’s truth. The English title is derived from the Japanese subtitle, “Daigo Fukuryu Maru no Kioku (Memoir of the Lucky Dragon V)”.
I have traced and expressed the truth of the tragedy in the first half. The brighter second half is an image of a dragon, the boat’s spirit, breathing life to become the Lucky Dragon, rising to heaven.
In performing this work, many students should become aware of this tragic event and the nuclear challenges that we all face. I hope audiences will also find empathy with this issue. I wish that an “unforgettable feeling” about the loss will be shared by a growing circle, one by one.
*Fuku means luck. Ryu means dragon. Therefore, Fukuryu is Lucky Dragon
Fl. 1 & 2
Cl. 1, 2 & 3
A. Sax. 1 & 2
|Trp. 1, 2 & 3|
Hrn. 1, 2, 3 & 4
Trb. 1, 2 & 3
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Eb Horn 1
Eb Horn 2
Eb Horn 3
Eb Horn 4
Bb Trombone 1 (Treble Clef & Bass Clef)
Bb Trombone 2 (Treble Clef & Bass Clef)
Bb Trombone 3 (Treble Clef & Bass Clef)
Bb Euphonium (Bass Clef)
Bb Tuba (Treble Clef & Bass Clef)
Eb Tuba (Treble Clef & Bass Clef)
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