Press Information

MHI Sponsors Charity Musical Performances in Tokyo
-- 1,400 Children Invited to Enjoy "Hikaru: The Story of a Firefly Who Couldn't Fly" --

No.1815
Print

Tokyo, July 14, 2014 - In conjunction with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) sponsored three performances of a charity musical in an initiative aimed at contributing to the local community and nurturing the development of the next generation. "Hikaru: The Story of a Firefly Who Couldn't Fly" was performed by the Poplar Theater Company on July 13 and 14 in the gymnasium of Konan Elementary School in Tokyo's Minato-ku. Approximately 1,400 children were invited to attend, including students from other schools in the city.

MHI
In sponsoring this charity event MHI sought to cultivate the artistic sensitivity and emotional development of the children who will be tomorrow's adults through firsthand enjoyment of the musical theater. The first performance, on July 13, was sponsored exclusively by MHI. Some 430 people, all from Tokyo, were invited to attend, including children with special needs, children in welfare facilities, children in nursery schools and kindergartens, and their guardians. Twenty-two MHI employees served as volunteer assistants in operating the event, taking charge of preliminary preparations, audience management and post-performance cleanup.

The second and third performances, which took place on July 14, were co-sponsored by MHI and Konan Elementary School and conducted as regular classes. On this day the musical was seen by the near 1,000 students attending the school.

The Poplar Theater Company is highly acclaimed for the way its productions focus on the positive aspects of embracing dreams and upholding the virtues of honesty, and many of its performances have been supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The musical program selected for this event, "Hikaru: The Story of a Firefly Who Couldn't Fly," is based on a picture book often used as a supplementary reading material in teaching morality lessons to 4th grade elementary students. It tells the tale of the everyday lives of fireflies who are sustained by ties of friendship and courage. Special stage lighting effects were adopted to express the fireflies’ glow and the playground toys so familiar to the children, creating a fun and enjoyable onstage presence. Through this story of kindness and bravery the students learn the importance of taking full advantage of their respective strong points as a way of supporting each other in their future lives. The children fully enjoyed this entertaining addition to their curriculum.

MHI has been sponsoring charity musical performances in Tokyo every year since 2009. Going forward, through opportunities such as these which seek to nurture children's artistic and cultural interests, as well as through other activities in support of future generations – for example, the company's science classes conducted upon request all around Japan - MHI will continue to direct its efforts into activities that reflect its CSR commitments to forge close ties with society and to serve as a bridge to the next generation.