Composing a Kaohsiung Melody / 譜出生命中的─高雄樂章
Stay in Kaohsiung: 7 years
A woman pianist, Akiko Shinagawa, who comes from Yamaguchi, in the west part of Shimokita Peninsula, has much praised in Japanese musical circles for playing with softness, delicacy and feeling. In 1996, she came to Taiwan for the first time as a judge of a musical competition. As part of her trip, she also came to the southern ocean capital─Kaohsiung. She and her husband Mr. Huang Jung-de, who is himself a famous opera singer, then living in Japan, soon decided to make their home in Kaohsiung. Since then, Akiko Shinagawa has developed binding ties with Kaohsiung, as if she were composing a Kaohsiung symphony in her life.
Shinagawa still remembers that her most vivid impression on her first journey to Kaohsiung was of sweet and juicy fruit. She likes Kaohsiung's snacks - from Dagouding's food stewed in gravy in the Yancheng District to Jiuwuba's (literally meaning 'giant') flavored ice in Kushan Ferry Pier, from fish heads cooked and served in earthenware pot in Liuho night market to fermented bean curd in Lingya night market. Among these snacks, she specially loves fermented bean curd with its unique smell and sweet-and-sour pickles have happy memories for her. Kaohsiung's snacks have become Shinagawa's favorite food. A dutiful wife and loving mother, she comes home after teaching piano lessons and often cooks Taiwanese native dishes for her family.
It is now seven years since Shinagawa came. She thinks that Kaohsiung has becomes gentler and warmer. Love River is no longer smelly, and the original plain and wide path is transformed into a more beautiful and pleasant state with flowers and grasses. Shinagawa often takes a walk with her family along that beautiful river. She also recently found the park with a geographical landscape along the Chienchen River is a good place for leisure. She can often be seen in the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and Neiweibi Cultural Park located in the north of Kaohsiung. Also, Shinagawa feels touched when she sees the former Train Station in the style of the crown of the Japanese emperor. She feels curious about the lunch boxes in the Train Station Restaurant. She also notices that in the districts of Yancheng and Kushan there are some ancient buildings and she specially praises Kaohsiung's efforts to maintain them. Though Shinagawa is afraid of motorcycle riders jostling and elbowing their way right and left on the road and has never got used to unmannerly driving, she kindly says that people in Kaohsiung are broadminded and frank in conversation and "as generous as the sea is wide." Human touches of liveliness, passion, and friendliness impress her very much.
Shinagawa has simple tastes and, being on the introvert side in personality, likes to dress in the Japanese style. She is in charge of conducting and playing the piano accompaniment for the Jiayin Chorus. She also teaches some pupils at home. She and her husband are at present teaching in the Eternal-Life Christ College in Kaohsiung. Both of them are always together - the Jung-de sings and Shinagawa accompanies him. They give many performances; so, each year they need to travel between Japan and Kaohsiung. It is worth noting that Shinagawa feels Kaohsiung is a city where people can enjoy life as well as work.