Visible "An die Freude"


White Hands Chorus NIPPON


Mariko Tagashira

“Visible An die Freude”

will show you Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 as you have never seen before!

This unique photo exhibition visualizes music through the movements of sign language interpreted by deaf performers of the White Hands Chorus NIPPON.

The children of the White Hands Chorus NIPPON translated the lyrics of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” into sign language and performed with the highly acclaimed Bach Collegium Japan on December 21st, 2021 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre.

Artist Mariko Tagashira took photographs of the members of the White Hands Chorus NIPPON wearing white gloves with LED lights in fingertips, in a dark room. The traces of the light shown in photographs demonstrate the dynamism of the 9th Symphony performed through sign-language.

The White Hands Chorus NIPPON

The White Hands Chorus is an inclusive choir started in 1995 in Venezuela, the home of "El Sistema". In Japan, the chorus was founded in 2017 in Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. The group is composed of a gestural part that sings with sign-language-based corporal expression and a voice group that sings in chorus.

We have children who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired, developmentally disabled and those without disabilities.

The rehearsals are conducted by professional musicians and actors such as Erika Colon, soprano singer, and Tetsuya Izaki, the founder of the Deaf Theater Company in Japan. The program is co-sponsored by the El Sistema Connect and Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. We also have a chapter in Kyoto and Okinawa. There are approximately 100 participants throughout Japan. In 2021, they performed the opera “Super Angels” (world premiere) composed by Keiichiro Shibuya at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, where their performance was highly acclaimed.

Erika Colon

Erika Colon is the founder and the Artistic Director of the White Hands Chorus NIPPON. It is an education program designed for challenged children, with activities in Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa.

She is a professional soprano singer born in Venezuela. She completed her Master’s degree with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2009. Erika released a CD with King Records titled “Bridge”after winning Grand-Prix at Tokyo International Singing Competition. She has performed in Japan and international stages, such as Mozart Festival and La Folle Journee. She is the founder of El Sistema Connect, focusing on Social Programs through music.

Mariko Tagashira

Mariko Tagashira is a Photographer.

Born in Onomichi, Hiroshima.

Her career started in 2005 with major works for Japan Post, Suntory and universities, along with commissions for portraits of politicians, artists and business executives.

She finds inspiration in people’s energy facing difficulties. Her artwork projects the energy of fighting spirit.

“Visible An die Freude” was awarded“SDGs Iwasa Artistic Prize” in October, 2022 by Iwasa Foundation


15th April -14th May 2023

Photo Exhibition


29th April 2023

Kids Program

4th May 2023

Photo Session


Press Release

1 April 2023




18 March 2023

“Visible ‘An die Freude’”

Will be Exhibited at Borderless Music Festival KYOTOPHONIE

We are pleased to announce that the inclusive photo exhibition “Visible An die Freude” by photographer Mariko Tagashira and the White Hand Chorus NIPPON will be exhibited at KYOTOPHONIE, the Borderless Music Festival as a sister event of KYOTOGRAPHIE Kyoto International Photography Festival 2023.

9 February 2023

Inclusive Photo Exhibition “Visible ‘An die Freude’” Goes to Europe

We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Executive Committee of "‘Visible An die Freude’ in Europe" with the aim of holding the inclusive photo exhibition "Visible An die Freude" by photographer Mariko Tagashira and White Hand Chorus NIPPON in Europe.

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