Japanese High School Band honours Shirase 1910-12 Japanese Antarctic Expedition

Wellington Branch

Date: 23 Mar 2017 - 23 Mar 2017
Time: 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Frank Kitts Park, Wellington - at Shirase Expedition plaque, waterfront wall


The 120 piece Narashino High School symphonic band will honour the Shirase 1910-12 Japanese Antarctic Expedition by playing the “Shirase Anthem” at the Shirase Expedition plaque on the water front wall at Frank Kitts Park. The expedition, led by Lt Nobu Shirase, arrived in Wellington on their vessel Kainan-maru on February 08, 1911 and sailed for the Ross Sea on February 11. In March they got within 11km of landing in Antarctica but the sea ice prevented them setting up a base so they returned to Sydney. In January, 1912 they returned and set up a base at the Bay of Whales at the eastern end of the Ross Ice Shelf. Shirase and others sledged with dogs to 80°S. The expedition also explored further east than anyone had been previously. The expedition called into Wellington March 23 – April 02, 1912 on their way back to Japan. The plaque on the waterfront honours the expedition.

The Narashino High School Band is from Shirase’s home town. The band has won many awards and plays internationally. It has visited New Zealand previously. On Thursday March 23 they will play in the Civic Square from 12 noon. Then they will walk to the Shirase Expedition Plaque. In a short ceremony starting around 1 pm at the Shirase plaque, they will play the anthem composed to mark the Shirase expedition, and other pieces. On Friday March 24 they will present a concert at 7pm in the Michael Fowler Centre. The Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Antarctic Society is pleased to welcome the band to Wellington. All members and friends are encouraged to join with them in their tribute to the Shirase Expedition at the plaque at 1pm, Thursday, March 23.


On Friday March 24 they will present a free concert at 7pm in the Michael Fowler Centre. Contact the Japanese Information and Cultural Centre, 100 Willis St, Tel 04 472 7807 for tickets.

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