Great job Karen!
She was very nice the other day when they were celebrating Yuka Tano's birthday at the theatre, Karen was acting as MC for Yuka, and Karen herself actually broke into tears while presenting. It is hard to imagine what feelings run inside Karen's mind when she takes part in this disaster recovery project, but she, like many of the kids from the Tohuku region, certainly had to grow up faster than normal these last two years.
The song 「花は咲く」 / 'Hana wa Saku' (Flowers Bloom), as explained previously, is part of a project to continue to raise funds to help the victims of the 2011 earthquake, which was an economic disaster as well as a natural disaster.
The little girl is 鈴木梨央 / Rio Suzuki, who is playing as a child, the character played by actress Haruka Ayase in the current NHK drama, 'Yae no Sakura'
Karen (14 years old) and the other singers are all from the disaster area, either Miyagi or Fukushima Prefectures.
I did not know this, but Karen and her family were displaced,and she had to live in a shelter before auditioning for AKB48.
Some more details about the participants in the above clip:
The gentleman in the white jacket is two time Japan Academy Best Actor award winner, Toshiyuki Nishida (65), who was involved in recovery projects soon after the disaster hit, and he hasn't rested a bit since that time. He is from Fukushima.
The tall gentleman in the dark suit is well known actor and singer Masatoshi Nakamura (62), who is from Miyagi prefecture.
The lovely lady in the long gown, is gold medal Olympic figure skating champion Shizuka Arakawa (31), who had a lot of guts to sing with the other four, who are all professional singers. Although born in Tokyo, she was raised in Miyagi prefecture.
The older gentleman is Naoyuki Harada (70), a well known folk singer from Fukushima Prefecture.
And thanks to the kids choir and all of the other announcers, and staff who continue to assist in the recovery efforts!!