Manami Ito’s abilities both on violin and in the pool have garnered her admiration and attention from around the world
Watch Japanese musician Manami Ito perform outdoors in Shizuoka, Japan, with her prosthetic arm.
36-year-old Ito lost her right arm in a traffic accident in 2004. After many dark days in depression, she decided to try something new to make her parents happy, ’I thought, ”I cannot make them smile if I don’t smile myself”’.
Ito had taken violin lessons as a child and so decided to try again following her accident, initially holding the bow with her foot. Eventually, a special prostheic arm that attaches to her right shoulder was made for her to allow her to hold a bow.
Not only is Ito a violinist, recently performing briefly at the Tokyo Paralympics, she is also a trained nurse as well as a former Paralympian swimmer. She competed in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympics, reaching finals three times.
She sees her endeavours as an opportunity to teach her daughters about diversity, ’When my daughter gets older, there will be a day when her friends tell her that her mum looks strange. I want to hear her saying this is her mother, and that what is normal can be different for each person and each family.’
Watch Ito perform ‘Thread’ by Miyuki Nakajima in 2019: