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9 May 2008

Photos, Video, and Highlights from the Peace and Music Workshop at the Article 9 Conference!

Many, many thanks to those of you who came out to Makuhari Messe during Golden Week to attend the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War. The conference itself was a huge success, exceeding all expectations with around 30,000 attendees in four cities across Japan. WOW!! Around 20,000 people came to the main venue in Makuhari Messe, Chiba, to celebrate peace and issue a worldwide appeal for the protection of Japan's peace-celebrating Constitutional Article 9, which is presently in danger of being revised or even eliminated.

Peace Not War Japan was also thrilled to have the opportunity to organize a workshop titled "Exploring the Connections Between Music and Peace" on May 5th, which was a great success. The room was filled to capacity with around 100 people who came to watch our three fabulous musical acts: genre-bending violinist Kaneko Aska together with bass player Yoshino Hiroshi; reggae duo Likkle Mai and the K; and Poly-n-Asian acoustic fusion band Ben Kemp and Uminari. All of the performances were brilliant, and the artists then regrouped together on stage for a fabulous rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine." This was done with no prior rehearsal...true professionals indeed! For a video of the performance, click here. (Many thanks to tireless peace activist Yumi Kikuchi for helping us publicize this workshop, and also making the video available on her excellent blog and podcast site along with a great post about the conference itself.)

Aska, Mai, and Ben were then joined on stage by broadcaster Peter Barakan, who consistently brings a strong and principled voice for peace and justice across the radio airwaves (not to mention some fabulous music!). Peter asked the artists to share their thoughts regarding the role that music can play in bringing about peace in the world today--whether personal or spiritual or political. Indeed, everyone had something intriguing and thought-provoking to share in this regard.

To give just a taste: Ben Kemp gave the thoughtful analogy of one's sense of inner peace as a garden that must be tended to continually and lovingly--watering, pruning, and weeding, so to speak--before moving on to the next level of peace in the world at large. Likkle Mai then shared her experience of always striving to use her position as record label owner and radio DJ (in addition to vocal performer) to spread her message of peace and love as far and wide as possible. Kaneko Aska went on to describe the connection she feels with audiences while performing onstage, whereby subtle energies and vibrations are transmitted that she hopes then move on to connect with others and contribute toward a more peaceful, spiritually conscious world. Finally, Peter Barakan described real-life examples of music leading people toward nonviolence, such as the Afro-reggae youth movement depicted in the Brazilian documentary film Favela Rising.

Peace Not War Japan greatly appreciates all of the participating artists and event volunteers, as well as everyone else who came out to share their holiday to support Article 9 and a world based upon love, peace, sharing, justice and hope. We also thank everyone who purchased our CD, which allowed us to make a 11,000 yen donation (50% of the proceeds) to the Article 9 conference.

Domo Arigatou, Everyone!!


Blogger Johdub said...

Way to go Kim and team for all your hard work and wonderful energy. We appreciate you so much!!

12 May 2008 17:29  

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