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Welcome to Min-On’s Music Journey! Today, the Min-On Concert Association and the Embassy of Brazil in Japan welcome you to the Federative Republic of Brazil in South America. Brazil has the largest population, the largest economy and the largest land area on the continent.

The world’s largest waterfall, Iguazu Falls (© All rights reserved)

The Jewish Austrian author Stefan Zweig fled to Brazil during the Nazi persecution of the Jews in WWII, and there he witnessed a “world without discrimination” where different races had integrated and lived together. He channeled the emotions he felt at this into his book, Brazil, a Land of the Future.

As we begin our journey, please enjoy seeing the rich scenery of the many beautiful places throughout the Land of the Future, Brazil, while listening to “South American Way” sung by Ordinarius at a 2019 concert hosted by Min-On.

  1. South American Way

Brasília, the capital of a multiracial country

Every city in Brazil has a unique culture. The capital city of Brasília is known for its unique shape, which looks like an airplane when seen from above.

© Oton Barros

UNESCO registered this beautiful, futuristic city as a World Heritage Site for its remarkable approach to urban planning. Oscar Niemeyer, the father of modern architecture, designed several landmark buildings in Brasília, such as the Presidential Palace and the Brasília Cathedral, and these buildings have become symbols of the capital.

Presidential Palace  © Bruno Pinheiro  © All rights reserved

Brasília Cathedral  © Bruno Pinheiro  © All rights reserved

São Paulo, the largest metropolis in the southern hemisphere, and Rio de Janeiro, a mecca of tourism

 São Paulo is Brazil’s largest city and South America’s business and finance center. In this metropolis, visitors can experience the mixture of the several cultures who contributed to shape Brazilian identity.

Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge  Photo by João Raposo/Rede Câmara @raposophoto © All rights reserved

São Paulo boasts several museums of modern and contemporary art, and some of the best restaurants in South America. The Museum of Japanese Immigration in São Paulo allows visitors to learn about the lives of the early immigrants from Japan to Brazil, and the Japan Town in the Liberdade district is the largest in the world, making it popular with tourists.

Museum of Art of Sao Paulo

Rio de Janeiro hosted the 2016 Olympic Games, and this exquisite city is praised as one of the world’s most beautiful ports. A coastline of pristine white sand set against a backdrop of rocky mountains extends as far as the eye can see along Rio de Janeiro’s crystal blue waters. The clusters of skyscrapers interspersed among the lush countryside between the coast and the mountains create a stunning cultural landscape, leading UNESCO to register the area as a World Heritage Site.

Photo by Rafael Catarcione © All rights reserved

Please enjoy listening to “The Girl from Ipanema,” a popular song originally conjuring the Ipanema Coast in Rio de Janeiro. Sururu na Roda performed this piece at a concert hosted by Min-On in 2014.

  1. Garota de Ipanema

Night view of Rio from Corcovado Hill
Photo by Rafael Catarcione | Riotur © All rights reserved

Carnival of Rio

The world’s largest waterfall, Iguazu Falls

Among the 22 World Heritage sites in Brazil, we’d like to feature Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. The enormous scale of the falls is utterly breathtaking and it is shared between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Iguazu means “great waters” in the indigenous language, and true to its name, an inconceivable amount of water passes over Igauzu Falls—65,000 tons of water per second.

© All rights reserved

Photo by Juca Varela (left)  © All right reserved
Photo by Christian Rizzi  (right)  © All right reserved

The Amazon River Basin, one of the world’s largest, flows through Brazil, and the Pantanal Conservation Area is one of the world’s largest tropical wetlands. The area is approximately the same size as Japan and is home to a staggering variety of plants and animals. We would like to feature some of the rare species found only in Brazil here.

© All rights reserved                                          © All rights reserved

© All rights reserved (left)
Photo by Nilton Rolin / Cataratas do Iguaçu S.A (right) © All rights reserved

Photo by Raphael Milani  © All rights reserved

Brazil, a musical wonderland

A unique musical culture has developed in Brazil, including genres like choro, samba and bossa nova, through the fusion of indigenous culture with the cultures of many immigrants to Brazil. Brazilian music is also known for constantly changing and developing with the times, and it continues to have a large influence on the modern global music scene. Modern Brazilian music has fans all over the world, who love its incredible ingenuity and musicianship.

Please enjoy listening to “Mas Que Nada,” one of the best-known pieces of Brazilian music in the world.

  1. Mas Que Nada

Beginning with the Brazilian Carnival 1979, Min-On has been a part of over 30 cultural exchange events with Brazil, hosting artists like former Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa. One of these events was The 19th Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting, held in 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The competition had 331 conductors from 49 different countries and regions in participation. The illustrious first prize went to none other than José Soares, a 23-year-old Brazilian conductor.

Please enjoy this video, which shows the highlights of the finalists giving their best performance during the final round.

To conclude our journey, we would like to feature musician Hamilton de Holanda recommended by the Embassy of Brazil to Japan. Hamilton de Holanda is a Brazilian mandolinist who started playing the instrument at the age of 6. He has captivated audiences around the world with perfect balance in various musical genres such as choro, jazz, and samba, as well as his prodigious improvisational skills.

  1. Bossa Negra


  1. Afro Choro


  1. Canto da Siriema

The Brazilian author Bellissimo said, “The world is vast, and it is overflowing with things worth seeing.” We look forward to continuing to explore the incredible cultures of the world and their fascinating music with you.

Photo by Fernando Maia  © All right reserved

What did you think of your music journey to Brazil? There are still many more places to go! Please look forward to our next destination.

(Produced in collaboration with the Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil in Japan, who also provided photos.)

Min-On Concert Association

-Music Binds Our Hearts-