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Features

Features Archive

Commemorative Reception Celebrates Bahrain—Japan Partnership

On the evening of October 27, at the mid-way point of their Japan tour, the Bahrain Art Troupe took to the stage at Nakano Sun Plaza Hall for their Tokyo premiere. The capacity audience included H.E Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa, Director of Museums &...

Min-On’s World Choral Music Series

Inspiring Audiences across Japan since 1970 Choral music refers to music written specifically for a choir or chorus to perform. Each part in a piece of choral music is sung by two or more voices. Since the size of a choir can vary, naturally, the structure of a choral...

Overseas Dispatches of Japanese Artists to Singapore and China

Min-On Concert Association has played a major role in introducing Japanese culture and performing arts to other countries for the last half century. Since 1966, Min-On has promoted a program of overseas dispatches of Japanese artists, mirroring its program of inviting...

Horacio Romo Dedicates Original Composition to Min-On Founder

Horacio Romo, together with the members of his special ensemble for the Japan tour of Dramatic Tango 2017, visited the Min-On Culture Center in Tokyo on January 20 before embarking on the nationwide tour. After being warmly welcomed by staff members of the Min-On...

The Bandoneon: Voice and Soul of Tango Music

A tango orchestra typically consists of bandoneons, violins, piano and double bass, in addition to guitar and drums, accompanied by singers and dancers of the tango tradition. Among these instruments, the bandoneon is perhaps the most key instrument in producing the...

Overseas Dispatch Renewing Friendship for Future Generations

“The basis of genuine world peace will be formed by the fostering of a mutual understanding through a grass-roots exchange that transcends distinctions of race, nation and ideology. To this end, exchanges in art and culture will be indispensable. Music, dance and...

An Epic Dance Showdown — The Battle 2015

The Min-On Concert Association has offered a wide range of musical, cultural and educational programs to an ever-growing audience for over 50 years. They have contributed to music and art flourishing wildly among the general public and cultivated artistic sentiments,...

“Crested Ibises” — Interview with Zhu Jiejing and Wang Jiajun

Diversity Itself Is the Music of Ecuador­ Interview with H.E. Leonardo Carrion Eguiguren, Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to Japan Since a special preview performance was held in Tokyo in October last year (reported in the 2014 autumn issue of Harmony), a wide...

The New La Juan D’Arienzo Graces the Min-On Tango Series

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Min-On Tango Series, a long-standing cultural exchange program between Japan and Argentina. Launched in 1970 with a Japan tour of the internationally renowned Orquesta Jose Basso, the series has continued annually with many...

Greetings from Min-On Founder Daisaku Ikeda

On the Occasion of the Premiere of the Dance Drama “Crested Ibis” On behalf of the Min-On Concert Association, it is my great honor and pleasure to welcome to Japan the innovative contemporary dance troupe Shanghai Dance Theatre for the premiere of the dance drama...

Harp of Burma Recalls the Power of Music

The Myanmar harp, called a saung-gauk or simply saung, is one of the earliest instruments of the ancient land of Burma. A solo performance of saung-gauk onstage at A Golden Brilliance of Peace created a vivid image of the harp echoing in the rainforest of Burma, and...

A Golden Brilliance of Peace Delights Audiences

Myanmar, formerly called Burma, is rich in cultural heritage and natural resources; it is known as a devout Buddhist nation of gentle and peace-loving people. Myanmar is also famous throughout the world as “The Golden Land” due to the thousands of golden pagodas and...

China National Peking Opera Company Tours 30 Cities Across Japan

The Peking Opera, a celebrated art form from China, is performed on a simple stage, which stands in contrast to the elaborate makeup and costumes of the actors. But this modest stage is instantly transformed when the actors start to sing. Their voices can evoke the...

The Norwegian Girls’ Choir Premiere in Sendai for Japan Tour

The Norwegian Girls Choir onstage in Sendai The Kingdom of Norway is known for its magnificent natural scenery, from majestic fjords to spectacular auroras. Norway has also given the world a number of influential musical artists. One such artist is internationally...

Wayne Shorter Receives Min-On International Award for Arts

(From left) President Kobayashi, Executive Advisor Hasegawa, Mr. Wayne Shorter and his wife Carolina In the midst of the cherry blossom season, American virtuoso jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter visited the Min- On Culture Center on April 15 in between his...

Peking Opera Comes to Life at the Min-On Culture Center

Through July 6, 2014, the Min-On Music Museum in Tokyo’s Min-On Culture Center is hosting a special exhibition entitled The Century’s Greatest Master Artist of Chinese Opera—Mei Lanfang and His Contributions to Sino-Japanese Friendship. The exhibit commemorates the...

Japanese Audiences Enjoy Ireland’s Cultural Celebration

As virtuoso Irish fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada remarked, “Music, dance and language are probably the three strongest elements of cultural inheritance reflecting ‘Irishness.’” He continued, “Irish traditional music is the music of the people and a cultural celebration...

Swedish A Cappella Enchants Audiences Across Japan

The Svanholm Singers People who hear a conversation in Swedish for the first time often comment that the language is very melodic with an almost sing-song quality. Indeed, Sweden is a country of singers—some statistics indicate that among a population of 9 million...

Forty-fifth Installment of Min-On Tango Series Gets Underway

The Grecos Tango Orquesta and award-winning dancers deliver the latest installment of dramatic tango Every year since Min-On launched the Min-On Tango Series in 1970, a number of internationally renowned tango artists have been invited to Japan from Argentina and...

Herbie Hancock Receives Min-On International Award for Arts

Herbie Hancock On October 30, the day after his arrival in Japan for his concert tour, jazz icon Herbie Hancock visited the Min-On Culture Center in Tokyo, and in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Min-On's founding, he received the Min-On International Award...

Jazz is a Dialogue Celebrating the Joy of Life

Herbie Hancock and his band on stage in Tokyo "Jazz is a music that depends on dialogue . . . Jazz is also a very spiritual music. The dialogue that happens within the performance of the music is not frivolous or casual. The dialogue embodied in jazz is very serious,...

Min-On Music Museum Hosts ‘The Power of Music’ Symposium

Dr. Olivier Urbain (left) and Dr. Agnes Chan (right) The Min-On Music Museum is one of only a handful of music museums in the world. Located in Shinanomachi, Tokyo since 1998, the Museum has to date welcomed more than 1.6 million visitors. In addition to a variety of...

Passionate Cuban Music Marks Min-On’s 50th Anniversary

Passionate singing and dancing from César López and the Habana Ensemble The Caribbean Musical Cruise is a popular Min-On concert series showcasing the rich and diverse musical cultures of the Caribbean nations. This year, the Cruise visits Cuba—the largest “treasure...

Discovering the Soul of Shoka Songs at the Min-On Music Museum

Shoka melodies evoking the atmosphere of a school music classroom The Min-On Music Museum periodically organizes cultural lectures, workshops and mini concerts along with occasional special exhibitions in the museum as its public service activities to promote...

Young Conductors Make Successful Debuts at Gala Concert Series

Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra performs under the baton of Maja Metelska from Poland An early spring series of Gala Concerts for the winners of the 16th Tokyo International Competition for Conducting was held in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka in March. The Competition,...

The Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe of China

Award-winning Lion Dance, Majestic Dignity This year, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Min-On Concert Association (founded in 1963), and in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the conclusion of the Peace and Friendship Treaty between Japan and the...

Performance of Ekatatva Celebrates Solidarity Among the People

Ekatatva—a collaborative performance of odissi, kathak and bharatanatyam onstage The Sanskrit word ekatatva means ‘unity’ or ‘one essence’. “Ekatatva,” says Uma Dogra, a virtuoso of Indian kathak dance, “is a common principle of our thought that strings together three...

Ghana Dance Ensemble Takes Audience on a Voyage of Discovery

Ahengoro—a ceremonial dance of the ethnic Akans A Musical Voyage Across Africa is a concert series initiated by the Min-On Concert Association in 1999 and based on the idea that the 21st century shall be the ‘Century of Africa’. Aiming to develop friendships with...

Shaanxi Song and Dance Troupe Celebrates Sino-Japanese Friendship

Scene of the imperial palace of the Tang Dynasty in Moon Over the Capital On the evening of 10 July, the Shaanxi Song and Dance Troupe’s Moon over the Capital – Music and Dance of the Tang Dynasty premiered in Tokyo before a capacity audience at Nakano Sun Plaza Hall....

20th Kansai Foreign Students Music Festival Held in Osaka

Students from around the world onstage in Osaka  On December 4, 2011, 87 international students from 19 countries and regions studying at universities and colleges in the greater Kansai area gathered in the grand concert hall of the Osaka International House...

The Romantic Era of Asakusa Opera at the Min-On Music Museum

Poster welcoming visitors to the Asakusa Opera exhibition  July 30, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Taisho (“period of great righteousness”) era in Japan. This all-too-brief period of Japanese history followed the chaotic post-revolutionary...

Fabio Hager Dedicates Piece to Min-On Founder

Fabio Hager (center left) presenting the score of Dramatico   On January 19, the day after their arrival in Japan, Maestro Fabio Hager and the members of his sextet, together with the group’s featured dancers and singer, visited the Min-On Culture Center in Tokyo...

Flag-Bearers of a New Era of Tango

Fabio Hager Performs for the Min-On Tango Series The Fabio Hager Sextet perform at Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo  The Min-On Tango Series, which launched in 1970 with a concert by the internationally acclaimed Orquesta José Basso, has been credited with spearheading a tango...

A New Legend of Peruvian Music Takes to the Stage in Japan

A New Legend of Peruvian Music on stage  Organized by Min-On, and cosponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, Prom-Peru, and the Embassy of Peru in Japan, a successful concert tour of Peruvian artists entitled A New Legend of Peruvian Music played to...

The Ballet de Yoko Komatsubara Features Passion del Flamenco

Dancers and musicians of the Ballet de Yoko Komatsubara During September and October, the premier Spanish dance company in Japan, The Ballet de Yoko Komatsubara, accompanied by a total of six dancers, singers and guitarists invited from Spain, completed a successful...

Jamaica Rocks Celebrates A Rich Musical Culture

The singers of Jamaica Rocks in performance On September 9, the long-awaited world premier of Jamaica Rocks was held at Nakano Sun Plaza Hall in Tokyo—venue of a concert by the legendary Reggae artist Bob Marley in 1979. Jamaica Rocks is the name of a talented group...

Benny Goodman Orchestra Swings Into Town

Benny Goodman Orchestra performs in Tokyo The “King of Swing” Benny Goodman and his orchestra was one of the most popular musical groups in America during the Swing Era that began in the mid-1930s, and helped secure a new place for jazz as “America’s classical music”...

Exploring the Richness and Diversity of Jamaica through Music

Dance performance from Jamaica Rocks Mixing the rhythms of Africa with the melodies of Europe, the evolution of Jamaican music has been influenced as much by Jamaica’s cultural heritage as by the social conditions on the island itself. Until its rise to global...

Caribbean Musical Cruise Departs for Jamaica

The artists that make up Jamaica Rocks The Min-On Concert Association initiated a new concert series in the summer of 2009 entitled The Caribbean Musical Cruise to showcase the rich and varied musical cultures of the Caribbean nations, each of which has its own unique...

Ambassador Barnes of Jamaica Visits Min-On Culture Center

Ambassador Barnes listens to one of the antique pianos from the Music Museum collection On the afternoon of May 25, the Jamaican Ambassador, Ms. Claudia C. Barnes, accompanied by her secretary Ms. Sawako Toyama, visited the Min-On Culture Center for the first time....

Osvaldo Pugliese —The Venerable Maestro of Argentine Tango

Maestro Osvaldo Pugliese The following are excerpts from the essay titled “Recollections of World Figures: Osvaldo Pugliese —The Venerable Maestro of Argentine Tango” written by Min-On founder Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International, in 1995....