What We Do
“Cultural exchanges promote mutual appreciation and respect for people from other backgrounds and cultures, bringing people’s hearts together in a network of peace.” — Daisaku Ikeda, Translated from Japanese, Ikeda Daisaku zenshu (The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda), vol. 1, p. 161, (1985).
Min-On offers a wide range of musical, cultural and educational programs
for the general public with the following aims:
To develop a multifaceted music and cultural movement that is firmly rooted among ordinary people in order to share with an ever-greater audience the pleasure and inspiration that come from enjoying music and the performing arts.
To deepen mutual understanding and friendship among all countries by promoting music and cultural exchanges that transcend differences of nationality, race and language.
To contribute to a flourishing of music and art by developing musical programs designed to cultivate the artistic sentiments of children and young people.
Music and the performing arts are for everyone; they are not the exclusive preserve of the privileged or wealthy. When Min-On was founded in the 1960s, the average person in Japan listened to popular music. They were less familiar with classical music and opera, and tickets to such concerts were expensive, which made them inaccessible to a large portion of the population.
One of Min-On’s core objectives was to make the finest music and performing arts from around the world readily accessible to ordinary citizens at affordable prices. At the same time, in order to develop a multifaceted music and cultural movement, Min-On stages concerts across the spectrum of musical genres, from classical music performed by superb symphony orchestras to contemporary jazz played by world-renowned musicians; from magnificent operas to independent productions such as Broadway-style musicals; from elegant ballet productions to energetic folk dance performances; from the exotic rhythms of Latin and Tango to the quiet beauty of Japanese performing arts; from traditional choral music to modern popular songs.
Min-On thus aims to share with an ever-greater audience the pleasure and inspiration that come from enjoying music and the performing arts by organizing approximately 600 performances every year covering a broad range of styles and genres. Read more
Tango group La Juan D’arienzo Orchestra performs in Tokyo
On February 1, Argentine tango group La Juan D’arienzo Orchestra kicked off their tour of Japan at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. Envoys and embassy officials from 18 countries and territories, including Acting Ambassador Cesar Rodolfo Campoy of the Argentine Republic,...
Min-On School Concert Held in Higashikagawa City, Kagawa
On Friday, November 27, 2020, the world-renowned taiko drum troupe Maidaiko Aska-Gumi held a Min-On School Concert at Okawa Middle School (Higashikagawa City, Kagawa Prefecture). This was the first Min-On school concert held in the Shikoku region since the coronavirus...
Min-On School Concerts Held in Tottori and Shimane
"Pro musicians came to our school!" To students’ delight, the band AUN & HIDE, whose play traditional Japanese instruments in concerts both in Japan and abroad, performed at Min-On School Concerts in Tottori and Shimane prefectures. Participating Schools: Tuesday,...
Music and the performing arts know no boundaries. Although shaped by national and ethnic tastes, they have the power to move the hearts of people the world over. Music and cultural exchanges bring people together, like the string of a lute creating harmonious vibrations in the hearts of all.
Min-On strongly believes that the basis of genuine world peace can be realized only by fostering mutual understanding and friendship among the people of different countries through grassroots exchanges that transcend distinctions of race, nation and ideology. To date, Min-On has initiated exchange programs with a total of 110 countries and regions around the world.
In 1965, soon after its founding, Min-On invited an Israeli pianist to Japan, and in the following year, the Soviet National Academy Novosibirsk Ballet. During its first five years, in addition to Israel and the (then) Soviet Union, Min-On organized cultural exchanges with the United States, France, Belgium and Hong Kong. Later it sponsored Japan tours of world-renowned companies from Europe, such as the Vienna State Opera and the Scala Theater of Milan. It also sent many Japanese musicians and dance troupes overseas.
Amid the cultural exchanges realized during the 1980s and 1990s, Min-On launched several performance series, each with a different theme, including “A Musical Voyage Along the Silk Road,” “A Musical Voyage Along the Marine Road” and “A Musical Voyage Across Africa”. Min-On also established a tradition of Annual Series of exchange concerts with countries including Argentina and China, a tradition that has continued now for more than forty years. The latest series, launched in 2009, is entitled “The Caribbean Musical Cruise,” and introduces the rich variety of musical cultures unique to the Caribbean nations, each of which has its own distinctive ethnic and historical background. In 2011, Jamaica became the 104th country to take part in Min-On’s 55-year history of cultural exchange programs. Read more
Japanese Taiko Troupe Kicks off Thunderous Spring
On February 9, the Maidaiko Asuka-Gumi, a traditional Japanese drum troupe, performed at the Nakano Sunplaza Hall in Tokyo. Ambassadors and embassy officials from diplomatic missions of 40 countries joined a general audience attending the concert. Maidaiko Asuka-Gumi...
Argentine “BA Style” Kickoff Meeting Held
The Embassy of the Argentine Republic in Japan and the Min-On are jointly working on a project, “BA Style” to introduce the fascination of Buenos Aires. An in-person event to launch the project was held on April 16, 2021, at the Min-On Culture Center, which was...
La Juan D’Arienzo Free Online Tango Concert
Since 1970, Min-On has hosted the Min-On Tango Series in Japan every year with the support of Min-On sustaining members. However, in 2021 the series has been canceled due to the ongoing global coronavirus situation. To show our gratitude to everyone who supports the...
Min-On was founded as a nonprofit concert association in 1963. Two years later, in 1965, it was legally recognized as an incorporated foundation whose purpose was to contribute outreach programs oriented toward a variety of public service projects. Its aim was to foster “a flourishing of music and art” and cultivate “the artistic sentiments of children and young people.”
Min-On’s first public activity was a series of admission-free town concerts held in public parks in the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, Sendai, Sapporo and Nagoya in 1964 and 1965. It sponsored a music master class for young musicians that was held for the first time in January 1965 at the Toranomon Hall and was taught by internationally acclaimed jazz drummer Art Blakely. Min-On also sponsors musical competitions — for vocalists, conductors and contemporary composers, as well as chamber ensembles and choreographers—to encourage the development of new artistic talent. The latest competition was the Tokyo International Music Competition in Conducting held in 2015, with 239 young talented contestants from 40 countries and regions.
Public service projects continue to include school concerts, Tohoku Hope Concert, free concerts, various music-related workshops and symposia, as well as children’s theater and music master classes. The International Student Music Festival in Kyoto is another example of Min-On’s efforts to strengthen bonds between people through music. The Min-On Culture Center in Tokyo houses the Min-On Music Museum and Music Library, where rare collections of antique harpsichords and classical pianos, various music boxes and gramophones, as well as a variety of ethnic instruments are displayed. A large collection of vinyl records, CDs and DVDs, musical scores and reference books are freely available to the public. Entrance to the museum is free of charge as a part of its public service activities.
Min-On holds special concert events honoring 50 years of Japan-Bahrain ties
On December 2, 2022, the Min-On Concert Association and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Japan, co-organized a special “cultural lecture” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Japan and Bahrain. Min-On organizes the series...
Famed flutist performs for Min-On’s School Concert in Hokkaido
On August 30, Yoko Owada, an internationally acclaimed flutist, performed at Nishinosato Junior High School in Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido. She played three well-known classical scores; she also responded to requests from students with popular anime theme songs and...
Duet performs free concert for Nagasaki kids
On July 1, the duet Viento performed at the Ojika Elementary School gymnasium in Ojika Town, Nagasaki. Students from three schools—Ojika Elementary School, its affiliated Oshima Branch and Ojika Junior High School took part in the concert. The Oshima Branch school is...
Min-On’s third Central Asia performance ends with tribute to Kazak musical culture
On June 19, the Min-On Concert Association held “Celebrating the Silk Road: The Bridge of Culture and Friendship, Vol. 3—Kazakhstan,” the third and last of Min-On’s performances honoring the 30th anniversary of Japan’s establishment of diplomatic relations with...
Min-On continues salute to Central Asia countries with a celebration of Kyrgyz musical culture
On May 21, the Min-On Concert Association kicked off “Celebrating the Silk Road: The Bridge of Culture and Friendship, Vol. 2—Kyrgyzstan,” the second following Min-On’s tribute to the Republic of Uzbekistan held on April 23. The Kyrgyz and Uzbek concerts were held in...
Min-On pays tribute to Uzbekistan musical culture with two concerts in Tokyo
At noon and in the evening of April 23, a special Min-On Concert Association program honoring the 30th anniversary of Japan’s establishment of diplomatic relations with countries in Central Asia, took place at the Akasaka Civic Center in Tokyo. Part of an overarching...
Young drummers of Korea and Japan display skills, passion and partnership
On April 15 and April 16, a traditional music event featuring young Korean and Japanese musicians was held at the Hanmadang Hall of the Korean Culture Center (KCC) in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The event was organized by the Min-On Concert Association and cosponsored by the...
Duet performs for Min-On’s School Concert in Hokkaido
On January 20 and 21, internationally renowned flutist Yoko Owada joined pianist Naomi Tsukamoto to perform at three schools in Hokkaido prefecture as part of the Min-On Concert Association’s School Concert series. Students from Sumikawa Nishi Elementary School in...
‘Awe-inspiring’ Brazilian wins Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting
José Soares, a 23-year-old prodigy from Brazil, won the 19th Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting held at The Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall on October 3. The Brazilian contestant was selected from among four finalists in the triennial Competition....
Results of The 19th Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting
Results of The 19th Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting in 2021 [1st Prize] José SOARES ［Brazil］ [2nd Prize] Samy RACHID ［France］ [3rd Prize] Bertie BAIGENT ［UK］ [Honorable Mention] Satoshi YONEDA ［Japan］ [Special Award / Hideo Saito Award] Bertie...