The Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble’s Commemorative Event to Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Public interest Corporation Authorization



Date & Time: Sunday May 22, 2022, 14:30 ~ 17:30
Venue: Kioi Sho Hall (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)

Part I:
Remote Online Lecture and Q&A session

The Birth of the Universe and Its Future
~ Where did we come from and where do we go from here? ~

Dr. Katsuhiko Sato,
Prof. Emeritus of the University of Tokyo, Visiting Professor at Meisei University, Adviser at the Research Center for Science Systems at Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Part II:
Gagaku Performance by Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble

Special guest musicians:
Mr. Shogo Anzai,
former chief court musician of the Music
Department at the Imperial Household Agency,

Ms. Yoshiko Hinata and Mr. Osamu Hinata

Kangen - Taishikicho no netori, Gakkaen, Batou
Bugaku - Manzairaku
Kayou- songs: - Sakura Sakura, Kojyono Tsuki, Furusato

click for enlargement


   On May 22, the 13th Gagaku and International Cultural Exchange Program was held at Kioi Sho Hall with the attendance of 137 people including guests.
   Before the start of the program, Mr. Eisuke Mori, adviser to the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble, delivered a congratulatory speech on behalf of the guests for the event. Mr. Mori, as president of the nonpartisan organization called, “Japan-Ukraine Friendship Parliamentarians’ Union”, also talked about the ongoing Ukraine crisis caused by the military invasion by Russia and said that Japanese government has been making the utmost effort to help and protect the freedom and democracy of Ukraine.

   At this event, a humanitarian support to raise funds for Ukraine was also held. At the opening, Mr. Eisuke Mori, who is the president of Japan-Ukraine Friendship Parliamentarians’Union, spoke about supporting Ukraine, and many attendees made their monetary contributions for the cause. A total of 79,540 Japanese yen was raised. The money was handed over to the mayor of Isumi City and then later will be delivered to Japanese Red Cross Society.
   Thank you very much for your support.

   Although the part I was done by a remote online access, Prof. Emeritus Katsuhiko Sato from the University of Tokyo, who is a leading person in astrophysics in Japan, was a speaker and talked for about one hour on the subject: “The Birth of the Universe and Its Future ~ Where did we come from and where do we go from here? ~ ”.
   The universe was created from nothing about 13.8 billion years ago. Dr. Sato explained with slide pictures how it was created as it was revealed by the progress of science. However, since the discovery of “dark energy”, if the second inflation occurs and the universe expands at an increasing speed, then our descendants will never be able to see beautiful stars in the universe. Furthermore, mankind itself may be heading toward its own destruction through environmental destructions, nuclear proliferation, war, terrorism and so on. Dr. Sato warned that mankind is standing on the junction of either a limitless future or a path to its own destruction. Believing in that the beautiful universe will still sustain its perpetual brilliance, he emphasized in his talk about the necessity of love for humanity which reaches to the other side of the world.

   On the 2nd part of the program, gagaku music and dance were performed. First, kangen music of gakkaen and battou were played. Gakkaen is said to have a joyful sound from taishikicho (keynote: E) and battou has been popular from an ancient time, was mentioned in the Pillow Book (makuranosushi) by Sei Shonagon and has a very rhythmical melody. For bugaku dance, manzairaku, which has a splendid and relaxed melody, was performed by four dancers. The dance has been played at the enthronement ceremony of the emperor from an olden day.

   Finally, popular Japanese songs, “Sakura Sakura”, “Kojyo no tuski” and “Furusato” were sung by Ms. Yoshiko Hinata and Mr. Osamu Hinata with the accompaniment of gagaku.

(Comments by the attendees)
    “I felt an intellectual stimulation with Dr. Sato’s lecture about the universe. I also really enjoyed gagaku and dance. Thank you for the lecture about “The birth and future of the universe”, for the refined music of gagaku and dance and also for the nostalgic songs. Even though they arevery tiny dots from the viewpoint of the enormous universe, I truly realized how irreplaceable and precious our activities are.”
    “I strongly felt that we were such a minimal existence after listening the lecture about the universe.”
    “It was my first experience with gagaku. I thought that the sound of each instrument, beautiful costumes and the dance were all art and felt that they were truly the traditional arts of Japan.”


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