2024/06/13 16:15

Goals of the International Red and White Singing  Festival 

FROM EDITOR

Goals of the International Red and White Singing  Festival 

 

"The International Red and White Singing Festival (IRWS)  has been held annually since 2011, with the support of various organizations such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan Tourism Agency, Osaka Tourism Bureau, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Osaka Prefecture, Japan ASEAN Center, overseas Japanese associations, and Wakayama Broadcasting. Thanks to the support of many seniors, volunteers from the organizing committee, and contributors, the event has been successfully held every year except in 2020 (due to event suspension caused by COVID-19). We express our sincere gratitude to all those who have supported us.

Since 2013, with the sponsorship of the Osaka Tourism Bureau and the support of Osaka City and Osaka Prefecture, the event expanded to Osaka. The coverage by media outlets such as NHK and Mainichi Shimbun, as well as collaboration with ethnic media in nine languages, has increased awareness among Japanese and foreign communities interested in international exchange.

In 2021, we relocated the main venue to Osaka and also ventured into real-time video streaming, connecting with audiences overseas.

Thanks to this, we have been able to engage professional organizers for various events. However, returning to our roots, we humbly and earnestly commit to continuing our efforts for the event. I would like to express our feelings for this event.

NHK's Red and White Singing Festival (IRWS) is considered one of the few television programs that three generations can enjoy together while communicating. Producers consciously create the program with this in mind, as mentioned in TV interviews.

The image of the 'International Red and White Singing Festival (IRWS) ' is not limited to three generations of families. It extends to scenarios where, for example, international students, lodgers from abroad, and grandchildren from an American daughter in an international marriage all enjoy watching together.

Did you know that in Tokyo and Osaka, one in ten couples is in an international marriage? If you look around your relatives, you probably have someone like that. Even if you have had no interaction with foreigners so far if your sister marries someone from Africa, you might feel a connection with people from Africa, and if your son marries a Chinese person, regardless of the country's political system, you would likely try to understand your daughter-in-law.

From the ages of 18 to 24, I lived mostly overseas and learned how people from other countries have a positive image of Japan, its culture, and its people. Many expressed a desire to visit Japan at least once.

With the yen depreciating and living standards rising in neighboring Asian countries, the number of foreign tourists in Japan is expected to increase. However, Japanese people who are close friends with foreigners living in Japan are still a minority.

Now is the time for all Japanese people, even if it's just one person, to make an effort to make friends with foreigners in the workplace, school, and community. If Japanese people make such efforts, the number of Japan's fans will increase, and ultimately, this can become a significant bulwark protecting the country.

When I was 18, I became friends with a young man from Lebanon, a refugee in Australia. Since then, I have been thinking about how people around the world can live in peace and what Japanese people can do. I also encountered various religions and ways of thinking.

After about 30 years of exploration, I found myself drawn to the Shinto philosophy of Japan, which emphasizes unity with nature. Shinto is not a religion but a way of thinking, accepting people of any religion, making it a universal concept.

If environmental degradation continues at the current pace, many scientists warn that by 2050, significant environmental changes will occur, making it nearly impossible for most people to lead a decent life."

 "Before the Earth Breaks: A Introduction Video Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio on National Geographic"

In this video, Leonardo DiCaprio takes center stage as he discusses the urgent need to address the environmental challenges our planet faces. Presented by National Geographic, the video delves into the critical issues threatening the Earth's well-being. DiCaprio's passionate narration emphasizes the importance of taking action to protect our environment and the future of our planet.

"Now is the time for humans to consider themselves as an integral part of nature and adopt a mindset of coexistence with it.

The Shinto philosophy of 'Not conquering nature, but coexisting with it'—introduced in the writings of Manlio Cadelo, the Head of the Embassy Delegation to Japan, and the San Marino Ambassador to Japan—suggests a connection to global peace.

By cultivating a sense of reverence for nature and embracing a coexistence mindset, respecting others becomes less challenging. I believe this approach can lead to a world without conflicts.

This principle applies equally to international students. I see a future in embracing the idea of 'Not conquering, but appreciating and coexisting with nature.' If both Japanese and foreigners understand and respect each other, a bright future is assured.

Recommended Reading (Why Japan is Respected Worldwide):

Insights from the San Marino Ambassador and Chief of the Diplomatic Corps in Japan on Shinto shrines, culture, and spirituality. [Link: https://www.yokosojapan.net/article.php/201601170sanmarino_editor_ja]

Volunteer activities led by core members of the International Red and White Singing Festival, focusing on the 'Student Interpreter Volunteer Guide.' [Link: https://gc-volunteer-guide.jimdosite.com/

A paradigm shift in values started in Japan. [Link: https://www.yokosojapan.net/article.php/20151001water_feature_en

An essay posted on the Japan Science and Technology Agency's site, written in response to a request, sharing experiences with Chinese exchange students. [Link: http://www.spc.jst.go.jp/experiences/exchange/exchange_1501.html

Founder & Representative of the International Red and White Singing Festival(IRWS)   Kazumi Miyazaki

Official Website of IRWS  http://www.irws.org/