Performance1: 殴打(O-DA)!(DARTHREIDER & Ota Koji) feat. DJ OSHOW
The first performance,殴打(O-DA)! was led by DARTHREIDER and Ota Koji, and featured DJ OSHOW. It started a little after 6pm, and coincided with Ukrainian President Zelensky’s remote speech at the Japanese Diet.
DARTHREIDER, master freestyle-rapper, rapped about how normal people’s lives are being sacrificed due to military invasions in distant countries, and combined that with elements from the artists’ daily lives.
“In mid-February, Ukrainian musicians would have been announcing their upcoming gigs, and children would have been looking forward to the weekend. Let’s use our imagination and try to collect every piece of it.”
Interview1: Maria Golomidova
In between performances, interviews about peace were held at the talk booth.
First up was Russian photographer Maria Golomidova. Maria, who has numerous friends not only in her home Russia, but also in Ukraine. She expressed great sadness regarding the invasion. However, her main message was, “I want this world to be filled with love and music.” A message that should be shared with people around the world.
”I think what is happening now is a struggle between the archaic way of thinking and the modern humane way of thinking. The archaic world is trying to preserve the past through war. The modern world values freedom of thought, cooperation, diversity, art, and people.”
”I think ‘PLAY FOR PEACE’ is clearly a project born out of the humanitarian ideas of modern times. As a Russian, I am very happy to participate in this project. I feel responsible for the tragedy that is happening in Ukraine. I was so embarrassed, in pain, and I wanted to do something, but I didn’t have the courage to raise my voice. Words are really important. I wanted to say the words that had been in my heart for a long time: ‘I am against the war, I am sorry for the Ukrainian people, and I pray for peace.’”
“I am very grateful for this opportunity.”
Performance2: Takeshi Arai（the band apart）
The second group was “the band apart.” Frontman, Takeshi Arai, rushed from his recording studio to be a part of this event. The first song was written by Arai after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. “When your daily life is taken away suddenly, what can I do as a musician? The more I thought I was a tiny being, the more I didn’t want to keep still. There were things I could do, even if they were small,” he said as he gave a wonderful performance.
２．Yoru-no-mukou-e（the band apart）
“As a musician, I want to continue to be a weaver of hope. I am honored to be a part of PLAY FOR PEACE. May the power of small things come together and become a great hope.”
DARTHREIDER, who gave a great rap performance, was also interviewed. After discussing his freestyle rap performance, he also offered his unique perspective on the role of music. He said, “Some people ask, ‘What can music do in times like these?’ But on the contrary, I want you to think about what we are receiving from the world through music. If we do that, we will think about stopping wars that create situations where music can’t be enjoyed.”
Performance3: JESSE（RIZE / The BONEZ )
JESSE started singing with his acoustic guitar. As he played, he asked the audience, “EVERYBODY, what can I do to help someone in need?” Every word of the lyrics touched the hearts of the audience. In the middle of the performance, the MC commented about his own staff member who has a Russian father. He said, “His dad used to come to our gigs and give us hugs. At least we know his dad is not a bad person. The Russian nursery school and elementary school where he grew up are not bad either. There are thousands of people that are good. I can’t point fingers at the bad guys. I don’t have the right to do that. EVERYBODY IS WELCOME HERE. That’s what this event is about.” With this message, he sent his songs beyond the screen.
“I put my soul into it. PLAY FOR PEACE.”
－JESSE（RIZE / The BONEZ )
Interview3: JESSE（RIZE / The BONEZ )
After the performance, JESSE came to the talk booth. He explained his definition of peace, “Music can bring a peaceful approach to all the problems in the world. The term ‘love & peace’ is popular, but personally I think it should be ‘peace & love.’ Because love sometimes causes jealousy, but when there is peace, love is born naturally.”
Performance4: ATSUSHI & Nataliya Gudziy
A special collaboration between Butoh dancer ATSUSHI and Ukrainian musician Nataliya Gudziy. In the first song, a cover of Masashi Sada’s “Sakimori no Uta” , Natasha sang and played the bandura, a Ukrainian folk instrument. In the second song, ATSUSHI joined in with an improvised dance. The clear tones from the bandura, Nataliya ‘s beautiful voice, and the freedom of ATSUSHI’s dancing filled the audience with hope for peace.
2．Song of the Birds
“I am happy to be able to participate with my friend Natachan (Nataliya Gudziy).
In this chaotic time, I would be happy if our art of living, dance and music, could be a source of comfort for others.”
Interview4: Karin Amamiya
Writer Karin Amamiya spoke about poverty issues from the viewpoint of the vulnerable. She spoke to us from the perspective of ‘the disabled and war’. Explaining, “In the end, war creates many disabled people. War sacrifices the weak and creates more of them,”
TabuZombie is a trumpeter who plays as a member of SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS. His improvisational style, backed by his overwhelming performance ability, captivated the audience. Although there was no MC or singing, the sound of his trumpet eloquently conveyed the horror of war and his thoughts on peace.
improvised performance（Theme: War and Peace）
“We hope that the money raised by this event will go to those affected by the war and those in need.”
Interview5: ATSUSHI & Nataliya Gudziy
Nataliya experienced the Chernobyl nuclear accident when she was a child. She opened her speech by saying, “The accident happened 36 years ago, but it is by no means a past story.” Then she added, “Of course, I consider it my life’s work to tell the story of Chernobyl. And, I believe that you all surely need the power of music and art, so that the many people who are suffering in Ukraine now can feel some hope to overcome it.” ATSUSHI, who has continued to support the areas affected by the 3.11 disaster, said, “I wish there is an atmosphere where if someone is feeling sad, people will give a hand and say ‘are you okay?’ to each other. I hope that everyone can live with compassion.”
TOSHI-LOW came to the event immediately after leaving his friend’s farewell party. Before he began his performance, he said (in typical TOSHI-LOW style), “it’s stupid that my friend’s farewell party was interrupted by such a live stream. I wanted to get drunk with my friends. I’m against war to deprive me of my drinking party. I want peace. Pacifism for me.” His performance and words were so good that KIYOHARU, who was watching from the floor, later confessed, “I got hot in the eyes.”
2．Daddy Darling（G-FREAK FACTORY）
Interview5: Karin Amamiya ＆ TOSHI-LOW
Interview with TOSHI-LOW, who gave a wonderful performance, and Karin Amamiya. One of the great things about musicians is that they never forget their sense of humor, even at events like this. Their interview was not only humorous, but also delivered a strong message. TOSHI-LOW spoke strongly about the first song, a cover of Nobuyasu Okabayashi’s Watashitachi-no-nozomu-mono-wa, saying “what we want is an anti-war song from a country that has renounced war.”
Performance6: Taiji Sato ＆ KIYOHARU
They seem like an unexpected combination, but in fact, Taiji Sato participated in KIYOHARU’s first solo album, and he also participated as the arranger and guitarist in KIYOHARU’s single “Gaia” released last year. The busy duo did not rehearse in advance, but only lightly played together at the venue before going on stage. Their brilliant performance was applauded by other performers.
1．Kasa ga nai（Yousui Inoue）
”It was a day of musicians getting together to simply play together and also ask ourselves what we can do as musicians. I am glad I attended. In fact, I think more events like this should be held in Japan on a larger scale.”
Performance7: Taiji Sato
Taiji Sato is a co-founder of “PLAY FOR PEACE”. He launched the music festival “THE SOLAR BUDOKAN” using renewable energy after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and co-founded the “PLAY FOR PEACE” event immediately after the invasion of Ukraine. Taiji said, “If there are people in trouble, it is only natural to help them”. During the live performance, he closed with the last song “Arittake no Ai” by shouting, “If we imagine, there will never be war!”
Talk6: Taiji Sato, KIYOHARU, TOSHI-LOW
After a tense performance, the three members answered the interview in a relaxed mood as they discussed peace. Coming from three different backgrounds, these musicians holding this talk, was itself a symbol of peace.
At the end of the talk, TOSHI-LOW asked KIYOHARU what he thought about the war.
KIYOHARU replied, “There is not much we can do, but we are thinking about what we can do through our music. I am from a different tribe from today’s performers, but even within that tribe, there are people who are doing the right thing. My heart aches to see the sight of people who have died, children lying on the ground, waiting for hours to cross the border for evacuation, old women who have walked dozens of kilometers to see their grandchildren. When I was invited, I wanted to join to provide some kind of support through singing.” It was heartwarming to see Taiji Sato and TOSHI-LOW listening to KIYOHARU.
Performance8: Rina Katahira
Rina Katahira came to the venue after performing at an event in Fukushima. The first song she played was “Kaze-ni-fukarete” and She dressed in the same style as famous musician Joan Baez. Katahira’s singing voice is always gentle and clear. During the MC she said, “I feel so helpless because what I can do is limited, but even if my voice is helpless, I want the war to end soon and I will continue to raise that voice.”
3．Aozora（The Blue Hearts）
“I still don’t know what is true information and what is right. But I know that wars are taking lives, and I think about what I can do to help. After spending time at PLAY FOR PEACE, I want to continue to pray for peace and talk about peace. Until there is peace in the world.”
Interview7: Daisuke Tsuda
After the invasion of Ukraine occurred, Daisuke Tsuda has been reporting the details of the invasion of Ukraine every day. His online program “Politas TV” digs into the topic deeper than any other media. In this interview, he provided the audience with the latest information in an easy-to-understand manner. He also participated in the anti-war street protest: “No War 0305 Presented by Zenkankaku-Sai” held in Shinjuku on March 5th. He explains the importance of taking such actions, “It is meaningful to visualize support through demonstrations and donations. We should just do what we can to raise our voices and make donations without hesitation.”
Performance9: Yoshiyuki & Megumi（Megumi Mashiro ＆ Yoshiyuki Yatsuhashi）
Megumi Mashiro, who came to the stage after her own live performance, went up on stage with guitarist Yoshiyuki Yatsuhashi. The two’s steady performance gave a sense of peace to the audience. It was a wonderful performance that reminded us that music itself is peaceful.
1．Stay in the Light
“To those who supported this event,
Thank you very much.
We performed on that day with a prayer for peace.
Various expressive people gathered with the same feeling, and the backstage was a warm atmosphere.”
“The war is still going on. I hope the money you gave us will be useful.
And please continue to support us.”
Video message from SUGIZO, co-sponsor of the event.
Although SUGIZO could not make it to the venue due to his schedule, he sent us a video message expressing his passion for peace.
Performance10: Keiichi Sokabe
It was already past midnight when the last performance by Keiichi Sokabe began.
Sokabe sang with no MC. Every word of the songs were filled with feelings that reached the audience’s hearts. Although the songs (other than the last song) were not directly anti-war or peace songs, many people commented favorably on Sokabe’s songs. Taiji Sato who was watching the performance said with a big smile, “Sokabe’s performance was just wonderful and made me happy.” The last song (Nagai-yoru) he sang, “I’ll never be free. I’ll sing, I’ll sing, I’ll sing.” with all his might. It is still burned into our minds.
“On this night too, I sang my heart out. Sometimes when I do live shows without an audience, I imagine someone on the other side of the internet.
This night, for some reason, I had a moment when I felt as if people in Ukraine, with whom I would never be connected, were listening to me.
There is almost no one in Ukraine today who has the time to listen to music.
If that is the case, my illusion must have been a big hubris.
Towards who and what am I trying to convey?
Can I only sing as if I were shaking off a question that is like a deep darkness.”
Performance11: PLAY FOR PEACE Session（Keiichi Sokabe, Megumi Mashiro, TOSHI-LOW, Taiji Sato）
The special session was quickly organized by co-founder Taiji Sato. He gathered the remaining musicians at the venue.
TOSHI-LOW, did not return to the farewell party, but joined the session, bringing smiles to the audience at the end of “PLAY FOR PEACE Vol.1” with his humorous actions.
Hey Jude (The Beatles)
■The entire live stream of 『PLAY FOR PEACE vol.1』 will be available on YouTube until mid-June 2022.
We have listed one song from each artist from the list of songs performed.
※【SETLIST】The name of the original composer is shown in parentheses.