buttonPeace Music Festa! (from) Henoko 2008
@ Ueno Suijo Ongaku-Do (22nd Jun. '08)

- intro -

Peace Music Festa from Henoko 2008
      Feburuary 2007 on Henoko Beach, next to a gigantic military base called Camp Schwab, Peace Music Festa 2007 was held. The beach was divided in two by sharp barbed wire and the major half was occupied by the US military forces and the tiny remaining bit had been left over for the local people and endangered species such as dugong and coral beads. This small portion, along where in the water the local people have been gaining their daily bread from, is facing destruction because of a "supposedly new" plan to build another military base to replace MCAS Futenma and needless to say, this "Peace Festa" was held to raise public voices to protest against this plan

Peace Music Festa from Henoko 2008       However, what needs to be examined is not only an environmental issue, but also the colony-like situation that the local people have been forced into since the end of the Second World War. Even now, more than six decades after the war, one-third of Okinawa Island is occupied by US military forces and residents have been suffering unbearable noise from military planes constantly landing and taking off along with countless crimes committed by the US soldiers. Some of those soldiers and military officers are living in the most expensive areas of the island, where the majority of the local people could never ever afford to, and the cost of their luxurious living is looked after from the taxes we pay. Under this situation, the youth in Okinawa were determined to raise their voices to say, "We need no military bases", and support those locals trying to stop the ground work for a new base in a non-violent manner. Also by organizing this "Matsuri", all of those involved in the festival were expecting to let music fans know about this issue.

Peace Music Festa from Henoko 2008       We at Smashing Mag traveled down to Okinawa to make a report of the festival and as you could see, there were lots of musicians and volunteers flew in even from Tokyo, some hundreds miles away, to support this gathering at their own expense. One of the most amazing acts was Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra as more than 30 musicians got on board to play for a couple of songs there as well as the guys of Soul Flower Union and their friends who were there not only to play music, but also to set up the stage the day before the festival and clear up the day after everything was over. These facts clearly showed that this was not just a music festival like the massive concerts booming all over Japan.

      None of the major press covered this festival which might be nothing surprising. It was the same some months later when there was the biggest ever demonstration in Okinawan history involving over 10% of the population there to protest against the textbook screening system wanting to delete the line "The Okinawan public was ordered to commit suicide by the military force in the land battle era of the Second World War" from a textbook. While local media outlets such as Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shinpo dedicated huge amounts of space in their papers to report this historic event, the major press on the main land of Japan either almost ignored this news or put a tiny article in a corner of their papers.

Peace Music Festa from Henoko 2008       Despite most media opting not to cover the event, the impact of the festival was not small at all. Okinawa prefecture has one of the highest unemployment rates in Japan and, because of the insufficiency of industry there, many people are forced to accept a job related to the military forces of the US so it is not easy at for residents to raise their voice on the issue of the base. Nevertheless the tiny festival of this Peace Music Festa was born with some local reggae musicians in 2006 and last year it was not just a local thing but became a nation wide gathering of musicians from the main land as well. It may not have been a huge financial success, but as one of the very first gatherings involving music to protest against the existence of the US forces it encouraged musicians and music fans to start raising their voices on social issues which are not that familiar in this country. In that sense, it really was one of the epoch making events of music and culture here.

      There still was a doubt if we, those who living in the main land of Japan, have been responding enough to what was said there. I guess it was one of the reasons why the festival was held in Tokyo this year on the day before the memorial day of the end of the War in Okinawa.

Peace Music Festa from Henoko 2008      Needless to say, it is not an easy thing to fill the venue chosen to host the event. Ueno Suijo Ongaku Do has a capacity of about 1500. In fact there was a call from one of the organizers reporting that the ticket sales were not good at all about a week before the festival. Although Soul Flower Union and Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra might be two of the top underground acts in Japan, they are not stars to attract a massive amount of attendees and you have to remember that no gig with social and political banner has ever been successful in Japan. In addition to that, the weather on the day of the festival was pretty bad. It started raining in the morning and, according to weather forecasts, the rain was going to fall even harder as the day progressed causing Ueno Suijo Ongaku Do to be half empty when the show started. It seemed like there was no hope, but the first act of the day, Kachimba 4,an acoustic set of Kachimba 1551 of a salsa outfit, gave us a glimpse of the bright sun of Okinawa with their lively music which was a good sign for the day and when Shibusa Shirazu was getting on stage, the venue was almost full.

      According to the organizer, there were about 1300 people in attendance, which was more than expected. But the matter was not simply how many people turned up. From the stage, some musicians clearly stated that we have to get rid of the US military bases from the soil of Japan through their comments or songs. One of the older acts of the day, Masao Teruya, a legendary musician of Okinawan traditional music, was telling us his experience of life as an Okinawan from the days of the liberation right after the War to the colony-like days of Okinawa which we could never learn from textbooks as such. During the set changes, there were some appeals from the local people struggling in Henoko or Takae where a tiny village of 160 people that is surrounded by a semi-tropical forest is facing another destruction of natural treasures as well as their lives by the plan of the US military forces to build 6 helicopter pads. The issue in Takae was relatively unknown up till last year when there was a gathering there inviting UA, one of the well known musicians whose reports can be checked here. There was no doubt that the voices were reaching to the audience and will be echoing to others even when the music was over.

      This year I am making some reports with the photos I took on the rainy day and hope you can see the energy of those who were involved and that you could think a bit about these ridiculous moves of the governments' destruction of our lives and nature under their excuses of national defense. My questions are there. Is it normal to have foreign military forces in an independent country? Does the word "national defense" equal the destruction of our own people and nature?
Peace Music Festa from Henoko 2008

photos by hanasan
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buttonprevous files

buttonphoto report : (08/06/22 @ Ueno Suijo Ongaku-Do) : photos by hanasan
buttonPeace Music Festa! Henoko 2007 : Intro (JPN / ENG ) feat. Duty Free Shopp. , Soul Flower Union, Misako Oshiro... anre more (07/02/24 to 25 @ Henoko Beach) : photos by hanasan

The official site

Peace Music Festa! Henoko


Peace Music Blog


Soul Flower Union

"ライブ辺野古" (国内盤)

辺野古 海のたたかい

"辺野古 海のたたかい" (国内盤)

Duty Free Shop.

"音アシャギ” with カクマクシャカ" (国内盤)

Shaolong To The Sky

"月の陰から" (国内盤 / iTunes)

check the albums?

previous works


buttonPeace Music Festa! (from) Henoko 2008 (22nd Jun. @ Ueno Suijo Ongaku-Do) with intro (JPN / ENG) feat. Kachimba4, KZ, Masao Teruya, Shaolong To The Sky, Kotobuki, Duty Free Shop. with Kakumaku Shaka, Donal Lunny with Kazutoki Umezu & Hiromi Kondo, Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra, Soul Flower Union, overall photo document
buttonThe Slackers (17th Jun. @ Daikanyama Unit)
buttonVic Ruggiero (16th Jun. @ Shimokitazawa 440)
buttonKillswitch Engage & Thy Will Be Done (12th Jun. @ Shibuya O East)
buttonFumio Nunoya (7th Jun. @ Ogikubo Rooster)
buttonLove Camp 2008 feat. Oriental Lucy,The Plastic Day, Sagitta, Yukie Sato and more(31st May in Hong Chon, Kangwon-do)
buttonBanda Bassotti & Boikot (10th May @ Villaggio Globale, Rome)
buttonBerri Txarrak (3rd May @ Viňa Rock Festival, Villarrobledo)
buttonBanda Bassotti (2nd May @ Sala Heaven, Santander)
buttonBanda Bassotti (1st May @ Kottbusser Tor, Berlin)
buttonOki Dub Ainu Band (23rd Apr. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonMozaik (4th Apr. @ Kyoto Taku Taku)
buttonEdgar"Jones"Jones & The Joneses (3rd Apr. @ Nagoya Tokuzo)
buttonJohn Butler Trio (2nd Apr. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonRodrigo Y Gabriela (30th Mar. @ Shibuya Duo Music Exchange)
buttonSouth by Southwest Music Festival + Conference with intro (ENG / JPN) & Over all photo report feat. Asylum Street Spankers (13th Mar. @ Esther's Follies, Austin), Daryl Hall (12th Mar. @ Lone Star Lounge, Austin), Daniel Lanois (12th Mar. @ Pangaea, Austin), Bonnie Bramlett (12th Mar. @ Pangaea, Austin), Alabama 3 (12th Mar. @ Latitude 30, Austin), Billy Bragg (13th Mar. @ SESAC Day Stage Cafe, Austin), Body of War (13th Mar. @ Stubb's, Austin), Old Man River (13th Mar. @ 18th Floor Hilton Gardern Inn, Austin), YB (13th Mar. @ Burbon Rocks Patio, Austin), BoDeans (14th Mar. @ Auditorium Shores Stage, Austin), The English Beat (14th Mar. @ Momo's, Austin), Kitty, Daisy & Lewis (14th Mar. @ Ninety Proof Lounge, Austin), Cherine Anderson (15th Mar. @ Flamingo Cantina, Austin), Bobby Whitlock & Coco Carmel (15th Mar. @ Cedar Door, Austin), Was (Not Was) (15th Mar. @ La Zona Rosa, Austin)
buttonStar & Broken Social Scene (6th Mar. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
buttonBoikot (26th Feb. @ Shibuya Gig Antic)
buttonBoikot (23rd Feb. @ Maple House)
buttonDoberman (10th Feb. @ Shinjuku Loft)
buttonKotobuki (9th Feb. @ Shin Okubo R's Art Court)
buttonDachambo (26th Jan. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)


buttonKaori Kawamura (23rd Dec. @ Shibuya Club Asia)
buttonSoul Flower Union (15th Dec. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
buttonMorio Agata (27th Oct. @ Tokyo Kinema Club)
buttonVery Be Careful (8th Oct. @ Shinjuku Marz)
buttonOzomatli (8th Oct. @ Daikanyama Unit)
buttonVery Be Careful (3rd Oct. @ Shibuya The Geme)
buttonSun Set Live 2007 feat. Special Others, Leyona, Theatre Brook, The Eskargot Miles, Rico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men, Little Tempo, & Bloodest Saxophone・akiko (31st Aug. to 2nd Sept. @ Keya Beach, Fukuoka)
buttonSoul Flower Mononoke Summit & Kotobuki (12th Aug. @ Kotobuki-Cho Free Concert)
buttonSign Sonic! '07 feat. Free Birds, Bright Eyes, Freedom, B.M.D. (Band Music of The Deaf), 2-Time, Rimi, N-Style & Signmark (7th Jul. @ Hatsudai The Doors)
buttonTakeharu Kunimoto with The Last Frontier (4th Jul. @ Shibuya Parco Theater)
buttonGlastonbury Festival 2007 feat. Keith Allen, ,Tinariwen, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, John Fogerty & Damien RIce (22nd to 24th Jun. @ Worthy Farm, Pilton)
buttonAmors Garrett (4th Jun @ Nakameguro Rakuya)
buttonAmors Garrett (27th May @ Osaka 5th Street)
buttonMarisa Monte (26th May @ Zepp Nagoya)
buttonRico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men (13th May @ Ueno Suijo Ongaku-Do)
buttonRico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men (10th May @ Boom Boom Bash, Shizuoka)
buttonRico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men & Toshimi Watanabe (9th May @ Shibuya Eggman)
buttonFermin Muguruza and Afro Basque Fire Brigade (29th Apr. @ Vina Rock Festival, Benicassim)
buttonStreet Beat Festival 2007 feat DDR, Soul Food International's Rocksteady Revue feat. Dr. RIng DIng, You Waki & Banda Bassotti (28th Apr. @ Villagio Globale, Rome)
buttonStreet Beat Festival 2007 feat DDR, Soul Food International's Rocksteady Revue feat. Dr. RIng DIng, Boikot, You Waki & Banda Bassotti (27th Apr. @ Estragon, Bologna)
buttonStreet Beat Festival 2007 feat DDR, Boikot, Soul Food International's Rocksteady Revue feat. Dr. RIng DIng, You Waki & Banda Bassotti (26th Apr. @ Auditorium Flog, Firenze)
buttonStreet Beat Festival 2007 feat Cicso, DDR, Soul Food International's Rocksteady Revue feat. Dr. Ring Ding, Boikot, You Waki & Banda Bassotti (25th Apr. @ 25th Apr. @ Muse Cervi, Reggio Emilia)
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buttonTony Joe White (16th Apr. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonWhat's Love? (10th Apr. @ Shimokitazawa 251)
buttonJoss Stone (9th Apr. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
buttonBaba Zula & Double Famous (4th Apr. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonThe Slakcers (27th Mar. @ Shibuya Lush)
buttonBerri Txarrak (25th Mar. @ Roppongi Rock Factory)
buttonHappy Dispatch (25th Mar. @ Aoyama Tsuki Miru Kimi Omou)
buttonLakatos Ensemble : 目を閉じれば世界が見える (22nd Mar. @ Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall)
buttonThe Slakcers with Oi-Skallmates (21st Mar. @ Shinjuku Loft)
buttonVic Ruggiero with Toshimi Watanabe (20th Mar. @ Shimokitazawa 440)
buttonSouth by Southwest Music Festival + Conference feat. Lily Allen, A.J. Croce, owkmj (ore wa konna mon janai), Alina Simone, Bobby Witlock with Coco Carmel, Cho Sister Brothers : Pianica & Magic Orchestra, Go!Go!7188, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals , Casa De Chihuahua, John Hammond, Rickie Lee Jones, Ozomatli , Buzzcocks, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Andrew Winton, YB(13th to 18th Mar. @ Austin, Texas)
buttonPeace Music Festa! Henoko2007 : photo document : pre opening day / the 1st day feat. Jicchaku Orchestra / Cyclub / Yoko Utsumi / Trinity Club Band / Akiko Noma (Go!Go!7188), CocotaboYoul & Amina, Shaolong To The Sky, kotobuki, Masao Taruya + Koji Nakamoto, Donal Lunny + Kazutoki Umezu + Hiromi Kondo, Duty Free Shopp., Soul Flower Mononoke Summit & Misako Oshiro / photo document : the 2nd day feat. Hana Band, Yambaru Reggae Brothers, King Jam Session,KZ [G.A.C], Kakumakushaka, Papa U-Gee with Zion High Playaz, Yukihito Ara, Kachimba 1551, Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra, Soul Flower Union, Ryukyu Lion, Nanjaman & U-Dou & Platy / over all view(23rd to 25th Feb. @ Henoko Beach, Okinawa)
buttonBloodest Saxophone (17th Feb. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonDonavon Frankenreiter with Timmy Curran (6th Feb. @ Shibuya AX)
buttonSt. Vicious Day feat. Stance PunksThe Star ClubTokyo Shock BoysMichiro EndoSorrow (2nd Feb. @ Daikanyama Unit)
buttonCalexico with Overground Acoustic Underground & Sly Mongoose (22nd Jan. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
buttonKotobuki : 寿は幸せを呼ぶ (20th Jan. @ Shin Okubo R7S Art Court)
buttonLily Allen (12th Jan. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)

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