First Overseas O-Uta Concert Held in Taiwan

On April 3, the first O-Uta Concert to be given overseas took place in Taipei, Taiwan, with the presence of the former Shinbashira. Under the sponsorship of Taiwan Japan Research Association, the concert was held at the renowned National Concert Hall in the Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center and featured 190 members of the Taiwan O-Uta Choir and Boy’s and Girl’s Choir–which had been practicing for two and a half years in preparation for the concert. Also performing were 250 participants from Japan including members of the Chorus Division and the Orchestra of Tenrikyo Institute of Music.

On the day of the concert, Taipei was blessed with a clear blue sky. In anticipation of observing the O-Uta Concert, a large audience filled the 2,000-seat National Concert Hall located in the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Park–often said to be a symbol of Taiwan–occupying the heart of the city.

At 2:00 P.M., the concert began with “O-Uta 2: Oyasama.” Following that was a performance of “O-Uta 12: Path of the Divine Model,” consisting of five movements. It included an enthusiastic performance by four soloists from the Taiwan O-Uta Choir. In its third movement entitled “Parental Heart,” 72 children from the Taiwan Boy’s and Girl’s Choir appeared on stage drawing considerable applause for their endearing performance. Then, they sang the last movement entitled, “Blessings of the Everliving Oyasama,” which includes the lyrics: “Our Parent, Oyasama. The Parent of the Divine Model. . . . Now we are walking on the path of the Divine Model.” This song was the highlight of the entire program. Enthusiastically sung by the choirs from both Taiwan and Japan, it intensified everyone’s feeling of adoration for Oyasama.

After this, the former Shinbashira went onto the stage and joined in singing “O-Uta 7: Seeds of Single-hearted Devotion.” For an encore, he sang a famous Taiwanese song in the local language, to which the audience sang along.

The O-Uta Concert was brought to a close with the “Oyasama 120th Anniversary Song,” which was performed by both Japanese and Taiwanese performers–who sang the first verse in Japanese and the second in Chinese, bringing about a sense of unity.

Shortly after the concert ended on a high note, there was a dinner banquet, at which a sense of accomplishment was shared by some 120 followers who devoted themselves to the concert. The former Shinbashira, in his address, expressed his gratitude to the members of Taiwan Japan Research Association who made efforts toward the realization of the concert. He then shared his impression of the concert with participants including those from Taiwan as well as the members of the orchestra and choirs from Japan by saying, “I was moved by your enthusiastic performance.”

To the members of the Taiwan O-Uta Choir, he expressed his appreciation for their efforts: “It must have been very hard for you members to sing in a foreign language. You must have made tremendous efforts to overcome that hurdle. I have nothing but respect for all of you.” He closed his address by saying, “Remembering today’s elation, let us keep working on the activities of the path in a unity of minds.”

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