Singers unite at Nagano song festival for peace

In Nagano Prefecture, an annual song festival dedicated to peace and democracy was held from November 14 to 16, with about 14,000 people attending from all over the country.

About 168 choruses selected from about 1,000 groups performed at the festival. In the three-day event, they sang peace and labor songs as well as classical pieces. One popular song was "Love and Peace," an anti-war song often sung at rallies against the Iraq war.

On the second day, about 200 drummers played Japanese drums (taiko), followed by a live performance of musician Kurosaka Kurotaro playing the kokarina made from a tree radiated by the A-bombing of Hiroshima 58 years ago.

The highlight of the last day of the festival was the opera "Okinawa", which relates the historic struggle of Okinawans under U.S. military occupation to take back their land. The audience also enjoyed "May Song", a choral symphony paying tribute to the Japanese Constitution. (end)

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