Once you know the harsh reality, you are unable to ignore it.
SAIGOU SOMEYA (Vocalist) says ;
I was interested in ecological ideas but had not involved myself with any movements until meeting Mr. TENTSUKUMAN. During this summer, I joined the camp he organized in Shodo Shima/Shodo Island, and we discussed what we can do individually to protect our environment. It was fascinating to exchange ideas about saving the environment in our own fashions. At first I was thinking about ways of life that save energy, which tend to be very difficult, like the life of an ascetic monk. I attended many events that dealt with current environmental issues. Then I found myself thinking that my life style must change and I should focus more on an ecological lifestyle. If I started changing my life I could do something to save our planet. Hopefully others will change their lifestyles too. Small things such as when replacing a fridge, choose an energy saving one will make a difference.
FUNKIST visit many places to play live shows in countries such as India, Macau, China, Vietnam etc and each time I feel music overcomes the language barriers and also helps to bring understanding across the borders. For example, in South Africa, once we used to think that it is impossible to get along with each other amongst different races because South Africa has had such sad long history with apartheid. However within a short time of the show, I noticed that they stood together and smiled with their arms around each other. I thought, "Why they were fighting against each other before? See, they could get along together only in 30 min!" From this experience I want to play live shows all over the world to help people get along, because I think music has such a great power to bond people together.
When I first started singing in bands, just playing and singing with my friends was fun enough, but later I visited many countries and saw their real life. I felt that I should get my messages across to people through my music to help bring them together. But it is not just about saying “I’m going to give someone a lecture when I sing a song about world peace.” My mother is from South Africa so I care about people there and sing about them. All people in Africa are my friends. So, I sing for them to show how much I care. I feel very happy when people sympathize with my thoughts or develop interests in learning something about other countries and their people.
Photos: (Left)：Debut Single 「my girl」¥1,260（tax included）/ PONYCANYON (Right)：2nd Single 「BORDER」（release on 3.12.2008）¥1,260（tax included）/ PONYCANYON
Official site : http://funkist.info/
FUNKIST (profile) : The band FUNKIST formed in 2001 and are made up of 7 members: a vocalist,2 guitarists, a bass player, a drummer, a percussionist and a flute player. They are globe trotting live musicians based in Japan and have played over 100 live shows in South Africa, some Asian countries and other places around the world. The lead vocalist, Someya’s mother's home country is South Africa so they took the beat from there and mixed catchy lyrics and melody with their music. Thus their unique music was born – FUNKIST style music that cannot be classed in just one genre. They sing about many issues from little things in daily life to current world affairs. Their warm music makes us smile or touches us and moves us to tears. Singing loudly and shouting as they do has inspired many people and captured their hearts. That is why their live shows are for people of all ages and they help to connect people and bring them together. Their enthusiastic music crosses borders and conveys their message. In July 2008, they signed up with the major label Pony Canyon and released their debut single album“ My Girl”. They started to attract attention and are hoping to widen their appeal even more.
“To live is simply a great feeling of joy ......”
She says ;
I trust very much in natural providence and rhythm of the universe. The sense of nature's balance and reproduction power of nature are amazing. My house was constructed in the forest after I cleared the land there. The grass and trees grow back very quickly if I don’t maintain the land. I am pinning back nature by using the machine. In this respect I feel as if nature is beyond the control of human power. I think reusable chopsticks and plastic bags are a small but effective step towards saving the planet. However what is more important is for us to alter our state of consciousness. Instead of merely thinking about what we can do or we should do, we should feel the power of nature and leave us to it.
To live is simply a great feeling of joy, because life can be created when men and women feel joy in union. Our planet also gives us life, hence the name “Mother Earth“. I think if we can live humbly in harmony with all the life on the earth and appreciate the joy we can gain from living together, we can make our planet more beautiful.
I find it hard to believe that the world will become like in the movie `ICE` where only one female species exists. I think there is a balance of nature and it can be maintained if our world does not take extreme sides. However we are definitely breaking into realms where human beings have never been before. In such situations, sensibility will be the most important thing and possibly something masculine and egoistic will be eliminated. It seems to me, God may pick creatures that only have some femininity inside and let only them live. Some form of Goddess is needed to help our world. From that point of view, there might be something in common between the movie `ICE` and my ideas.
Photo : Meeting of the aborigines made her to change her entire way of life and value.
Blog : http://www.umoja-lani.jp/
IKUE MASUDO (SAYA TAKAGI)
Saya Takagi : She was born in Shizuoka, Japan in 1963. She is a woman of many talents with a wide variety of interests. Principally known as an actress she made her debut in the film “Saya no iru Toushizu” which was released in 1986. Since then she has worked extensively in films and TV. Other interests have been varied, for example in 2000, she achieved licenses for scuba diving and motor boats. These water-based interests resulted in her moving to Hawaii in 2001, which is where she started appreciating nature even more, particularly due to her fascination with dolphins. She started taking photographs as a hobby which developed into her publishing a photo collection. She has now moved back to Japan and is living a eco-friendly-life in Chiba prefecture. From 26 September 2008 She changed her name back to original name Ikue Masudo and started her new life to introduce how nature is great for us.
“Let’s take two steps forward!”
Mr. TENTSUKUMAN has a unique name which tells much of his character,
He says :
Using lice as an example, when we keep the lice in the box without a lid, they will escape. But if lice are kept with the lid on for a while, they will jump lower to only reach the lid but not jump higher to get out of the box. I feel that our situation today is similar to the lice. When we set new lice in the box, they will jump high and escape from the box. Soon the rest of the lice will learn how to jump again to get out of the box. I want to make such opportunities where people can jump high to get out of the box like lice. I 'd love people to get involved with many activities.
When you find something you feel you can do, take at least two steps at once. Yes, two steps I say. One step is not enough as the other foot is still in the same place and it means connecting to the past. That is why I say always take two steps. It is very tough work when only one person walks one hundred steps. But if 100 people move forward by two steps, I think something will change. We must all do as much as we can and we must work together.
Now our planet is in a very critical condition and some scientists say we should do something for the earth within ten years or we will miss the chance. I always try to think we have still got more than ten years but we had better not give up and think hard what we can do within these ten years. I am sure the world will change very soon, if each of us does as much as we can.
Photo : Changing the world in 30 secondsーtremendous extra edition(22/6/2007)
Blog : http://www.tentsuku.com/
TENTSUKUMAN (Noriyasu Hiromitsu) : He was born on 2 Feb 1968 in Hyogo prefecture but grew up in Shiga. He was a comedian and formed a partnership with Housei Yamazaki in Yoshimoto. His dream though was to be a film maker and to get into the movie world. To raise the finances to make a film he began to do street performances, which made him famous. Inspired by his experience and the people he met whilst doing this he penned a poem. In 2002 he changed his stage name to ”TENTSUKUMAN” and since then he has been working mainly on four projects: supporting oversea aid in Cambodia; afforestation in China; the project “create village”; and finally making a film. Seven years have passed since he chased his dreams of film making and finally he made a film in 2003. He is also the director of NGO's “Make The Heaven ” Project.
Let's think and ask ourselves what 'ICE' is telling us.
”Can we really change our world? Maybe with a little help we can.”
It's not uncommon to see that the animation has a theme based on the destruction of the world. However, this animation" ICE" is different as it manages to capture a sense of reality and makes you imagine this really happening. Unlike a film set too far in the future, this film is set in both 1986 and 2012 so is a good reflection of the past, and also an insight into what will happen in the not so distant future. In 'ICE', a young girl named Hitomi Aida has an accident at the very same time radiation was reaching Japan from the Chernobyl Nuclear accident. Genetically modified food was classed as contaminated and liable to spread through nature making it unsafe for human consumption. At the time, the nuclear testings in the South Pacific also increased the toxicity of fish. After nueroendocrine disruption,only female organisms had the ability to survive and the disruption of chemicals to the endorcrine made male species change to female. 'ICE' approaches the reality of our global community. But even if we really knew, could we, and would we change? We cannot make a sudden change as too much damage has already been done, and so we are left with a sense of helplessness. We had better think to 'yield to the powerful' saving ourselves from the bitter experience. The society can been changed by one person, but will that person be thought of as a menace or a pioneer among society? Common sense and guidance to us today can be from such a person. We can be a small power, but in no way helpless. There is no wish on society to see such an ending as in 'ICE'. Now is a great time to stand together as friends and express our ideas. We should do our best to keep up with the good work, but let us also not forget to enjoy it. Without fun, it becomes a struggle. Let’s think and ask ourselves what 'ICE' is telling us. Our society will begin to move into something different...something good.
photo : A panel discussion at the 2nd Japan NPO bank network forum.
blog : http://tanakayu.blogspot.com/
Yu Tanaka was born in 1957. He began his career with a local recycle movement and then became involved in the peace movement against the nuclear power generation. He has been a member of and worked actively with various NGO fields such as the environment, economy and peace movements. At present, he is Chief Director of NPO 'mirai bank' and also Director of 'Japan International Volunteer Center', 'Soku-on net/Edogawa citizen network for climate change(ECCC)', “ ap-bank' . He is also a Vice Chief Director of the intermediary corporation 'ten-nen house '. He works for Rikkyo University, Wako University and Daito Bunka University as a part time professor. He has written and co-written many books.
”If we truly value our lives……
” What message would you like to get across to people?”
" To take care of our lives as possible as we can, by this I mean air, water and earth (foods) because our bodies exist in these elements. To tell the truth, what has most contaminated the elements is war. There are no environmental criteria for war so that is why it destroys our planet and also, of course, takes lives. We need to put a full stop to war and this will in turn help create and protect the environment and by this I mean our very lives. If we truly value our lives, we should know what comes first. We should really focus and stop using products which cause damage to our body and the environment. We really shouldn't eat such products. If we stopped this war we could make a big impact on protecting the global environment. Just a little care in the products we choose can make a real difference. In the film ICE, Hitomi, while living in the modern world, gave a glimpse into the future when she said “I didn't know that our daily life was making a future like this!” Even if none of us have any malicious intent it is a matter of fact that society pursues only profits and the effect is destructive. If we tolerate this then our lives and environment will be next. Life has been devalued so much that the world described in ICE could really become a reality. If we really don't make ourselves aware of how and what is destroying our environment and our lives it will reflect as a negative legacy of who we are for future generations. I think being human is wonderful in that we can make a difference whenever we want. I find myself to be a totally different person now than when I was in my 20's. I do love to give a lot of chances to people because anyone can make a difference after we have learned something. I would love to incorporate a practice which helps to establish the world and assists peoples’ daily lives. I hope that my way of life will encourage young people and give hope to them.
photo：At anti war campaign. Yumi Kikuchi created an advertisement for newspaper such as NY Times and called for an anti war to appeal to the USA.
Blog : http://kikuchiyumi.blogspot.com/
Yumi Kikuchi was born in Tokyo. She worked for mass media first and then worked for a bank of America as a bond dealer. In1990 She became a green activist. She launched the Global Peace Campaign after the 911 attacks in 2001. She put full page advocacy advertisement up major newspaper in the states and billboard in Hollywood. She has been written and translated over ten books such as “ 911 in plane site”,”loose change -destroy the lies of 911”,” what I've learned about US foreign policy : the war against the third world”. “Addicted to war” is her most successful work.