Friday, June 08, 2007

Dancing for peace in a Japanese mountain forest

Peace Not War Japan was recently asked to provide a speaker for a peace workshop at a festival near Hamamatsu, in Shizuoka prefecture. We were also invited to come down and check out the event, known as Dance For Peace Japan (DFPJ), for ourselves.

DFP was started in Bali in 2002, in response to the nightclub bombings on the Indonesian island. More recently, they've also set up events in Japan and it was the most recent one that PNWJ was invited to take part in. I was also asked to perform a live set as Control K. Unfortunately the timing didn't quite work as we all had to get back to Tokyo, so I missed my live debut as an electronic artist!

Tokyo rarely stops for anyone and I'm no different, but it was great to get a little time out of the city and to have the chance to breathe some pure mountain air. It was my first time out of Tokyo this year and I think that I must have really needed it. DFPJ was also my first experience of hanging out with real Japanese hippies and getting a feel for some of this country's communities on the outside of the mainstream.

The photos shown here were all taken from the event. Above, people gradually applaud the appearance of a rainbow.

Yamakita-san, the percussionist we shared a ride with from Hamamatsu station.

Gathered round a camp fire.

The fire I built, at night.

Night-time festival scene, with stage, sound desk and camp fire.

Candles around the paddling pool.

Wood, light and dark - a classic Japanese image.

Kaori Aizawa, the speaker from Peace On.

Listening to the workshop and tales from Iraq.


Horse man juggles with sticks.

Building a fire in the rain.

Two members of Koh Tao, a band who first met on a small southern Thai island.

Horse man gives a ride.

Site view.

Preparing delicious deep-fried bread snacks.

Bungalows in the forest; a place to stay at night.

Lord Ganesh, from wall hanging.

I missed the name of this band, but they were certainly relaxed.

Teepee display.

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