• Ayumi

My thoughts on “Peace” and “War”

“What are we fighting for?” “Who are we fighting with?” “Why can’t we live in peace together?”

My mother was born and raised in Hiroshima, and these were the questions that I wondered about many times through my childhood.

When I was 8 years old, I watched one of the most haunting movies about the tragedy of World War II called “Grave of the Fireflies” by Studio Ghibli, which made a huge impact on my perspective about war.

Country against country, religion against religion… but the ones who are actually fighting, on the battlefield, are us, human-beings against human-beings, who have a soul and heart; who bleed the same.

As a child, it was truly heartbreaking to me to learn that war creates a tragedy - humans kill humans across countries, in the name of "protecting their loved ones?" By depriving other people of their loved ones? It did not make sense to me as a child, that people would prolong such a negative chain like this.

In 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 others. As the tragedies spiraled, in 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, instantly killing over 80,000 people, including 12 American POWs. The total death toll rose to 192,020.

When overwhelmed by hopelessness, I encountered this passage in a book titled "Magical Compass (Maho No Compass)" by a Japanese artist, Akihiro Nishino:

“As an artist, we might not be able to eliminate war, but we can stop it.”

His words made me realize that one of the roles as an artist is to bring people more opportunities: time to feel joy, hope, love, peace and connections, so that they would not have even the slightest chance to think about war, fight against one another, or consider bombing or hurting another.

Many of you might say I'm too idealistic, but imagine that you have friends in every country and continent. It would be impossible to drop a bomb where your dear friends and their loved ones live.

"I like the music of the country," "I have been to that country," "I like the food of the country," etc...

Start having any connection with a person of a country other than yours, no matter how small it may be. The more connections you make, the more personal they will become to you: their culture, religion, music, food, nature, language, etc... We start to care more about one another. Things happening in the world wouldn't just be "other people's problem," but it would become "my people's problem."

The mission of this project "100 Voices, 1 Heart" is building a strong connection among the 100 singers from all around the world, in addition to creating an amazing album and music video. I hope that through this music-making process and sharing the "feeling of peace and hope," the participants will develop a deeper understanding of themselves and one another.

I believe the process of connecting and listening to one another’s hearts and voices would be a symbolic action to show the world that unity can be accomplished, and a time of peace can be a reality in our lifetime and actions of peace, possible in our daily lives.

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© by Ayumi Ueda 2018.