Official Inauguration Event at The Symphony of Peace Prayers in Japan – May 17th, 2015
On May 17, 2015, the official inauguration of The Fuji Declaration was celebrated at the eleventh annual Symphony of Peace Prayers ceremony which took place at the Fuji Sanctuary, home of The Byakko Shinko Kai. The outdoor event field was filled to capacity with members, guests, and supporters, who came from the world over to commemorate this occasion. The three initiators of The Fuji Declaration, Masami and Hiroo Saionji and Dr. Ervin Laszlo, along with a large number of honorary signatories, witnessed the inauguration of this global initiative to awaken the ‘divine spark’ and ignite the spirit of oneness with diversity. The event was broadcast live on the internet with celebratory events in multiple locations worldwide.
Video Highlights of The Symphony of Peace Prayers Inauguration Event.
East West Celebration
As the sun set in Denmark, it rose over Mt. Fuji, with over 1,000 participants gathering in the open field at Fuji Sanctuary. The symbolic East West Celebration, between Fuji and friends of Transition World (www.transitionworld.org) who gathered at the Kronborg Castle of Shakespeare’s fame, was broadcast live on the internet. The three initiators of The Fuji Declaration each offered a few remarks to open the Ceremony, followed by a video message from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a meditation practice from Fuji, and ending with a global meditation for peace and unity.
Video highlights of the East West Celebration
Opening with Music
The official program started later in the morning with close to 10,000 participants, 100 prayer leaders, and distinguished guests. At 10 am, the Symphony of Peace Prayers ceremony began with two musical performances – a short performance on the fujara, a traditional Slovakian instrument and a musical prelude by Kenji Williams (violin) and Kristin Hoffmann (vocals), who gave a performance of the piece, One Earth Choir written by Anna Bachia (www.OneEarthChoir.net).
Introducing The Fuji Declaration
The three initiators of The Fuji Declaration took the stage to introduce this momentous initiative. Masami Saionji, Chairperson of the hosting organization, Byakko Shinko Kai and the Goi Peace Foundation spoke first, followed by Hiroo Saionji, President of the Goi Peace Foundation, and then by Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Founder and President of the Club of Budapest. Each spoke about the significance of The Fuji Declaration at this time in human history and about the importance of the ‘divine spark’ as the key to a more awakened and evolved human civilization.
Tea Ceremony for World Peace
Dr. Genshitsu Sen, 15th generation Urasenke Grand Master, performed on the stage a special Japanese tea ceremony dedicated to world peace. Dr. Sen has long been a global advocate of culture and peace, promoting his ideal of “Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea.” His beautiful ten-minute tea ceremony, performed especially in honor of The Fuji Declaration, was carried out with grace and reverence as participants looked on in silence.
Praying with the religions of the world
An international group of prayer leaders, representing nine different faith traditions, offered prayers for peace from their respective traditions in a simple yet powerful demonstration of inter-religious harmony and understanding. Each prayer leader offered a prayer, on their own first, followed by the voices of 10,000 participants who joined in reciting the various interfaith prayers and mantras led by the faith representatives.
After the presentations by the faith representatives, Masami Saionji offered a short prayer and all participants followed by repeating the message of peace, May Peace Prevail On Earth.
Prayer for Peace in each country and gratitude for all life
One of the highlights of the Symphony of Peace Prayers is the World Peace Flag Ceremony inviting all in attendance to send prayers and wishes for peace to prevail in each country and region on earth. Flag bearers carrying the flags of 193 nations and an Earth Flag, representing ‘all the other regions of the world,’ ceremoniously entered the event field accompanied by original music composed by Mr. Kenichi Yamamoto. The presentation began with the sound of a bell and the message, May Peace Prevail On Earth. Then, as each nations’ flag was presented on stage, participants prayed May Peace Prevail On Earth – May peace be in (name of country) in the national language of that country.
Following the world peace prayers, participants offered in unison their gratitude for all life on earth. In Japanese and English the words echoed throughout the event field: “Thank you, dear Oceans. Thank you dear Mountains. Thank you dear Animals,” until all kingdoms of plants animals and all of creation were thanked. The practice of gratitude concluded with, “Thank you, dear Planet Earth. May Peace Prevail On Earth.”
Inaugurating The Fuji Declaration
The three initiators once again took to the stage along with a large group of founding signatories. In addition to being among the first to endorse the declaration, this international group of distinguished individuals participated in the Tokyo Symposium on May 15th, where the principles of The Fuji Declaration were discussed in depth.
Each of the signatories was introduced, after which Masami Saionji read the text of The Fuji Declaration in Japanese, to fully anchor the intentions and principles behind the declaration. All attendants listened to the recitation in silence and reverence. To conclude this historic moment, the five principles of the declaration were read in English by five of the founding signatories and then in Japanese by all participants.
Harmony of sacred sounds
A musical medley of sacred sounds followed to imprint the principles of The Fuji Declaration furthermore into our hearts and souls. As the music unfolded, presenters made their way through the event field and onto the stage to perform a short Mudra ritual using Japanese folding fans. The ritual was an invocation using breath, sound, and movement, to bless the journey of The Fuji Declaration.
Sacred sounds continued with a Muslim call to prayer, performances by priests of the Tenreizan Tonenbo temple and the Gagaku Music Society of Tenri University. To close the musical interlude, Kristin Hoffmann performed a soulful composition along with Kenji Williams on violin sending the message, May Peace Prevail On Earth to the hearts of all participants.
Closing with speech and song
Yuka Saionji, Deputy Chairperson of the host organization, Byakko Shinko Kai gave a closing address thanking all participants for their dedicated work for world peace and especially to Mrs. Saionji for her unwavering belief in the ‘divine spark’ which exists within each human heart. She ended by remarking: “Today, the divine spark is starting to resonate from here, and you are the ones who made it happen.”
Finale Song – We Are All Shining Divine Sparks
To conclude the event, all participants stood and joined in a finale song, “We Are All Shining Divine Sparks.” Set to lyrics by Masami Saionji, the music was composed by well-known Japanese composer Toshiyuki Watanabe. The participants sang along accompanied by the voices of children from Hitoana Elementary School. The lyrics beautifully summarized the spirit of The Fuji Declaration:
Together, let us rise above our differences
Together, let us create a bright future
All exists in oneness, all is one
We are all shining divine sparks