http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/japano/0112/011227sakamoto.html Giving a voice to peace in a time of war By Miyuki Nakajima Mainichi Shimbun December 27, 2001 Ryuichi Sakamoto hails from Tokyo and is a musician. He has a master's degree from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He currently lives in New York. Homepage address: www.sustainabilityforpeace.org/ World-famous musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has published an anthology of peace wishes spurred by the 9-11 attacks and the subsequent war on terrorism, including messages by Yoko Ono and other well-known domestic artists. Speaking about the book "Hisen" (no war), released Dec. 20, 2001, Sakamoto said, "'Don't kill people.' 'Don't kill living things.' That's the important thing. Instead of terrorist acts and wars that kill, instead of environmental destruction that brings suffering to living things -- we have to take these things and change them into 'hope.'" From its conception to the final draft, the whole project took all of a month. The editors put the book together at a frantic speed, sending e-mail messages to each other typed in bold letters for urgency. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, a mailing list called "sustainability for peace" came into being at the beginning of October, with about ten listed members. At one point, 376 letters per day were being exchanged between people who had never met -- all engaged in a heated online discussion over the Internet. On September 11, Sakamoto heard about the planes and rushed into the streets of Manhattan with a camera in hand. President Bush declared the incident an act of war and the world rushed headlong toward a retaliation scenario. Dissident opinion disappeared from the media. "Something is wrong here," thought Sakamoto. On the Internet, though, he found numerous essays and columns that expressed a desire for a peaceful resolution. Sakamoto and a group of friends who were writers, translators, interpreters and environmental activists surfed the Web for similar opinions."We'll make a book out of this," they decided. They searched for the authors of the messages and, via e-mail and international phone calls, requested permission to print them. "What lies behind these acts of terrorism? A handful of people who monopolize the world's wealth and march into other lands to augment that wealth. Instead of looking at this as a dual between good and evil, we have to think seriously about what mankind must do to survive. We mustn't hurt people or the environment. We mustn't leave the next generation with all of our debts to be paid. The true solution begins with knowledge."
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