2016 End of Year Message


This year, yet again, numerous people in the world have become victims of armed conflict and terrorist attacks. According to a recent UNICEF report, 535 million children - nearly a quarter of the world’s children - now live in countries stricken by war or natural catastrophe. Among them 50 million children have been displaced, with more than half of them driven from their homes by conflict.

There is no doubt that in recent years the world situation has continuously worsened, creating more and more casualties of armed violence. To tackle such disheartening developments in world events, we have no choice but to strengthen our civil movements against all forms of violence.

As the end-of-year festive season is quickly approaching, I would like to share with readers my blog - a quiet moment to contemplate war and peace, listening to a few pieces of fine music. I have selected the following three pieces. To me, they all sound truly exquisite and moving yet at the same time deeply sad.

I) “Benedictus” from Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins

A Welsh composer Karl Jenkins composed this Mass in 1999 and dedicated it to victims of the Kosovo crisis.

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini

(Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord)  

Hosanna in excelsis

(Hosanna in the highest, in the highest)


This same piece of beautiful music is played by two cellists, Stjepan Hauser (Croatian) and Luka Sulic (Slovenian), who formed the duo called “2Cellos” in 2012.

II) “Agnus Dei” by Samuel Barber

In 1967 Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981), an American composer, arranged his own work Adajo for Strings, initially written in 1936, as a choral composition. 

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

(Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,)

miserere nobis.

(have mercy upon us.)

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

(Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,)

dona nobis pacem.

(grant us peace.)


III) “手向 Tamuke”

This is a classic piece of shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) music. It is unknown when and by whom it was composed. However, it is presumed that the composer was a Buddhist monk of the Fuke (Zen) sect who wrote it several hundred years ago as a tribute to the memory of the deceased. “手向 Tamuke” literally means an offering.   

With best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Yuki Tanaka 






I) カール・ジェンキンス作曲『武装した男:平和のためのミサ曲』の第12楽章「ベネディクトゥス」 。ウェールズ出身のジェンキンスは、1999年に作曲したこのミサ曲をコソボ紛争の犠牲者に捧げました。


Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini,


Hosanna in excelsis.

 (天のいと高きところに 救いたまえ



II) サミエル・バーバー作曲「アニュス・デイ 平和の賛歌」



Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

(神の小羊、世の罪を除きたもう主よ <「神の小羊」とはイエス・キリストのことです>)

miserere nobis.


Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,


dona nobis pacem.



III) 手向(たむけ)




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