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NHK aims to share music and culture via J-pop

NHK World’s Songs of Tokyo Festival 2019 served up crowd-pleasing performances by some of the most popular names in J-pop.

“Songs of Tokyo” began in 2017 aiming to spread Japan’s music and culture around the world ahead of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

The latest edition was a two-night extravaganza beginning Sept. 12 with a lineup that included girl group Morning Musume ’19, male idols News, veteran rockers Luna Sea, as well as the ska and jazz group Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

Singer-songwriter True, chart toppers Generations from Exile Tribe and anime song band JAM Project also performed.

The boisterous event at NHK Hall combined music, stunning background visuals and intimate talks that allowed performers to open up about their music with master of ceremonies Shingo Murakami of boy band Kanjani Eight and TV personality Chiaki Horan. A group of non-Japanese fans seated on stage joined in.

In a poignant moment, True, who sang her “Dream Solister” opening theme for the Kyoto Animation-produced TV anime series “Sound! Euphonium,” described her emotions at how it was played last month by a Kyoto Prefecture high school pep band at the National High School Baseball Championship at Hanshin Koshien Stadium to honor victims of July’s deadly arson attack on the studio.

“The performance at Koshien gave me incredible strength,” True said, adding she wants to do the same for the animation studio’s fans and staff through her singing.

For those who missed the event, including the following night that featured Glay, Bish, King & Prince and other acts, it’s not too late.

NHK World plans broadcasts on its website and free app on Oct. 26 and 27, and Nov. 2 and 3. There are also plans for broadcasts on NHK General and NHK BS4K.

Details are available at www.nhk.or.jp/songsoftokyo/ .

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