There was a Shomyo & Sen Kyo concert in Akasaka, Tokyo on 2010.2.4 and 2.5. It was presented in a famous large concert hall in Japan, Suntory hall. The performance was unbelievable.It was the greatest concert ever.The programs below were the contents of the concert.


The concert starts with a pipe organ performance and a recitation by a monk. "Sound of Life" was the theme of the concert. "All greens support us to live. We make sounds with each other, and resonance with each other. The sound becomes the heart beat of the earth and harmonizes with the universe. Something will change and something will start."
Generally, monks chant Shomyo with the same melody together. However, in this concert it was presented in Suntory Hall which is designed to achieve "the most beautiful sound in the world", so monks performed a chorus in four parts of Shomyo. This is a very unusual way to chant Shomyo. What a surprise!
During the program, monks scattered something on the stage. Can you imagine what they were? Candy? No. Money? No.... The monks scattered flowers. They were not real flowers to be exact, but are flowers made of paper, which are called Sange. To present those Sange and its scent to Buddha is part of the veneration and memorial service. Put your mouse on the image to see the wide image.
Rokudaikyo is a very famous Buzan drum tune. The sound of the drum made by 40 monks and the vibration will have a huge impact on your mind and body. You will feel like you obtained some kind of strong power from it. Not only the heavy sound of the drum, but also the monks dynamic forms are a highlight. In Shingon sect, Rokudai (the six elements) are considered to be the basic make-up of the universe. The six elements are earth, water, fire, wind, space, and consciousness. A little part of this rokudaikyo performance of a universe-shaking tune full of energy and life can be watched at the top of this web site. This rhythmical tune will definitely be enjoyed by everyone even if it`s you first time.

Monks do not only chant Shomyo. They sing! The songs that are sung by monks are called "Goeika". It is a syllable based Japanese poem with a melody and intelligibly teaches Buddhist doctrine. The Goeika tune for this concert was called "Hasedera Wazan".A beautiful visage of the main temple of the Buzan sect, Hasedera, which is a temple known for its beautiful flowers, will rise before your eyes.

After the monks sing, they begin to shout. Not like an angry man or a rock’n roll singer. They chant sacred sutra's titles and its volume number with a very loud voice. Monks pray for peace, rich harvest, and luck by letting the wind pass through the pages of various sutras. "Daihannya-haramitta-kyo" consists of 600 volumes, so the monks divide the work.
The brand new tune called "Fudo kyoen" was introduced in the concert. This tune was made specifically for this concert. The image of this tune is to express and delicately show various kinds of fire; gentle fire, warm fire, powerful fire, and menacing fire. This tune was performed in eight parts,which takes a huge number of monks to do.
If you were to ask the question "Do you know any Buddhist sutra?" to a Japanese person, almost all of them will answer "Hannya-singyo or Heart Sutra". This "Hannya-singyo or Heart Sutra" is the most famous sutra in Japan. Accompanying this sutra was a powerful drum performance which was the last performance of the concert.