Album Review: Various, "Peace Not War Japan"


Nowadays, we live in a time of constant crises and conflict. As soon as one flashpoint in the World dies down, another one flares up somewhere else. If it's not the threat of war with North Korea, it's an invasion or insurgency in the Middle East or an ethnic or tribal conflict somewhere in Africa. The cost in human terms is always horrendous. More than ever before we have to work hard to achieve peace and raise awareness.

With this in mind, Peace Not War Japan (PNWJ), the local branch of the UK-founded Peace Not War (PNW) movement, released a CD compilation album on August 19 that collects rising artistic voices in Japan that are calling for an end to war and for peace in our time.

This excellent compilation of Japanese peace music is part of an international movement to redefine protest music for the 21st Century. Among the artists involved are already renowned performers such as SOUL FLOWER UNION, DRY & HEAVY, RYUKYU UNDERGROUND and BHANG LASSI/CAPTAIN FUNK, as well as previously unknowns. The album also brings together a range of musical voices from across Japan (including artists from regions such as Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and Okinawa) as well as offering genres as diverse as rock, hip-hop, breakbeat, dub, and much more.

The UK organization of Peace Not War has pioneered such launches in the UK with two double CDs of pro-peace/anti-war songs by internationally renowned artists and independent, grassroots musicians, including the likes of SONIC YOUTH, JANE'S ADDICTION, MASSIVE ATTACK, COLDCUT, ROOTS MANUVA, JURASSIC 5, and many others. In the same spirit, Japan now produces its own definitive soundtrack for the new peace movement. Get involved!

Colin Liddell
Tokyo Journal
September, 2006
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