The University of Chicago Presents and Japan Society co-Present SHOMYO: Buddhist Ritual Chant – Broadway World

Posted: March 9, 2021 at 11:48 pm


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The University of Chicago Presents and Japan Society co-present an evening of Buddhist ritual chanting, or shomyo, by the critically acclaimed group Shomyo no Kai-Voices of a Thousand Years. Hailing from two of Japan's major Buddhist sects (Shingon and Tendai), two dozen monks will showcase this millennium-old ritual chanting in a performance that transcends sectarian boundaries.

The monks will perform traditional shomyo, one of the earliest forms of vocal music that made its way to Japan in the sixth century, along with a new work titled Moonlight Mantra (Tsuki no Kogon) by young Japanese female composer Yu Kuwabara. This cinematic pre-recorded concert is set against the backdrop of An'yo-in Temple, one of the oldest temples in Itabashi Ward, Tokyo, and will begin with commentary on the history of shomyo by Kojun Arai, one of Shomyo no Kai's founders, the director of the production, Hiromi Tamura, and the composer. The performance, streamed with English subtitles, will premiere on Tuesday, March 30 at 7 PM CDT, followed by a live Q&A with the head monks of both Buddhist sects.

On Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 PM CDT, the monks of Shomyo no Kai offer a rare opportunity to practice shomyo in a virtual workshop on how to use Buddhist ritual chant as a form of meditation. The monks will share how their daily practice of this art form, which is believed to have originated in India before entering Japan in the sixth century, informs and enhances their sense of well-being.

Concert tickets are $15, and workshop tickets are $5; both events are free for UChicago students. More information and tickets are available at chicagopresents.uchicago.edu.

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The University of Chicago Presents and Japan Society co-Present SHOMYO: Buddhist Ritual Chant - Broadway World

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March 9th, 2021 at 11:48 pm

Posted in Buddhism