Min-On Founder Commended for Longstanding Contributions to Russo-Japan Cultural Activitiess
On August 4, a Russian delegation comprising Yury Mikhailovich Serebryakov, member of the National Maritime Collegium of Russia (NMCR) and chair of the Primorsky Region's Budget, Tax Policy and Financial Resources Committee; Andrey Chugunov Matveevich, vice director of the NMCR Cultural Agency; and Yury Fedorovich Podzorov, leader of the Russian folk ensemble "Primorye" and "Ryabina," visited the Min-On Concert Association to present founder and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda with commendations for his longstanding contributions to Russo-Japan friendship through Cultural Activitiess. Mr. Serebryakov entrusted Mr. Ikeda's son, Soka Gakkai Vice General Director Hiromasa Ikeda, with an award of appreciation from the State Duma (Russian lower house) signed by Speaker Boris Vyacheslavovich Gryzlov, commemorating the State Duma's centennial, and a certificate of honor from the National Maritime Collegium of Russia, representing Russia's far eastern region.
The SGI president first visited the then USSR during the Cold War in September 1974 and again in May 1975, when he received an honorary doctorate from Moscow State University and delivered his speech, "A New Road to East-West Cultural Activities." He has since visited the country five other times and met with national leaders, scholars and artists. He has continued to promote educational and Cultural Activitiess through institutes he established, including Soka University, the Min-On Concert Association, the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and the Institute of Oriental Philosophy. The State Duma award recognized Mr. Ikeda's efforts in this regard.
The award from the National Maritime Collegium of Russia specifically recognized Mr. Ikeda's efforts to introduce Russia's traditional folk music and dance to the Japanese audience, thereby strengthening Russo-Japanese friendship. In 1990 and 1991, Min-On invited the Russian Andreev Orchestra to Japan. The Russkaya Melodia ensemble, also at the invitation of Min-On, performed over 100 times in Japan over the years.
In September 2006, the Russian folk ensemble "Primorye" and "Ryabina" will begin a 19-city Japan tour commemorating the 50th anniversary of the normalization of Russo-Japan diplomatic relations. "Primorye," representing the Primorsky region, has brought together talented award-winning Russian vocalists, who will offer the Japanese audience a repertoire of well-known Russian folk songs. The Kazak dance troupe "Ryabina" will present celebrated Kazak dance dressed in vivid folk costumes.