Back to listJan 14, 2007

Soka Gran Esperanza Color Guard and Soka Kagoshima Southern Blaze Win Top Honors in National Competition

Soka Gakkai bands and groups competed in the 34th All-Japan Marching Band and Baton Twirling Competition, held at the Nihon Budokan Hall in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on January 13 and 14, 2007.

Gran Esperanza flag corps
Soka Kagoshima Southern Blaze

Competing on January 13, the Fuji Fife-and-Drum Corps' Soka Gran Esperanza flag corps won the gold award for the third consecutive year. The group has taken top honors every year since first entering the competition in 2005. The Fife-and-Drum Corps, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year (2006), performed this year with a theme of "Mother Earth--Our Hope." Gran Esperanza leader Akiko Fuse said, "[Through our performance,] we aimed to demonstrate our resolve to surmount our individual hardships and spring forth from Mother Earth with great hope toward the future."

On the following day, January 14, the Soka Kagoshima Southern Blaze drum-and-bugle corps took top honors for the second straight year in the "thematic marching band" category, impressing judges and the audience with music and formation based on ancient Egyptian mythology.

The Soka Renaissance Vanguard also won second place in the "general marching band" category, while the Chubu Fife-and-Drum Corps Baton Twirling Team won the silver award in their category.

[Adapted from articles in the January 14-15, 2007 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]