The Min-On Concert Association

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Ikeda founded the Min-On Concert Association to promote international cultural exchange and peace through music. As Ikeda has written: "Music speaks directly to the heart. This response, this echo within the heart, is proof that human hearts can transcend the barriers of time and space and nationality. Exchanges in the field of culture can play an important role in enabling people to overcome mistrust and prejudice and build peace."

Another mandate of Min-On - which is short for minshu ongaku, or "music for the people" - is to offer all people the opportunity to enjoy the world's finest music and performing arts at affordable prices. Perhaps the largest private, non-profit performing arts promoter of its kind in the world today, Min-On is supported by a membership of one million and has conducted exchanges with some 100 countries. Min-On also sponsors the Tokyo International Music Competition and organizes free concerts for schools.

The Min-On Culture Centre in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, houses the Min-On Music Museum with a library containing over 120,000 LPs and CDs, 45,000 music scores and about 30,000 reference books. The museum also has on display a collection of antique pianos and music boxes, and folk instruments from around the world. [www.min-on.org]