Entertainment Brings the World Together.
(Part 2)

Yuki Kondo / Social Entrepreneur

Music is a Bridge.

In Part 1, Yuki Kondo explained the experiences that shaped his decision to join a record company to realize his dream of solving social problems through the power of entertainment mediums such as music and films. He keeps his original plan close to his heart, pursuing a dream of bringing the world together and ridding it of "not my problem" thinking.

I spent my days reflecting on my original plans through side projects.

After university I joined a record company, with grand ambitions at heart. But a cold new reality emerged: the daily demands of my job afforded few opportunities to do the kinds of work I had imagined. My frustrations escalated day by day. Why, I wondered, had I joined the company in the first place? Now restless, I started interacting with people from outside the company, searching for inspirations on how to live my life. Around that time, I met a woman who ran an Indies’ label marketing music from young people in Kenya’s Koch slum. She was wholeheartedly committed to sharing the charm and potential of the people of Koch with the rest of the world. She decided to let me help her with her work, recognizing that my better knowledge of music could speed things along. As my involvement deepened, I realized once more that this was the kind of work I wanted to do.

A few years later, a French NGO organized an international exchange camp for children from around the world in a town called Naraha in Fukushima, Japan, a prefecture that sustained tremendous damage from the major earthquake in 2011. I was invited to take part as camp leader. There I was swarmed by children from roughly 25 countries, all affected by strife, poverty and disasters. Many told me that the guitar I was carrying was the first they had ever seen in real life. One day, we held a jam session, mixing traditional instruments from their countries and singing Japanese songs. Children of diverse countries, ethnicities and languages formed a large circle around us, dancing and singing as one. The scene was exactly what I had envisaged for all those years, reawakening me to the spiritual connections formed by the unifying force of music.

Singalong with a guitar at an international exchange camp held by a French NGO: a reawakening to the hidden power of music.

I decided to strike out on my own to pursue my dream of ridding the world of "not my problem" thinking.

I hadn’t given up hope that, at my record company, my dream would be achievable if I stuck it out, but clearly it would take many years. I knew that time was too precious to waste. A grave illness I suffered during a trip to Bolivia reminded me of that. I wanted to live more freely in my work, to visit many more countries and make connections with different people, not bound to any single workplace. More than that, I wanted to realize my dream of ridding the world of "not my problem" thinking through entertainment. So, at the age of 28, I decided to strike out on my own. As I did, I also began planning and producing video content, expanding my repertoire in entertainment beyond music.

Isn’t it sad to cut off the world by thinking it is “not my problem?” Nothing in this world is meaningless in and of itself. Everything is mutually interconnected and supported in a miraculous balance that makes the existence of our world possible. By building bridges all over the world, I hope to communicate how every single piece of existence is precious and deserves our acceptance without exception. The festivals I hold are bridges to bring together children from different countries, enabling them to interact through entertainment. By forging cherished friendships through their experiences here, people come to recognize the importance of being aware of the different circumstances for others who live in faraway countries. That kind of experience shapes a young person’s view of the world, the ways a young person lives as he or she grows older and the future that he or she creates. Entertainment also has the potential to inspire the creation of the kind of world children are genuinely thankful to be born into.

Three-hundred child refugees from Palestine, Iraq, and Syria connect with the wider world and broaden their possibilities and horizons at a festival project in Jordan. The festival helped the children give form to their own free ideas, and send them out into the world.

Music has been a great blessing for me.

Our ideas of entertainment are truly diverse, encompassing singing, listening, observing, reading, dancing, creating, and experiencing. The entertainment that underpins my foundations is music. Music is my life itself, the nourishment that raised me. If I can be a bridge to various people, I owe it to music for allowing me to affirm my natural self. Just as music has been a great blessing for me, it has become foremost among the forms of entertainment I use to bless and support others.

Many people have supported me in my own struggles to cope with the dilemmas facing me in my life. It is a truth that everybody is living amongst connections. I want to use the power of entertainment to strengthen the spiritual connections between people and create a society of mutual acceptance. I know that people think, perceive, and live differently from one another in different countries and societies. I want to bridge those differences and bring the world closer together. I want to connect people from all over the world, draw inspiration from those connections, and show what an interesting place the world can be. Those are the ambitions that keep me going every day.

Children from the island of Cebu make music together in the first initiative of the record label project started in 2016. The project brings together children with amazing talent to create entertainment, starting with music, to share with the wider world.

Read the Part 1

Yuki Kondo / Social Entrepreneur
CEO, WORLD FESTIVAL Inc. On a mission to rid the world of "not my problem" thinking, Yuki uses entertainment mediums such as music and film to solve social problems. He is also involved with international education and exchange initiatives. In 2017, he started a music label to take up the challenge of uncovering gems of talent around the world.

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