SOUTH ZONE YOUTH

NEW SOUTH ZONE YOUTH BLOG

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Please visit the new South Zone youth blog at http://southzoneyouth.com

THANK YOU!!!!!!

Festival Performance Videos

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TAIKO

Rock The Era - East Territory - Taiko Performance from Meghashyam Adoni on Vimeo.




ESD FAN DANCE

RTE - Elementary School Division Fan Dance from Meghashyam Adoni on Vimeo.


FIFE AND DRUM CORPS


COLOR GUARD


BRASS BAND


DANCE



Dance from Meghashyam Adoni on Vimeo.


CHORUS


GYMNASTICS




RISE


FOREVER SENSEI

South Zone Cheer #1

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This cheer goes "South Zone, South Zone, together with Sensei!!! South Zone, South Zone, we will lead the way!!!" We say this cheer 2 times, with a lot of passion and excitement. The tempo of this will actually be a little bit faster than what's in the video.

After the 2nd time, we yell "REMIX!!" and go into the next part of the cheer, which goes, "All across the nation, there's a SOUTH ZONE sensation... that makes you wanna slide... and move from side to side." We repeat this 2 times, as well.

We then finish with "That's what's up," repeated over and over again, starting at the level of a whisper, and then getting louder and louder!

Crimson Dawn of Peace DRUMLINE



Crimson Dawn of Peace VANGUARD



Rocky VANGUARD

Fife And Drum Corps Rehearsal Videos (7.17.10)

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Learning The Drum Cadence



Drum Cadence (Part 2)



Rehearsing Marching Commands



Marching Commands (Part 2)



Drum Cadence In Formation



Ode To Joy and Formation

YMD Gymnastics Haka Dance

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YMD Gymnastics Haka Dance from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.

RTE Dance (Music)

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This is the mix for the Dance Performance.

Latin Dance Choreography

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RTE Dance - Latin Dance from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.

Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song MP3

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Below is the MP3 file that the Color Guard participants can use to get familiarized with the actual Fife and Drum Corps version of the Ikeda Kayo-Kai song. The FDC may play a little bit faster than this, but this is how they will sound like playing together.

Also, the intro is much shorter than the Color Guard tutorial video music.

Thanks!

East Territory Rock The Era Marching Commands

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Commands while standing at attention:

“Corps Ten-hut!” “1!!!”
Attention! Calling all individuals to order. Chins should be up, shoulders back, feet together, eyes bright and smiling. No one should be moving during this time. Group in unison responds with “1!!!!”

Attention Cadence:
"Chins" ----->> "UP"
"Shoulders" ----->> "BACK"
"Stomach" ----->> "IN"
"Feet" ----->> "TOGETHER"
"Eyes" ----->> "BRIGHT"
"What else???" ----->> "SMILE!!!!"



"Right/Left, FACE" “1, 2”
A command given during attention towards a formation to turn 90 degrees to the right or left as one unit. Squad answers back, “1, 2”

"About, FACE" “1, 2”
A turn 180 degrees facing the opposite direction, executed to the right. Place your right toe downward, slightly behind the left leg. Pivot on the ball of both the left and right foot simultaneously and finish by bringing left foot together with the right. Squad answers back, “1, 2”

"Dress right, DRESS" “1, 2”
Movement in which individuals except those on the extreme right side raise their right arms parallel to the ground and lock their heads to the far right in order to get the proper distance from each other. Squad answers back, “1, 2”. This is maintained until the command: “Ready Front”.

"Ready, FRONT." “1, 2”
At which point, the individuals return to the position of attention. Squad answers back, “1, 2”



"Parade, REST" No response from squad
Individuals spread their feet about 12 inches while bringing the right arm behind the. The back of the right hand rests against the back. The left hand continues to hold instrument parallel to the ground.

Commands while marching:

"Forward, MARCH"
Individuals begin marching, starting with the left foot. Individual should roll off the ball of their foot and point toe towards ground, progressing forward at the rhythm set by conductor.

"Squad HALT" “1, 2”
Used to stop a unit (formation) from marching by calling it ether on the right or left foot. Squad answers back, “1, 2” “1” being the left foot and “2” being the right foot.

"To The Right Flank, MARCH"
The whole formation turns 90 degrees and continues to march. Extend the right leg out and make a 90 degree pivot on the ball of the foot. Follow with the left leg and continue marching.

"To The Left Flank, MARCH"
The whole formation turns 90 degrees and continues to march. Extend the right leg out and make a 90 degree pivot on the ball of the foot. Follow with the left leg and continue marching.

“To The Rear, MARCH”
The whole formation turns 180 degrees and continues to march. Extend the right leg out and pivot 180 degrees on the ball of the foot. Follow with the left leg and continue marching.

"Right step, MARCH"
Individuals take side steps to the right.

"Left step, MARCH"
Individuals take side steps to the left.

"Right Oblique, MARCH"
Every individual executes a 45-degree pivot to the right while marching.

"To the rear, MARCH"
A turn 180 degrees while marching, also executed to the right. Extend the right leg out and pivot 180 degrees pivoting on the ball of the right foot.

"Mark time, MARCH"
Marching in place.









Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum Tutorials 1-10)

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Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum - Basic Cadence)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare/Bass Drum – Intro)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum – 1st half of verse w/words SLOW)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum – 1st half of verse w/words AT TEMPO)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum – 1st half of verse w/o words)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum 2nd half of verse w/1st & 2nd ending SLOW)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum 2nd half w/1st & 2nd ending AT TEMPO)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum 3rd ending SLOW)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (Snare Drum 3rd ending AT TEMPO)



Ikeda Kayo-Kai Song (MELODY, SNARE, and BASS)

East Territory RTE Promotional Video

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You still have time to sign up for the festival in Philadelphia! This is an activity that you will not want to miss... the energy is going to be crazy!!!!



Contact your local leaders for more information on how to sign up! See you in Philly!!!

Part 2 of Dance "Finale" and "2010" Demo

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Part 2 of "Finale" and "2010" Dance Demo from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.

New Dance Choreography (House)

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House - Part 1

RTE Dance (House - Part 1) from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.


House - Part 2

RTE Dance (House - Part 2) from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.

Additional Gymnastics Videos

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Squats


Human Wave

Little Human Towers

Human Mountains

Crashing Pyramids

Haka Dance

African Dance Choreography

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This is the african dance piece. Three formations occur. Diagrams are in revision right now so that everyone will able to see the big picture of how this all fits together.

Movement:



The african dance follows the Peace Walk. When the Peace Walk concludes, all youth, african and non-african dancers, will all do the same locomotive step. Non-african dancers will travel off of the stage and the african dancers will go to their first formation. Thse youtube clips by Mid-Atlantic zone (Hooray! And thank you!) are the choreography with will be put into the formations.
1st formation: 10 circles


- 1st step: "Windmill"
- 2nd step: "Rocking Horse"
Transitional locomotive step to 2nd formation

2nd formation: large diamond


- 1st step: "Bow"
- 2nd step: "Leg Cross"

Transitional locomotive step to 3rd formation

3rd formation: Everyone spread out equidistant apart in horizontal and vertical lines

- 1st step: "Hand Clap With Your Partner"
- 2nd step: "Hands Up" (4 times in place and then continue this step to exit off of stage)

The locomotive steps are coming!

As well, you will be receiving the house and latin dance! Hooray!

This weekend is pivotal. I am determined that everyone learn the african, house or latin and polish during the following week. With this, the piece is complete!

Yes, there is much to do but WE WILL WIN TOGETHER!!!

As Sensei says, "I hope you will act with courage. Courage is strength. Courage is wisdom. It is the driving force for victory."

Newest Dance Group Videos

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This video outlines the choreography for the last portion of the finale...

End Of Finale - Take II from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.


This video shows the revised choreography for the "Peacewalk" portion of the routine...

Peace Walk (Revised) from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.

Additional Dance Finale Video

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Here is the beginning portion of the dance finale...

July25th-Finale_Beginning from T. OKATA on Vimeo.

Dance Finale Video

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A message to all South Zone members of the dance group:

"This is the finale portion of the dance performance for the festival.
Celebrating a colossal victory with Sensei! – All youth DANCE!!!!!
This is our mission… our vow… our dream… our response with our lives, to be eternal disciples with Sensei. All youth dance, hip hop, out to the participants. It is the spirit of uniting with our mentor!!!"

Gulf Coast Area Is Rocking The Era!!!!!!

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Please see this report from Olivia, the South Central Region YWD leader:

With one day left to finalize payment for performers and with many obstacles arising, the members of Gulf Coast Area are fighting with all their might and refuse to give up!!!! Yesterday, after viewing the MLK Parade in the Rain video, one YWD guest paid in full for Philly and will perform with the Fife & Drum Corps!!!

Last week, a young man, who was the guest of a YMD who received his Gohonzon late last month, signed his own Gohonzon application!!!! This will be the 11th Youth Division guest in Gulf Coast Area to receive the Gohonzon since the Rock the Era meetings started last year!!!!!!!!!! This is a 550% growth compared to the previous year!!!!! AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

The Youth have had tremendous support from the Women's and Men's Division leaders and members. For example, it is common for them to provide rides to youth, sometimes driving 5-6 hours one-way!!! Because of their sincere vow to raise new young leaders for kosen-rufu and encouraged by the District Incentive Program, two different Women's Division district leaders, in two different districts, were determined to send at least 5 youth from their district... and they've done it!!!!!!

Also, all 3 districts in one of the chapters are having 5-7 hour chanting sessions for the complete success of the festival with no accidents!!!!! And the Women's Area leader said this year, an unprecedented number of youth participated in the May Contribution!!!!!!!

Gulf Coast Area is truly Rocking the Era!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Newest Taiko Performance Video (6/12/10)

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Here is the full intro for the Taiko Routine!

Dance Performance Update For The July Festival

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Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the steps and practice as much as possible. We have just 50 days until the festival!!!

Peace Walk - Heartbeat


Peace Walk - Steppers

South Zone Control Center

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Is everyone ready for next month's festival? (Yes, NEXT MONTH!!!!!)

Thank you for all of your efforts to promote the festival in your areas! In an effort to create amazing momentum towards the festival and to help with all of the preparations that will be required to have an absolutely successful movement next month, we have officially opened up the South Zone control center at the Atlanta Community Center!!!!!!

The control center will function as a campaign headquarters for members to CHANT, collect payments for the festival, receive/give encouragement, make phone calls to youth, hold impromptu shakubuku meetings, Gohonzon conferrals, etc. And of course, members in other areas will be able to call the control center (404-475-1984) with questions, updates, etc. This is going to be so exciting! The schedule for the control center will be MON-FRI (6:30pm-8:30pm) and SAT/SUN (10:00am-5:00pm).

Please announce this at all of the kosen-rufu gongyos this weekend!!!

For the members in Gulf Coast, Memphis, and New Orleans Areas, we are asking that you set up control centers at your centers, too!

We want as many people as possible to be involved with this aspect of the movement toward's next month's festival!!

Thank you again for all of your efforts!

South Zone Team

YWD Color Guard Performance

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YWD FLAG ROUTINE (FULL)

YWD Flag Routine (Full) from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.


YWD FLAG ROUTINE (FULL) - MIRROR

YWD Flag Routine (Full) - Mirror from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.


YWD FLAG ROUTINE W/COUNT

YWD Flag Routine W/Count from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.


YWD FLAG ROUTINE W/COUNT - MIRROR

YWD Flag Routine W/Count - Mirror from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.


YWD FLAG ROUTINE W/NO FLAG

YWD Flag Routine W/No Flag from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.


YWD FLAG ROUTINE W/NO FLAG – MIRROR

YWD Flag Routine W/No Flag - Mirror from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.

"Dream Big: Who's Next?"

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The New Orleans Area 4-D leaders are totally committed to ensuring that no youth miss out on the festival in Philadelphia!
Please read the following determination shared by Jean, the New Orleans Area YWD leader.

****
As area youth division leaders, Bert and I with the great support of the wonderful MD and WD area leaders, decided on a goal of sending 200 youth division to Philly from the New Orleans area. The reason behind this number is that membership wise we have about 100 youth division in our area, of course majority of them are not active. But we wanted to challenge this and bring double our membership of youth division. As our MD area leader said in a teleconference recently, we don't know half of these youth that we are bringing just yet, but we will meet them and introduce them to this wonderful practice towards July!

We are really determined and understand that the only possible way to bring 200 youth is to do SHAKUBUKU!
And when we thought we had reached a wall, with not any increases in youth signed up since April 28, after yesterday's RTE we had 5 more people sign up and put in their deposits, and 3 others who filled out an application!
****
GO NEW ORLEANS AREA!!!!!!!!!!!

East Territory YMD Gymnastics Promo Video

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This video captures the spirit of participating in YMD Gymnastics!

East Territory Gymnastics Promo from T. OKATA on Vimeo.

YMD!! There is still time to sign up and participate in this group at our festival in Philadelphia! Spots are being claimed daily! Submit your application TODAY!

YMD Gymnastics Stretching Regimen

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YMD Gymnastics Stretching Regimen from T. OKATA on Vimeo.

In January 2010, the SGI-USA West Territory Youth Division participated in the Martin Luther King Day Parade in Los Angeles with over 900 youth in the pouring rain.

This amazing video documents the experience... and inspires us to continue to reach out to every single youth division member and guest in South Zone, to ensure that they don't miss out on the opportunity to join our historic battle with Sensei in Philadelphia!!!

LET'S DO OUR BEST!!! ROCK THE ERA!!!

2010 MLK Day Parade in Los Angeles from South Zone Youth on Vimeo.

New "Dream Big, Change The World" Flyer

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Here is a flyer for the July 25th youth festival in Philadelphia!!! (Click on the image to see a larger version) There are two versions located on the right side of this page... one is the full color JPG version for those who would like to email it to their friends.

The other is a black and white PDF version, which will be easier to make copies of.

Regardless of which version you prefer, please share this flyer with all members and guests!!!

THANK YOU!!!!

YMD Gymnastics Instruction Video

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The YMD Gymnastics group is an activity group with an extensive history - particularly at large youth festivals! Its primary focus of training is to instill a "never give up" attitude in the YMD that participate in this group!

Please use the following video for ideas and instructions on how to incorporate YMD Gymnastics at your local Rock The Era activities!



(AND CHECK OUT OUR EAST TERRITORY YMD LEADER JOSH JOFFEE ON THE BASE OF THE HUMAN PYRAMID!!!! THANK YOU JOSH FOR HOLDING IT DOWN FOR THE YMD!!!)

Taiko Performance Update For The July Festival

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The following is from Bob, the East Territory Taiko group representative:

Greetings Taiko Drummers!

Here is the instructional video for the introduction to our Taiko Piece, to be performed in Philadelphia in July!!! It's a good amount to learn and practice tomorrow. Enjoy! :)

One thing to watch out for, which did not come out clearly in the video: The ">" symbols on the sheet music (located on the right side of this page) denote accents (when you hit the drum harder from having pulled your stick further away first).

Introduction to the Taiko performance (without instruction):


Instructional video (which includes the above video):

Additional Chorus Song: "If You're Out There"

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Exciting update from Tony, the East Territory Chorus representative...

Thanks so much for all your support for promoting the chorus. I do not have the final #'s yet, but I know each locale and the territory are diligently working at compiling all of this detailed information. I just wanted to provide a quick update on where we're at heading into our May RTE rehearsals.

As you know, the song "Rise" will be our finale. For this reason most likely at the festival we'll be singing this in 2 parts. I'm attaching the instrumental version this time for distribution (please see entry below as the instrumental version has been added). We will have sheet music before the Saturday rehearsal. I apologize for the delay, its 99% done.

In addition, with the support of Josh and Ebony, a second song has been chosen called, "If You're Out There." This was done by John Legend, but the lyrics come off as if written to be a gakkai song. It's really inspiring and I think being sung by hundreds of people will be so powerful in that arena in July. Here is a YouTube video of the song, with lyrics:


Below is the MP3 version of the song:

South Zone Confirmations Report (5/7/2010)

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THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR EFFORTS!!! We are only 78 days away from our historic festival in Philadelphia!!!!!!!

The territory youth leaders have created a new application for the performing groups that are still being promoted. (Please see "Updated Performer Application" on the right side of this page.) This will make it clear that we are taking deposits only for performers in the YMD Brass Band, YWD Fife and Drum Corps, YMD/YWD Chorus, YWD Flag Corps (YWD Color Guard) and YMD Gymnastics (Athletics).

As a reminder, once a youth submits their deposit for one of these groups, they are CONFIRMED to be a performer... they would NOT be on a standby list. (Subject to change - at any possible time!)

And to reiterate, CURRENT standby youth can become CONFIRMED by specifying which of the above activity groups they will participate in.

How many more youth will your area encourage to "Dream Big" and "Change The World," by participating in this once in a lifetime festival and battle with Sensei?

In the 4/23/2010 World Tribune, Sensei shares, "Nichiren writes, 'Even one seed, when planted, multiplies' (WND, Vol. 2, p. 602). Seeds cannot sprout if they aren't sown. We need to sow one seed of the Mystic Law after another, sparing no effort. It is through such continuous, tireless actions that
kosen-rufu will advance."

thank you,
South Zone Team

South Zone Confirmations Report (5/5/2010)

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EXCITING NEWS!!!!!!!

Josh, the East Territory Young Men's Division leader, informed us tonight that there are still available spots open for the following activity groups:

YWD:
Fife and Drum Corps
Color Guard

YMD:
Athletics (Gymnastics)
Brass Band

YWD/YMD:
Chorus

What does this mean? First of all, for the youth in our zone currently on the standby list, they can immediately move themselves to the "confirmed" list by choosing one of the above groups!!! HOW AWESOME FOR THESE YOUTH!!!!!!! (2 YWD from Southeast Area automatically moved from standby to confirmed tonight because they had specified Color Guard as their activity group!!!)

Also, it means that the promotion window for these activity groups is, once again, OPEN-------!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This means that we can go back to all of the youth that may have missed out on the opportunity to sign up before the 4/28 deadline!!! Of course, the territory could stop promotions at any time, so we have to encourage these youth to sign up for one of the above activity groups TODAY to ensure they have an opportunity to participate at the festival!

"Without young people, we will have no future. Such things as mentor and disciple, truth and justice, and vistory will be no more than empty phrases. We risk losing the precious struggle for kosen-rufu. Let's open the future by bringing many more young people into our movement." (-Daisaku Ikeda, originally published in the 3/31/06 WT, p. 3)


SOUTH ZONE, SOUTH ZONE, TOGETHER WITH SENSEI!
SOUTH ZONE, SOUTH ZONE, WE WILL LEAD THE WAY!


May 5, 2010

--TO MY FRIENDS--
A new history will begin in Kanagawa(*).
From its harbor brimming
with the vow of mentor and disciple,
I ask that you create a great solidarity
based on our shared struggle and
generate an extraordinary expansion
upholding the noble cause of justice.


(*)A prefecture located in the southern Kanto region of Honshu, Japan; its capital is Yokohama, a port city.

Above is a translation of "To My Friends" that is based on President Ikeda's recent guidance, published in the Seikyo Shimbun.

Risha Hwang, Suwanee North District Women's Division Leader (Atlanta North Region, Northeast Area, Gwinnett Chapter), shares her personal experience, and how her district was able to encourage 20 youth division to submit deposits to attend the East Territory Youth Festival, to be held on July 25th in Philadelphia.

YWD Flags Routine for the July Festival

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From Ebony, East Territory YWD leader:

This is the routine from Florida that we'll be using towards the festival.

For the festival we will incorporate 3 different flags to accommodate the different flag variations being practiced throughout the territory. We will also perform a unified choreography!! (please see video)
Please enjoy!!
Ebony

2010 South Zone Youth Festival

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"The Season Of Decisive Victory"

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In a recent World Tribune article entitled "The Season Of Decisive Victory," the SGI-USA youth leaders explain the important role every single member can play towards our nationwide youth festivals in July.

Nathan, Vinessa, and David offer the following 4 practical suggestions on how each person can contribute:

1. Invite one youth guest to attend your territorywide Rock The Era youth culture festival

2. Experience the joy of participating in the May Commemorative Contribution activity

3. For every district now to begin confirming the youth who will attend their territory's culture festival

4. Appoint district youth leaders

****
Please read the entire article in your April 2nd World Tribune. (Or click on the "Season Of Decisive Victory" link on the right side of this page)

New Song For Chorus

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The new song for the Chorus has been announced for the July festival... it is another original East Territory song called "Rise," written by two talented East Territory youth.

Please click "play" below, and click on the "Rise" lyrics PDF on the right side of this page.



Below, you will find the instrumental version of the song with no vocals...

YMD Experience About Rock The Era!!

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Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.
My name is Kiyofumi Takahashi and I am the NE area YMD leader in Atlanta.
I came here from Japan a year ago.
My japanese company sent me here as the branch manager of our Atlanta office.

I would like to thank you very much for all of your support and daimoku for the March festival! There is no doubt that the March Festival was the number 1 experience of my life! I have learned so many things from this experience.

From the time I heard about the festival, I was determined that I would create a defined starting point with Sensei and show actual proof at my job through the fight towards the Festival.

At the beginning of December, I received encouragement from South Zone YMD leader, Mike Matsuo and to start winning in the morning by chanting 1 hour of daimoku before going to work. In January, I started chanting 1.5 hours of "Win In The Morning" daimoku. From February, I tried to attend the morning daimoku tosos at the Atlanta Community Center as much as I could.

However, the more I chanted, the more problems would occur at my job.

As a result, we lost a VIP client at my branch and other problems kept happening. In addition, during the week of the festival, the biggest challenge was happening and I could not eat anything because of it. It was very tough for me.

I was chanting but the situation did not change. However, I was always inspired by my fellow members. Other leaders were at the ACC everyday, working very seriously towards the festival.

I was really encouraged by their sincerity and earnest efforts and I determined that, "I will overcome my situation!! I will repay by debt of gratitude to all!! I will win!!"

With that kind of determination I went to the community center every day as soon as I got off work.

Sometimes we stayed at the community center until 1 am. But the battle to win in the morning and chant 1 hour at the community center continued so it was a difficult challenge everyday. But when I thought about the other members facing the same challenge, it gave me strong feelings to continue.

In the midst of the battle, on March 16th, I had a disagreement with one of the members in my area about the festival. One of the Men’s Division who was there to witness the whole situation immediately came to listen to me.

When I explained the situation to him, he talked with me through his own experiences and said, “To convey the importance of oneness of mentor and disciple is very difficult. We cannot judge people. There is no one who is not fighting. So it is important for us to trust.”

He encouraged me so sincerely and so warmly.

I immediately went in front of the Gohonzon and started chanting. While I was chanting, I realized that I was not trusting that member, and I was in tears, deeply regretting it.

This men’s division member sat beside me, and chanted with me while I was crying so hard, that I could not chant. He handed me a piece of memo paper and told me, “Write to Sensei about your current feelings.”

I wrote the memo to Sensei from the bottom of my heart. Before, when I used to write to Sensei, it was always a report about my actions or some results. This time, for the first time, I reported that I had a fight with a member and shared my sincere feelings and my struggles to Sensei.

This became my defined starting point with Sensei!

With my work situation, although we had so many challenges and had lost our largest client, we had the best sales since I started working in Atlanta during the month of February!

Also, last week, we recorded our best weekly sales results!
Also, our area (Northeast Area, Atlanta North Region) became number 1 in South Zone in participation for the festival!

Now, I am very happy. From the bottom of my heart I am truly happy and so appreciative of being able to fight as a youth in Atlanta, as a disciple of Sensei, with wonderful members, and all in the year of the 80th anniversary of the founding of Soka Gakkai!

In the March 17th "To My Friends" Sensei encourages us:
"Let's remember to show our appreciation. Never forget the hearts of those who support you. The firm resolve to repay one's debt of gratitude will enable one to manifest boundless power."

Now, our battle towards July has begun. I determined that my goal for July is to bring twice as many members than the March festival. I will chant and take action to make this festival the number 1 festival in the whole world and make this the prime point of my life!

And, I will repay my debt of gratitude to Sensei and all of the members!


VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE - 4/3/2010

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Thank you for all of your efforts to support the youth in your areas!!

At the July festival in Philadelphia, there are only 2000 spots for performers, byakuren, and soka group for the entire territory!!!

The deadline for performers, byakuren, and soka group to submit their $25 deposit has been announced as April 28, 2010... However, we really want to stress that the real deadline is right now!

Here is why....

  • The 2000 spots are on a 1st come, 1st serve basis
  • There is no allotment by zone or activity group towards these 2000 spots
  • Applications for performers, byakuren, and soka group will only be accepted until 2000 spots are filled throughout the territory (in other words, if these 2,000 spots are filled in the next two weeks, no other spots for these activity groups will be available)
Only a paid application (with a minimum 25- deposit), given to your area WD leaders, will count as a confirmed application. Please submit your application today! We will see you in Philly!

Thank you so much!!!

*********
April 3, 2010

--TO MY FRIENDS--

Exuberance! Courage!
Challenging spirit! Effort!
These are privileges of youth.
You youth, who are embarking on a fresh journey,
shine as "golden stars" with a mission.

Above is a translation of "To My Friends" based on President Ikeda's recent guidance, published in the Seikyo Shimbun.

"Dream Big, Change The World" Participation Fees

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**Changes Made** effective 4/1/2010

2 Days - Room and Board


For all performers, soka group, byakuren, and other support staff arriving on Friday, July 23rd.

Cost - $125.00 (only cash or check or money order made payable to SGI-USA)

Fee covers the following:
A. Two nights stay, Friday, July 23rd and Saturday, July 24th *(checkout Sunday, July 25th)

B. Rooms will be at a dormitory on the Temple University Campus in Philadelphia, only 1 block away from the Liacouras Center (the arena where the festival will be held)

C. Six meals (dinner on Friday evening, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday)

D. Festival Items (t-shirt, cap, etc.)

1 Night

For those participants in the audience who will be arriving in Philadelphia on Saturday, July 24th.

Cost - $15.00 (only cash or check or money order made payable to SGI-USA)

NO PACKAGES AVAILABLE. ALL LODGING, TRANSPORTATION (local and domestic) AND FOOD IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY

NOTE: The territory has found "Convention Rates" associated with the venue provided by such hotels as Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, which is $109- per night for a single or double. They are researching more options and will soon provide discounted hotel rate information so that individuals can directly make the reservations.

Fee covers the following:
A. Festival Items (t-shirt, cap, etc.)

Same Day

For those participants in the audience who will be arriving in Philadelphia on Sunday, July 25th.

Cost - $15.00 (only cash or check or money order made payable to SGI-USA)

Fee covers the following:
A. Festival Items (t-shirt, cap, etc.)

Payment of Participation Fees:

1. Fees may be paid at Rock The Era activities and World Peace Prayer Meetings at SGI-USA centers or other practice sites

2. SGI-USA receipts must be issued to each person when he or she makes a payment

3. Fees should be collected by 2 people, whenever possible. (In South Zone, we will be accepting payments through the Area WD teams, and at the chapter and up level on an "as needed" basis)

4. The participation fees can be paid in installments of a minimum of $25

5. Please fill out the festival payment sheet when collecting the fees


The Seikyo Shimbun (front page of the 3/26/10 issue) has published an article covering the honorary citizenship from the state of Tennessee given to President Ikeda, as well as the proclamation from the City of Memphis declaring 3/20/2010, "Rock The Era Day." Both the proclamation and the honorary citizenship were formally presented at the South Zone Youth Festival. Congratulations to all of the South Zone members, and thank you so much for your continuous efforts!

Rock The Era Rehearsal Schedule

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Congratulations once again on an AMAZING South Zone festival in Memphis!

The festival was a great dress rehearsal for the East Territory Festival, "Dream Big, Change The World," to be held in Philadelphia on July 25th. July 25th is fast approaching, therefore we will need to pick up the frequency of rehearsal times! We would like to add an extra practice time each month. Please make note of the proposed practice times below.

(picture by Gita Adoni)

(picture by Lorne Feeser)

April
Sun, April 11
Sat, April 17
Sun, April 25

May
Sun, May 9th
Sat, May 15th
Sun, May 23
Sun, May 30

June
Sun, June 13th
Sat, June 19th
Sun, June 27th

July
Sat, July 3rd
Sun, July 11th
Sat, July 17th

July 23rd - July 25th: Philadelphia!!

South Zone Youth ROCK THE ERA In Memphis!!

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The South Zone youth peace festival, "The Path Of A Disciple: Be Bold! Be The One!" was held at The University of Memphis in Memphis, TN on March 20th, 2010. The festival featured a proclamation from the city of Memphis declaring March 20th as "Rock The Era Day" in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as an honorary citizenship bestowed upon President Ikeda by the state of Tennessee. The festival included a skit about a young woman's journey ("Astrid") from a struggling college student to an individual committed to winning in her life, based on her faith and her connection with her mentor.

All of the performances during the skit took place at "Rock The Era" meetings (which are currently being held every 2nd and 4th Sunday throughout South Zone in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, the Gulf Coast of Florida, and Georgia.)

The first performance featured over 30 dancers from throughout South Zone....

"One Tribe" by Black Eyed Peas



Dance 2 "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas



The Brass Band and Fife and Drum Corps joined together to perform "Ifu Dodo no Uta," also known as "Song of Indomitable Dignity." It was especially challenging for the brass band and fife and drum corps to collaborate. Many of the youth have experience with instruments other than the ones included in these training groups, founded by President Ikeda. With the determination to prepare for our historic territory-wide festival to be held in Philadelphia on July 25th, most of the youth involved in this group began playing these instruments (some of which were donated by the AWESOME men's and women's division members in South Zone) over the last couple of months. Many of the youth have only been playing these instruments for less than two weeks!! Way to go Brass Band and Fife and Drum Corps!!!



The festival also featured a moving video that documented President Ikeda's commitment to raising youth, called "Youth, Scale The Mountain Of Victory!"

Shortly after the video, "Astrid" is in her dorm room, begrudgingly preparing herself for bed. Just as she lays down on her bed, she comes across a book given to her by her good friend and SGI sponsor, and she reads the following quote from Sensei:

"Even if you think you're hopeless and incapable, I know you're not. I have not the slightest doubt that each of you has a mission. Though others may disparage you, please know that I respect you, I believe in you. No matter what circumstances you now face I have absolute confidence that a wonderful future awaits you. Each time you fall down, just get back up. If you can pick yourself up, you can move forward. The biggest obstacles to our progress exist within our own lives in the form of cowardice and the tendency to give up. Breaking through these barriers will unleash a surging wave of change. You are young. Now is the time for challenge and construction. Now is the time to begin some endeavor.”

Astrid makes the determination to break through her obstacles by chanting vigorous daimoku and connecting with her mentor.

"With Daisaku Ikeda by my side, how could I fail?" she asks herself... "You went through so much for me to overcome this." She begins chanting vigorously for her success as the zone-wide taiko group begins to perform...



After her breakthrough, she shares her experience at a Rock The Era meeting and joins the zone-wide youth division chorus to close the performance section of the festival by singing "I Arise."



After the curtain call, the festival concluded with two Gohonzon conferrals (both of the new members were from Knoxville, TN... congratulations TN Volunteer area!) the South Zone "Rock The Era" song, and then "Forever Sensei."

Please continue to visit this blog as we will be collecting personal experiences from youth who attended this festival, as well as sharing information towards the "Dream Big, Change The World" festival in Philadelphia on July 25th!!