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November 9, 2008

Korean Traditional Music Association Presents Commendation

KTMA General Director Lee Young-Hee (4th from left) entrusts the plaque for Mr. Ikeda to SGI-Korea General Director Yeo Sang Rak (5th from left)

On November 9, 2008, Korean Traditional Music Association (KTMA), one of South Korea's leading cultural arts organizations, honored Daisaku Ikeda, SGI president, with a commendation for his efforts to advance Korea-Japan friendship and for his long-standing contributions to art and culture. The commendation was dated November 18, commemorating Soka Gakkai's 78th anniversary. A ceremony took place at the SGI-Korea (KSGI) headquarters building in Seoul, South Korea, with some 700 representative KSGI members attending.

KTMA General Director Lee Young-Hee presented a plaque for Mr. Ikeda to KSGI General Director Yeo Sang Rak, who received it in proxy.

The citation on the plaque reads in part: "Mr. Ikeda has dedicated himself to worldwide exchanges of culture and the arts, thereby fostering mutual respect and understanding between countries and peoples. Through the Min-On Concert Association which he founded, Mr. Ikeda has made vast contributions to introducing traditional Korean music to the Japanese public, thereby rendering great service to the strengthening of Korea-Japan friendship and the advancement of Korean music."

Following the ceremony, a music troupe headed by KTMA Director Lee Dong-Jun performed classical Korean music on traditional instruments. Director Hwang Jae-Chul, representing the music production company Euraent, presented Mr. Ikeda with a frame-encased compact disc containing Soka Gakkai songs and other music performed on traditional Korean instruments, arranged by renowned South-Korean composer Kang In-Gu, who was also present at the event.

Established in 1961, KTMA integrated three music academies with an aim to safeguard and promote traditional Korean music. It has a nationwide membership of over 20,000 people. KTMA's international membership extends to Japan, USA, New Zealand and other countries.

[Adapted from an article in the November 14, 2008, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]