"This is my last words to you, you who are exiled in this land with me.
All those who use swords shall be perished by the sword.
Bear children with the people in this country and Go back to Japan someday as an envoy of peace."
- Ukon Takayama -

  1. Greetings by Chief Advisor
2. Greetings by Art Director
3. Outline of the Project
4. Schedule of Performance
5. Profile of the Composer
6. Profile of the Libretto
  Organized by :
Executive Committee of Japan-Philippine Joint Opera Project
The Blessed Lord - Ukon Takayama
Presented by : Tokyo Opera Association & Santo Tomas University

Greetings by Chief Advisor

Greetings I am pleased to inform you that the year 2003 is the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigrants to the Philippines. The Philippine embassy in Japan and the Japanese embassy in Manila are planning to support various memorial events on this occasion.

In February 2003, the Japanese embassy in Manila will hold an annual "Philippine-Japan Friendship Festival" in Manila. As a part of this activity, the Japanese embassy in Manila supports the Japan-Philippine joint opera "The Blessed Lord - Ukon Takayama", which describes the eventful life of Christian Load Ukon Takayama and his exile to Manila under the "Christian ban order." His life is a symbol of long friendship between Japan and the Philippines. Tokyo Opera Association and Santo Tomas University already have started preparations.

The opera will be performed in Manila as well as in several parts in Japan. It should be noted that next year also coincides with the 450th anniversary of the birth of Ukon Takayama.

I participate as a chief advisor in the executive committee of this Japan-Philippine joint opera and back up the project together with people who wish to strengthen friendship between Japan and the Philippines. Please support this meaningful project.

                         Sincerely Yours,
  Domingo L. Siazon
Chief Advisor of the Executive Committee of Japan-Philippine Joint Opera Project "The Blessed Lord - Ukon Takayama"
Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Tokyo

Greetings by Art Director

Greetings It is my pleasure to announce that we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding of Tokyo Opera Association last year. "Opera for international cultural exchange" has been our motto since inception. One of the examples of this effort born fruits is "Forgotten Boys---Tensho Youth Envoys to Europe", which was performed in Europe in corroboration with European opera singers. Japan-China joint opera "Country of Horal---Tales of Jofuku" is another example; together with the National Chinese Opera Musical Institute, we are performing the piece in Japan and China.

The known history of exchanges between Japan and the Philippines goes back to at least over five hundred years ago, which has been colored by various historical events. The most tragic of these may be the World War II. The experience has cast dark shadow over the history of Japan-Philippine relations, which has masked much of other friendly relationships. Actually, there exist beautiful and heartwarming stories between the two countries, such as the tale of Lord Takayama.

Incidentally, my father was born in the Philippines as a son of Japanese immigrants. He got married to a Philippine girl, that is, my Mother, who worked for the press section of the Japanese army during the World War II. Raised with listening from my parents their hardships, my future dream was to be a diplomat and contribute to restore friendly relationship between Japan and the Philippines. Now, I have become a musician and play a roll of a private diplomat---I am very glad to be able to work for strengthening friendship between the two countries.

Over 400 hundreds ago, Japan were in War time and General Hideyoshi Toyotomi, after unified the nation of Japan with military power, attempted to advance to Korea and China. There lived a Christian Lord named Ukon Takayama during that period. He decided to discard the position as a Feudal Lord and chose to be exiled to Manila basing on his belief as a Christian. Although Ukon could have chosen another way---to join the battle to retain his territories and power, he refused to take sword because he knew too well that military power solves nothing. He chose to live a life as a Christian and obey the teachings of Jesus Christ instead.

Today, nations around world are trying to expand their military forces. Asian countries are no exceptions. Under this circumstance, I thought it is very important now to trace how Ukon Takayama lived his life and think its meaning. Japan-Philippine joint Opera "Ukon Takayama" was born in this context.

Without doubt it is supports and cooperation of many people that made it possible to start the preparations of this big project. I wish you would share our views towards Japan-Philippine relationship and world peace. Let's walk together with the hope for even better Japan-Philippine friendship and creation of peaceful world.

                         Sincerely Yours,
  Edward Ishita
Production Manager for Japan-Philippine Joint Opera Project "The Blessed Lord-Ukon Takayama”
Art Director at Tokyo Opera Association

Outline of the Project

of the Project
To contribute to Japan-Philippine friendship through creating an opera and playing it in the two countries as a joint effort of Japan and Philippine people. Also to contribute to world peace by drawing the life of Ukon Takayama who refused military power.


<Act 1---On board to Manila>
The time was 1614. Ukon Takayama and his party were on the ship for Manila. They were exiled from Japan under the "Christian ban order". Ukon recollected his memory …success as a military lord, reputation as a Chajin, that he changed by the teachings of Jesus Christ, ban of Christians by General Hideyoshi, how many people welcomed him after he was banished from his territory, Garcia Hosokawa…

<Act 2---Philippines as a Christian Country>
Ukon's party was welcomed warmly in Manila. Ukon was deeply impressed by the generosity and tolerance of the Filipinos who accepted Spanish and the teaching of Christ which Spanish brought. The life of Japanese who had drifted to Philippine was also drawn. Ukon at first wanted to die martyrdom, but finally accepted everything. When ascended to heaven, he left the following message:

"To those who were banished to Manila from Japan following me: God says "All those who use the sword shall be perished by the sword." Bear children with a Filipino and go back to Japan someday as an envoy of peace."

What does life of Ukon Takayama tells us, to us who live in the world where military power executes influential power to the daily life.

  Libretto: Jiao Tauzin (Art Director at Tokyo Opera Association)
Composer: Manuel Perez Maramba (Professor at Santo Tomas)
Actors: 15 from Tokyo Opera Association and
   35 from Santo Tomas University to be selected through auditions.
   In addition to the above members, 30 singers, 10 actors
   as well as 10 other stuff are to participate in the opera.
   Mixed chorus and Kids chorus will join at each local stage.

Local tunes of Japan and the Philippines 400-500 years ago are used at many different parts, while classical music as the world universal language forms the backbone. Basic language is English, with Japanese, Tagalong, and Spanish partially used.
* As for performance in Japan, Japanese is used as a basic language.

  University of Santo Tomas
University of Santo Tomas boasts the longest history as a university not only in the Philippines but also in Asia. It is very famous in and out of the Philippines with total students of 30,000.

Schedule of Performance

in Japan
June 25−27
June 29
July 1
July 4
July 6
July 9
July 11
July 13
Tokyo Bunka Kaikan
Takaoka Shimin Kaikan
Kanazawa-shi Kanko Kaikan
TakatsukiGendaigekijo Dai Hall
Notre Dame Women's College
Nago Simin Kaikan
Ginowan Convention Center
St. Mary's Cathedral Osaka
in Philippine
August 25
August 26
August 27
August 29−31
Davao City/CAP(Cap Bldg,lingo St,Davao City)
Cebu/Ayala Cinema1(Ayala Center 4F)
University of Philippine Auditorium
Manila Philam Life Theater
Saint Louis University Auditorium

Profile of the Composer

Manuel Perez Maramba Maramba is one of the leading musical figures in the Philippines today and one of the most important musicians who emerged during the second half of the 20th century. After finishing his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano at the University of Sto. Tomas Conservatory of Music, he did further studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, obtaining his Master of Music degree at the age of 19.

His artistry developed and took form in all of the western world's most formidable musical institutions, namely; the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University where he received his Master of Music in Piano, Artist Diploma in Piano, Bachelor of Music in Composition and Teacher's Certificate in Theory; Yale University's School of Music for his Master of Musical Arts in Performance; the Kirchenmusikschule in Regensburg, Germany where he studied sacred music; and the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna, Austria where the studied piano, organ and harpsichord.

His roster of mentors, who are among the 20th century's most important pedagogues, includes; Henry Cowell, Nicolai Slonimsky and Henry Brant(Theory and Composition); Isolde Ahlgrimn and Ralph Kirkpatrick (Harpsichord); Clarence Snyder, Anton Heiler and Prof. Raduleseu (Organ); Julio Esteban Anguita, Erno Balogh and Daniel Ericourt(Piano); Prof. Gillesberger and Prof. Ratzinger(Conducting).

Until now, he is still one of the most exciting and highly regarded composers of this country. Prior to Lord Takayama Ukon, he already composed two operas, Aba! Sto. Nino and La Naval. His other major compositions are: the music for Awakening which was commissioned by Ballet Philippines and music for Philippine Ballet Theater's production of Seven Mansions; 3 masses (Papal Mass for World Youth Day 1995, Mass in Honor of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Mass in Honor of the Sto. Nino); 3 cantatas (St. Lorenzo Ruiz, St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, and 3 Psalms); a hymn in honor of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and the official hymn of the 1996 National Eucharistic Congress; a sarzuela entitled Ang Sarswela sa San Salvador; and 3 orchestral works (Pugad Lawin, The Virgin of Naval, and Transfiguration).

Manuel Maramba is Benediction monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat and the director of Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in Malaybalay City in Bukidnon, Philippines. He is also a faculty member at the University of Sto. Tomas Conservatory of Music, St. Scholastica's College and Sta. Isabel College where he teaches Theory, Composition and Piano.

Profile of Libretto

Edward Ishita
September 21,1947
  Born in Osaka as a child of a son of a Japanese immigrant to Philippine
  (Father) and a Spanish Filipino (Mother).
March 1965 Graduated from Kozu High School.
  Manager of gymnastics club and chairman of the student council
March 1970 Graduated from Musashino Music University
  (major: Vocal Music Course). Also learned composition under the
  tutorage of Kozaburo Hirai and others.
July 1976 Launching "Group Ushio" which is the predecessor of
  "Tokyo Opera Association"
Since then, engaged in the following activities as the Representative and Art Director of Tokyo Opera Association:

Performance of citizen-participating opera in several parts in Japan.

Performance of several European classic opera rearranged from the current view point which includes:
-----Bizet's "Carmen" rearranged to a fantasy of a slum in Tokyo and
  to a dance opera.
-----Mozart's "The Magic Flute" rearranged to a musical
  "Magic Flute & Bell". Performance held more than 100 times.
-----Mozart's "The marriage of Figaro" rearranged to a Kabuki opera.
  Performance held around dozen times.
-----An opera version of Beethoven's "Symphony No.9" and Bach's
  "St. Matthew Passion" which performed for the first time in Japan.

Under the concept of "international cultural exchange through an opera", created and performed the following opera from Japan to the world.
-----"Forgotten Boys - Tensho Youth Envoys to Europe" (Composer:
  Nanno Shibata, Libretto and General manager: Edward Ishita)
  which was held more than 100 times in Japan and Europe.
-----Japan-China joint opera "Country of Horal - Tales of Jofuku"
  (Libretto and General manager: Edward Ishita)
  which was held five times in china and eleven times in Japan.

Recital (constructed placing stress on original pieces) − held 40 times.

Other activities:
1979 through 1999 at Teikyo University
 Taught "Theory of Music","Theory of Modern Music","Musical Practice"
October 2000 Reprint of "Anthology of Edward Isita works"

Future Performance
-----Musical drama "Smile of a Condemned Criminal - on the Last Morning":
  In preparation for the script aiming for the performance of more than
  50 times beginning from Spring 2003.
-----Philippine-Japan joint opera "The Blessed Lord - Ukon Takayama":
  Scheduled to perform more than a dozen times in Philippine and Japan.
-----Opera "An Ancient Tale of God Era" (composed by Taku Takagi):
  In preparation for the script aiming for the performance
  beginning from autumn.
-----Brazil-Japan joint opera "Unpei Hirano": In preparation for the script.