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A Smile Revolution

Tokiko Kato | TEDxTokyo 2012

The greatest artists are those who manage to soar creatively yet stay grounded. Tokiko Kato has won the Japan Record Award twice, made over seventy albums, and is a singer-songwriter with multiple hits who performs constantly. Born in China during World War Two and confined in a concentration camp in Manchuria afterward, she saw the scenes of hardship after the Great East Japan Earthquake and felt great kinship for the survivors. She has visited the disaster area frequently, performed live in evacuation centers, and supported reconstruction efforts. She did similar work while serving as a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, traveling through Sri Lanka and Thailand in 2004 after the tsunami hit and connecting through her music. Tokiko has also pushed environmental initiatives for World Wide Fund for Nature Japan, and persuades young people to consider sustainable lifestyles with agriculture at the core at her Kamogawa Natural Kingdom in Chiba. In 1988, she became the first Japanese female singer ever to perform at Carnegie Hall.