Cham Bumo Gyeong: Episode 260

Cham Bumo Gyeong

Book 9: Activities in the Media, Education and the Arts for the Culture of Heart
Chapter 4: Cultural and Artistic Organizations
Section 1: The Little Angels of Korea, The Little Angels
Section 1: The Little Angels of Korea, Paragraph 11

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Chapter 4.  Cultural and Artistic Organizations

Section 1. The Little Angels of Korea

The Little Angels

True Parents founded the Little Angels of Korea on May 5, 1962. As a children's traditional Korean performing arts troupe, the Little Angels took the lead in the effort to share the beautiful artistic culture of Korea and the peace-loving spirit of its people with the world. They performed on a 60-nation tour beginning with a special performance for former US President Eisenhower at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in September 1965. Establishing their role as peace envoys, they have performed internationally and in Korea on some 6,000 occasions, have made more than 500 television appearances and met with 40 heads of state. Their numerous special shows and tours include performances in Moscow on April 7-17, 1990, and in Pyongyang on May 4-7, 1998. They conducted an international tour of performances to express gratitude to the 22 countries that took part in the Korean War. This tour, which ran from June 2010 through November 2011, was conducted in cooperation with veterans of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces and the Korean War Memorial Federation.

1  I received much opposition while creating a children's dance company. While other people ate boiled rice, we ate coarse barley rice, pinching pennies in order to share our money with the poor. But even as I heard all the criticism, because I loved the Republic of Korea, and had the desire to introduce our country to America, I founded a children's dance company.

2  I have become an enigmatic person in Korea. Many people spend lots of money in a struggle to move the people of the world. However, I am moving thousands without a fight. In a single day, without a single penny, I accomplish work that even millionaires cannot do. If I want to do something, I can do it. I am doing great work. Nobody even knew about the work it took to prepare the dance company. To enable them to reach their present level, I told them, "Practice for three years. Practice day and night." After just one and a half years I told them, "Good. If you perform as well as this, you will touch the heart of the world." And I was confident. Their compatriots back in Korea were still unaware of them. A religious organization and a performing arts group are two different things. Why does the Unification Church, which is very good at solving social ills, also have a performing arts group? It is because they have different purposes.

3  Advanced countries, which will build cultural spheres in the second half of the 20th century, have entered a realm in which they should be able to consider the issues raised in Unification Thought. Therefore, in order to welcome the day when the culture of Korea stands proudly before all humankind, I founded the Sunhwa Children's Dance Troupe, later renamed the Little Angels. It required a substantial outlay of funds for the Little Angels to come into being. Not a single person understood or supported this effort, but ultimately, I understood what was right. No matter how much we had to struggle to bring this about, I knew absolutely that we could push forward and, if God had the basis to help, that we would not perish. Even entertainers and groups that have trained for decades to perform often wither and are ruined by criticism upon entering America's world of entertainment. Nonetheless, we gathered our Little Angels dance company, and with only three years preparation we went to America, believing in the power of God. Beginning with our first performance we received huge applause. This was truly a historic miracle.

4  Before the children performed we gathered them and prayed together in tears asking, "Heavenly Father, please do not view these children who are going to perform merely as children. These are Your emissaries who are honoring Your Will as heavenly people, so please allow them to win over the culture of America." Because we were longing for Heaven like this, the children took on this solemn mission and performed for the sake of God's Will. The children would tell us that, strangely, when they prayed this way and then went onstage, they danced well and did not make mistakes. There are performing arts groups in the world that are bigger than ours, but there are none of better quality.

5  What distinguishes the Little Angels is that they pray before they go onstage to dance and sing. For that reason, even as they dance their thoughts are different. Since this happens behind the scenes, and because their performances reflect it, the audience is enraptured without even knowing why. Surprised by the children's dancing skills, the audience, deeply moved, naturally applauds. There is nothing to criticize. The internal preparations behind the scenes are reflected in the invisible rays of energy that radiate during the performances and capture people's hearts. Nonetheless, this quality is not something they acquired in an instant. It required many years of their sincere devotion behind the scenes. Ordinary people do not have that attractive quality. Only those with that level of devotion can become like that.

6  This year, 1969, the Little Angels of Korea are receiving an appropriate reception in Japan. At first, the president of our Japanese church approached me and suggested we keep the Little Angels' performances to a minimum in Japan. He feared the Japanese people would not be interested in having a Korean children's dance company visit and perform. He was still planning to hold the performances because I had requested it, but he tried to reduce the number of performances to as few as possible. He was planning to go ahead with the performances in a few places, and then tell me of the difficulties he was facing and receive my permission to cancel the rest of the scheduled performances. Knowing what thoughts were in his mind and heart, I told him, "Even in a wrestling match, you never know if you are going to win or lose unless you get into the ring and fight."

7  When Mindan, which is the leading association of Korean residents living in Japan, invited Korean dance companies to perform, the performances were usually free of charge. At those free performances, instead of adults, unruly youth would attend, act rudely and leave without a word of greeting. Because of this, Korean dance companies invited by Mindan to perform in Japan have only suffered disgrace. Therefore, the Mindan people thought that the Little Angels would have to leave Japan in shame without much success. But, to their surprise, it was the Japanese people this time who actively engaged in organizing the event. In January 1969 our performances in Japan attracted people from government and business; we were given an opportunity to display our dignity in Japan. The Japanese government and the Koreans residing in Japan came to realize many things about the Little Angels. Our special performances received the support of Japanese celebrities, and we gained great success in Japan.

8  The performances by the Little Angels dance troupe in Japan were a risky venture. I was the one who formed the organization and gave detailed instructions. I was pressing ahead in order to hold a nationwide assembly within two months. I told them, "If you act according to my plan, crowds of people will come to the Unification Church and we will achieve nationwide success. This is my strategy." But, the Japanese leaders could not believe in my words, so I told them, "You have to believe me. If we perish, I too will perish, and if we die, I too will die." Thus, they were persuaded. Whatever you do by your own subjective choices will fail, but if you act according to what I tell you, you will succeed.

9  We rented the Nichigeki Theater in Tokyo for a 40-day run. This period of performances was unprecedented; it set a record. People in the Japanese entertainment sector criticized us, saying we did not know what we were doing. In their professional opinion it would be difficult to draw an audience for even a week, and they thought that our expectation to have audiences for 40 days and nights was completely delusional. And yet our effort was worthwhile. It was especially rewarding because everybody had been opposing and criticizing us. In a single moment the situation shifted completely. In this way we displayed our ability to turn things around. Not only must we dispel this kind of public opinion; we must move beyond Japan and make a foundation throughout Asia.

10  Through the Little Angels, the Unification Church quietly provided the Republic of Korea global publicity. Even now it is the same. Recently we hired the largest theater in the Ginza district in Tokyo, holding public performances for 40 days and nights. We are doing this for the sake of Korea, not for the Unification Church. These days Mindan, the pro-South Korean residents in Japan, are getting involved with Chongryon, the pro-North Korean residents' association that propagates Kim Il-sung's juche ideology.

At such a time Korea is being recognized for its traditional culture. I was told that even the Japanese are impressed and feel great admiration for ancient culture, so Korea's dignity has been elevated. This is the nature of the work we are doing and for this reason God has granted us protection. Even when the road was so perilous that it seemed our efforts would surely fail, we have gained success because we are not doing it for ourselves. Our cultural work prospers because we sacrifice for the sake of goodness.

11  I came to America in 1971, but I had already prepared the foundation before I came. Thus when I arrived my presence immediately became an issue for the CIA and the FBI. This was because of the extensive range of my activities. When did I prepare that foundation? My preparation began when I founded the Little Angels for the purpose of holding performances overseas. When we founded the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation to sponsor the Little Angels, I selected individuals who had ties to the American government to serve as board members. Over 140 personalities of national-level influence, including former US presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, joined the foundation at that time. Because of them we were able to conduct many activities with the Little Angels.

For example, arranging a performance in the White House usually requires one and a half years of advanced preparation. However, the Little Angels were able to perform in the White House after applying just a week in advance. This was possible because President Eisenhower was an advisor to the sponsoring foundation. I prepared that foundation before I came to the United States.

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