For John, BLUF: A wonderful performance and tradition. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From Mental Flosswe have this short article on Beethoven's Ninth being performed in Japan.
In Japan, it's an end-of-year tradition to sing "Ode to Joy," the final movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The song is so well-known in Japan that it's known simply as daiku, literally "number nine." In Osaka, a 10,000-person-strong "Number Nine Chorus" of amateur singers performs daiku every December, to thundering effect. While there are some professionals involved (the soloists and orchestra), the Number Nine Chorus is largely a community effort. And the sound of 10,000 singers, trained or untrained, is unbelievable.And a link that doesn't work.
However, this link worked for me a few minutes ago. Here is a You Tube version of this year's performance.
Regards — Cliff