Japan Day This Sunday, June 6

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Japan Day is just around the corner! Here’s the official press release.


4th  ANNUAL JAPAN DAY @ CENTRAL PARK  
SUNDAY, JUNE 6

EXPERIENCE THE SIGHTS, SOUNDS AND TASTES OF JAPAN

FREE EVENT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

CELEBRATING THE 150th ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST JAPANESE DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO NY

NEW YORK , May 17  – Marking its fourth year as a New York City tradition, Japan Day @ Central Park returns to the East Meadow on Sunday, June 6, 2010 with a wide range of exciting Japanese traditional and family-friendly activities including a Samurai Parade celebrating 150 years of Japan-New York City friendship, free samplings of popular Japanese cuisine and live performances throughout the day with more entertainers from Japan than ever before including 20-year old pop sensation Kizuki Minami, esteemed recording artist Kumiko and legendary jazz saxophonist Sadao Watanabe performing with children’s choirs and percussionists from New York area schools.

In addition, this year features martial arts performances by the Ninja acrobats SHINOBI-TRY and Samurai Sword Soul, a Tokyo Fashion Festa Show modeling the latest in fashion from six design houses with music by J-pop star GRAMM, hip hop dancers BDC: Nippon to NYC and the J-rock group The Ricecookers.

This Japan Day is truly a significant event as it coincides with the 150th anniversary of the very first encounter between New Yorkers and the Japanese in 1860 when hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic New Yorkers lined the streets to see the First Diplomatic Mission from Japan in a Samurai Parade down Broadway.  To honor this historic occasion, Japan Day will kick off with a Samurai Parade led by the NYPD Band  (the NYPD led the parade 150 years ago) with participants wearing over 50 glorious handmade kimonos from Japan and including sword-carrying Samurai, Ninjas, Japanese Folk Dancers, International Karate kids, Kendo Martial Arts groups and Ambassador Nishimiya.  Ambassador Nishimiya noted: “I am also pleased to announce The Museum of the City of New York will present a marvelous exhibition beginning June 25 of rare photographs, newspaper engravings, works of art and costumes lent by Japanese institutions that celebrate this first Japan-New York encounter and the cross-cultural influences it inspired.”

Last year over 45,000 New Yorkers participated in Japan Day @ Central Park.  The Japan Run, a four-mile race organized by New York Road Runners begins the day at 8AM.  Activity Tents opening at 10AM include Robot Sumo battles, Calligraphy, Origami, Uchiwa handmade fans, Kabuki face painting, Kimono & Yukata dressing, traditional toys, games and Japanese instruments. (See attached full schedule and map).

Japan Day President Koichi Komatsu observed: “This Japan Day places special emphasis on family-friendly entertainment and learning opportunities.  I am very happy that the day’s festivities will conclude with a rousing stage finale by world-renowned saxophonist Sadao Watanabe accompanied by international children’s choruses and percussionists performing “Share the World”.  And indeed our biggest message of the day is ‘Arigato’ for we want to say ‘Thank you, New York!’ for your firm friendship through these 150 years and for the opportunities you have given the Japanese community to flourish and grow.  We hope Japan Day 2010 will once again bring thousands of New Yorkers to East Meadow to share the joy of Japanese culture.”

For a contribution of $20 or more at Japan Day you will receive an original T-shirt designed by the Official Japan Day 2010 Artist, MireyHIROKI.   All donations go to the Japan Day Cherry Tree Initiative which allows the Central Park Conservancy to care for and plant cherry trees around the Central Park Reservoir.  For information on how to donate to Japan Day, please visit http://japandaynyc.org.

WHEN:      SUNDAY, JUNE 6, 2010

WHAT:      JAPAN RUN at 8AM followed by a Runner’s Awards Ceremony

                    KIDS RUN 9:30AM
                   JAPAN DAY FESTIVAL 10:00AM-4:45PM

WHERE:    EAST MEADOW
                    Main entrance at 97th Street and Fifth Avenue
                    JAPAN RUN starts at Central Park’s 102nd Street Transverse near East Drive Course

There’s going to be something for everyone at this event. Kimono lovers, music lovers, lolitas, ninjas, samurais, geishas, salarymen, otakus, cosplayers, martial arts practitioners: come on down to Japan Day and celebrate the awesomeness that is Japanese culture.

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