Japan Day 2014 at Central Park

By Ka Yee Chan

It has been chilly and rainy in the month of May. It seems as if the weather is aware of the annual festival, Japan Day, on May 11. The sun was out to shine the stages at the festival. It is time to learn about Japanese cultures and enjoy the weather.

Japan Day is an annual event hosted by Japan Day Inc. and officially supported by Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Industry of New York, Inc. and The Nippon Club, Inc.

On the sunny Sunday, as well as Mother’s Day, Japan Day began at 8:00 am with the 4-Mile Run and Kids Race at 9:30am. The whole day was packed with activities. There were 9 activity tents including, calligraphy, Hello Kitty Photo Booth, Kabuki Face Painting, Language, News Report with Domo, Origami, Superconducting Maglev, Try on Yukata, and Yo-Yo Fishing. There were also 6 food tents to keep up everyone’s energy throughout the day. There was the Gyoza Tent, Miso Soup Tent, Okonomiyaki Tent, Ramen Tent, Snacks Tent, and Tea Tent.

There were 12 stage performances from 10:30am -4:00pm with MC, Sandra Endo.

The program started with:

ACT I: Soh Daiko stage (Japanese Taiko Drumming)
Niigata Takahashi Chikuzan Ensemble (Tsugaru Shamisen)
Greetings, Japan Day Art Contest Award Ceremony
International Karate Organization (IKO) Kyokushinkaikan (Karate)
Senri Oe (Jazz Performance)

ACT II: KAI+ featuring Shunkashuto (Fusion Music & Dance)
Fashion Show by Shunpei Okamoto (Fashion Show0
COBU (Japanese Taiko Drumming & Hip Hop)
Sonim (Vocal Performance)

ACT III: Taiko Masala (Japanese Taiko Drumming)
Numbers (Street Dance)
Jero (Enka Performance)
NY Ondo with Hero & The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York
Fortune Cookie in Love

The festival was full of activities. It is an honor to feature all the well-known, professional performers at once. It is a time of celebration and cultural exchange. If you didn’t understand what half the stage performances were, that mean you should come and take a look next year in May. It is a very fun and enjoyable event with free admission. It is suitable for people from all around the world and of all ages.

For more information, please visit: http://www.japandaynyc.org.

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