Japan Day at Central Park 2012

Photo by Brian Ngai

Japan Day at Central park is an event designed by the Japanese community of New York to promote a deeper understanding of the Japanese culture and to say “Thank you, New York!” Now marking its 6th year as a New York City tradition, Japan Day at Central Park returns to the Bandshell area with tents offering a wide range of Japanese traditional and family-friendly activities, free samplings of popular Japanese cuisine, and powerful stage performances throughout the day.

Japan Day @ Central Park 2012 begins at 8:00am with the Japan Run, a 4-mile race, organized by New York Road Runners. The Japan Day Festival begins at 9:30am with the opening of all activity tents. The stage show begins at 10:00am, and free samplings of Japanese cuisine begin at 11:30am.

Hosted by Sandra Endo (CNN Reporter), there were a lot of amazing performers including COBU, Danny Eason & Don’t Give Up Choir, International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan, New York Suwa Taiko Association, Samurai Sword Soul / Samurai Boot Camp!, Soh Daiko, The New York City Kendo Club and World Seido Karate.

Photo by Brian Ngai

To commemorate the Cherry Blossom Centennial, Japan Day 2012 invited visual artists to submit artwork featuring the beauty of both cherry trees and Central Park. The Japan Day – Cherry Blossom Art Contest was the first time an open competition was held to select the Japan Day Official artist.  The elegant and striking work of Aaron Porter was selected as the winning entry and Aaron’ s artwork is the official image of Japan Day @ Central Park 2012, and is featured on the Japan Day Poster, Flyer, and Charity T-shirts.  Five additional artists were awarded Honorable Mentions for their fine work: Chris Dina, Keri Dodge, Ardith Ibañez Nishii, Ken Sheldon and Sara Woolley.

Photo by Brian Ngai

A lot of attendees also dressed up traditional Japanese outfits to celebrate the Japan Day together.  It was a fun day with many activities including Calligraphy, Chopsticks Game, Hello Kitty, Kabuki Face Painting, Language, Origami, Robot Sumo Battle, Wellness Check-Up and Yo-Yo Fishing.  Also, we can’t say no to the free samplings of those yummy Japanese treats such as Gyoza, Gyudon, Mazemen, Okonomiyaki, Snacks, Pastry, Sushi, Tea and Udon.  For more info: www.japandaynyc.org

Photo by Brian Ngai

Photo by Brian Ngai

Photo by Brian Ngai

Photo by Brian Ngai

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