First Ever Japan Parade Saturday on CPW; Details!

Photo courtesy of The Consulate General of Japan, NYC.

By Peggy Taylor

Kenju Murakami, deputy consul general, couldn’t contain his excitement as he donned the Japanese traditional men’s festive garment, the Happi, in anticipation of New York City’s first-ever Japan Parade, taking place at 1 p.m. Saturday on Central Park West from 81st to 68th Streets.

“There will be 2,400 participants, live performances, floats, ladies in kimonos, and traditional samurai led by the Grand Marshal, [Star Trek] actor George Takei,” the deputy consul said.

Takei was quoted in the Daily News as saying, “I’m boldly going where no one else has gone before.”

But the Parade will not only celebrate Japan/U.S. friendship and Japan’s wide-ranging culture, art, and traditions. “It will also showcase Japan’s solidarity with other Asian nations as we celebrate AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islanders) Month and join forces against Asian hate,” Mr. Murakami said. Other Asian groups will also participate, as will a group from Ukraine, in another sign of solidarity.

“This year also celebrates the 150th anniversary of the introduction of baseball to Japan from the U.S., which remains very popular to this day,” according to AAARI.

The Opening Ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Central Park West between 70th and 71st Streets. The parade will begin on Central Park West and 81st Street at 1 p.m. and travel south, ending at Central Park West and 68th Street. A street fair will round out the festivities on 69th Street between Central Park West and Columbus.

Correction: The quote in the fourth paragraph has been attributed to Kenju Murakami.

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    1. Dominic Frigosi says:

      Solidarity with other Asian nations? Who said that? The author did not attribute the quote to anyone. Did Murakami say that? Takei? Either way, it’s utter nonsense. Let’s not pretend there isn’t big-time tension between the Chinese and Japanese. And things will stay that way until Japan acknowledges Nanjing, so save the “solidarity” talk for people who’ve never read a history book. Parades are not going to change these deep-seeded resentments. An official acknowledgment of holocaust-level massacres would be a good first step. Then reparations.

      • A Random Guy on the UWS says:

        The Japanese government and officials thereof have repeatedly expressed remorse for the horrors of WWII. Yes, there are some extremists but overall the brutality of the imperialist gov’t has been addressed by the Japanese people. Many of the officials who planned the war were given the death penalty (ironically by the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon on civilian populations).

        There is indeed no solidarity between many East Asian peoples. But many have put the ugly history of war behind them. There also can be times when we take a moment to enjoy East Asian– in this case Japanese– cultures and celebrate the fact that once terrible enemies are now on friendly terms. How about you just enjoy the parade tomorrow or stay home and keep your mouth shut?

      • Dan says:

        They are referring to Asian Americans standing in solidarity against hate crimes. Nothing to do with geopolitics.

      • John E. says:

        @ Dominic Frigosi, Wow, how about China acknowledging how they treat the Tibetans or the Uyghurs? Why don’t you bring up how this country locked up Japanese-Americans in internment camps during WW II? Every country has sins that they need to answer for. Looks like you missed a few history books or bothered to read a newspaper lately.

        You’re badly missing the point of this celebration. I think it’s great that the Japanese are standing in solidarity against anti-Asian hate crimes. It’s also terrific that they’re supporting Ukraine in their time of need.
        But what do you care?

    2. Michele says:

      I am very excited about the parade tomorrow and the street there I am looking forward to going

    3. Michael Palmer says:

      Please read Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown. You will learn of the 100,000 Japanese Americans interned during WWII and the Exploits of the most decorated regiment in American History, the 442, Japanese Americans who fought the Nazis. They also had teh highest mortality rate of any American regiment.

    4. Joe says:

      I support my Japanese brethren! No nation is perfect and not excusing historic actions, but I want to encourage the beauty their culture has given to the rest of the world.

      If any nation is without atrocity,, let them cast that first stone. 🙂

    5. Upperwestslider says:

      The parade was fabulous. Well done! Let’s hope it continues next year!

    6. life long UWSider says:

      Why does everything have to be politicized?
      The parade was delightful, a happy event for both participants celebrating their culture, and the people who came to cheer them on. It seemed particularly poignant that the marching band, the only one I have ever seen that included violins, played the seemingly incongruous “76 Trombones”, expressing being American while remaining completely themselves.Stop being grumpy and just enjoy!