NYC’s first-ever Japan Parade takes place this weekend

May 9, 2022

Image courtesy of Geoff Livingston on Flickr

New York City is hosting a parade dedicated to Japanese people and their culture for the first time ever this weekend. On Saturday, May 14, the Japan Parade kicks off at Central Park and West 81st Street and moves south towards 68th Street. The parade will showcase a variety of Japanese performing arts and Japanese organizations, like Anime NYC, the International Karate Organization Kyokushin, and the Japanese Folk Dance of NY, according to Thrillist.

Star Trek actor and best-selling author George Takei will serve as the parade’s inaugural grand marshal. Other notable appearances include the cast of the musical Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live and news broadcaster Sandra Endo as the event’s emceeAdditional guests will be announced in the coming days.

“I am honored and proud to be the Grand Marshall of the inaugural Japan Parade,” Takei said in a statement. “To see the Japanese community in New York celebrated is a beautiful thing and it will be exciting to see Japan’s friendship with New York on full display.”

Delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the parade was originally scheduled for 2020, to mark the 160th anniversary of the first visit by Japanese delegates to the U.S. and to coincide with the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The newly-scheduled parade will fall on the 150th anniversary of the Japanese Consulate’s foundation in New York.

The parade is being held in lieu of Japan Day, a celebration of Japanese culture held in Central Park every year since 2007. A Japan Street Fair will also be held at 69th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the same day. The parade procession will be walking towards the street fair.


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