Volunteers needed for Japan Friendship Festival 2013

Title: Japan Friendship Festival 2013
Subtitle: “Inuyama Day”
Place: At Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza
Sponsors: B.Bridges, Xaverian HS, and with the support of the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office
Time: Friday, May 3, 2013 11 am – 3 pm

We are looking for JETs who can help share Japanese culture and traditions with New York’ers. They will have booths for Shodo – Japanese Calligraphy, Sado – Tea Ceremony, and Laido (in armor if possible) – a Japanese martial art.  All the cultural booths have not been confirmed but others could include Origami,  etc.

Please contact Ann Chow at membership@jetaany.org if you are interested in volunteering.

This event has been brought to our attention by Anthony Bianchi who was a JET, CIR Inuyama, Aichi Ken alumni and the first-ever North American to hold an elected position in Japan.  Read an interview with Anthony Bianchi on JETAANY.org

Friendship Festival flyer

Background info on B. Bridges:

The volunteer exchange group is called B. Bridges. They are in our tenth year of existence. The idea for the group was seeded at an event with the Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz held for Anthony Bianchi (JET Alum) at Borough Hall after his first election. There he was reacquainted with the administration of Xaverian High School.  Upon visiting the school they decided there was a need to set up some kind of exchange. After some planning the first group of 70 people from Xaverian HS visited Inuyama, Japan. The next year a group of 40 from Inuyama visited Brooklyn, NY. They participated in the Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The group that travels from Xaverian HS is the Jazz Band and Chorus (incidentally they have played at the White House several times, as well as for the Pope on his NY visit).

Close to 500 people have traveled back and forth between New York and Inuyama, Japan. They have sent Japanese teachers to Xaverian, similar to a reverse JET program. They have also arranged for Japanese educators to visit Xaverian while on study trips.

They have added charity events to the program after Japan’s financial troubles. The first event in Inuyama, was a charity concert by the Xaverian group which raised several thousand dollars for foreign residents who lost their jobs. After the great tsunami/earthquake the two organizations raised close to $15,000 and another $17,000 after Super Storm Sandy

Although the group from Xaverian is students and teachers, the Inuyama group is mixed.  They have members from 7 to over 70 years old (10 or so school age members as well as 7 or so seniors) in our group of 40.