Japan Day – June 3



NEW YORK, May 8, 2007 – June 3rd, 2007 will mark the first-ever Japan Day @ Central Park, a day-long celebration and presentation of the best of contemporary and traditional Japan. Organized by representatives of the Japanese Community with the support of the Consulate General of Japan in New York, Japan Day @ Central Park will begin with the traditional Shishimai Lion Dance at 7:45 am, followed by the Japan Run at 8 am at Center Road in Central Park, and will culminate with live performances on the SummerStage and activities ranging from origami and calligraphy to the latest in video games, digital cameras and robots at Rumsey Playfield from 10 am – 5 pm.

The Consulate and the Japanese community wanted to extend a thank you to New York, said Ambassador Motoatsu Sakurai. New York is not only home to America’s largest Japanese community; it has opened its arms to the influence of Japan in the arts, business, technology, fashion and the media. It is our hope that Japan Day @ Central Park will intrigue and delight New Yorkers with a sampling of our culture.

The Japan Run will launch at 7:45 am with a traditional Shishimai Lion Dance (performed by the taiko drum ensemble, Soh Daiko). The Japan Run is a four-mile mini-marathon sponsored by New York Road Runners (NYRR) and is one of many qualifying races for the NYRR’s annual New York City Marathon, with an expected 3,500 participants. For children between 2 and 14 years of age, there will be a Kids Run starting at 9:30 am . The races will culminate with an award ceremony for top runners, as well as a raffle for all the participants.

The Japan Day Festival at Rumsey Playfield begins at 10:00 am with live performances on SummerStage throughout the day, hosted by NY1 anchor Sandra Endo and featuring jazz pianist Miki Hayama and internationally acclaimed taiko drummer Leonard Eto. Additional entertainment includes a live karaoke competition, traditional dance, and karate and samurai sword demonstrations.

A wide variety of tents will feature Japanese cuisine, traditional arts demonstrations, games and toys, as well as digital cameras, video games and robots. An authentic O-mikoshi (shrine) will also be on display.