Justin’s Japan: New York Mets Present Third Annual Japanese Heritage Night

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Examiner.com. Visit his Japanese culture page here for related stories.

After two successful runs, the New York Mets are prepping the third annual edition of its Japanese Heritage Night at Citi Field, featuring pre-game entertainment that celebrates both the traditional performing arts and the enduring spirit of the Land of the Rising Sun a year after the devastation of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The festivities kick off the evening of Friday, June 15 when the Mets play the Cincinnati Reds. Appearing in the pre-game show this year are the New York Suwa Taiko Association (also known as Taiko Masala) and the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York. Following the entertainment, patrons will be treated to the presentation of Mets Community Spirit Awards to New York City Japanese organizations that have been instrumental to the ongoing relief efforts.

The only taiko group based in Brooklyn, Taiko Masala was founded by Hiro Kurashima. A Lincoln Center Teaching Artist from 2004 to 2005, Kurashima has sought to bring the influences of various types of music into the art of Japanese music while at the same time preserving the rich tradition of taiko. The 10-member troupe, whose drummers hail from all over the world, have played such high profile New York events like last year’s Japan Arts Matsuri, and will make their Citi Field debut on game day.

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This year, JETAANY will be purchasing a block of tickets in the Promenade Reserved area for $20 each. If we buy 25 tickets, our name will be displayed on the scoreboard! Sign up here to reserve your tickets.