The Beauty of the Japan Parade in NYC

By Amanda Moses

New Yorkers were in for a treat on May 11th when the Third Annual Japan Parade strolled along Central Park West looking super kawaī (Japanese for cute).

Thousands of spectators and parade participants—many donning traditional kimonos and their favorite Anime costumes—celebrated the friendship between New York City and Japan during the annual cultural celebration. This year Shingo Kunieda, a paralympic wheelchair tennis star and four-time gold medalist served as the Grand Marshal alongside returning Emcee News Correspondent for Fox 11, Good Day LA and KTVV LosAngeles Sandra Endo.

“I am very honored to serve as Grand Marshal of the Japan Parade, and I’m delighted to be involved in this opportunity to promote Japanese culture,” Shingo Kunieda said in a press release.

The much-anticipated event featured special guests as well, such as the cast from the musical Demon Slayer: The Stage as well as the mayor from Yamaguchi City, Ito Kazuki (The New York Times named Yamaguchi as one of the top 52 places to visit this year).

Onlookers waved both Japanese and American flag as they cheered on parade marchers, including Spring Creek Towers’ very own Young Adults Program members who walked alongside the Japan Society.

“The Japan Parade is extraordinary. My New Yorker friends said they have never seen a parade like this,” Ambassador Mikio Mori, Consul General of Japan in New York said. “From traditional to pop culture, this is a spectacular event where everyone can enjoy all aspects of Japan. This is the third annual celebration, but it has already taken root in New York City. The trust and friendship built in this community adds so much to the U.S. Japan ‘global partnership,’ mentioned by Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden in April.”

Photos by Amanda Moses

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Amanda Moses