Japan Day 2007

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007 | All Things, Events

At SummerStage for Japan Day at Central Park, an event organized by the city’s Japanese community, with the support of the Consulate General of Japan, to showcase Japan’s contemporary and traditional cultures. The day kicked off in the early morning with a traditional Shishimai (lion dance), followed by a 4-mile “Japan Run” race.

By mid-afternoon, 14,000 New Yorkers had descended upon the park – check out the line to get in – to take part in the day-long program, which included food, activity and exhibition stalls, karaoke and anime costume contests, live music and cultural performances.

Japan Day line

Inside the “Video Game and Robots” tent, there was a somewhat predictable gender split among the attendees.: boys and young men were huddled around the flashing, beeping game consoles; girls gravitated toward Paro, the furry white, robotic baby harp seal. The award-winning robots, which were developed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science, respond to human touch, and are used for elder therapy in Japanese nursing homes and in hospitals by autistic and handicapped children.

Japan Day robots

The enthusiastic women of the Japanese Candy tent. Other food tents included Gyudon (Beef Bowl), Gyoza , Soba Noodle, and Temaki Hand Roll Sushi.

Japan Day candy tent

I spied several people whom I assumed were Anime Costume Contest participants, but given some of the outlandish Japanese street fashion, and the eclectic attire adopted by the East Village “freeters” — it’s not always easy to tell the difference.

Japan Day anime

Japan Day anime

Japan Day crowd:

Japan Day audience

NY1 political reporter Sandra Endo emceed the main stage events, including a surprise appearance by the newly crowned Miss Universe (and Heroes  hopeful) Riyo Mori, who earlier in the week won the title handily over the USA’s balance-challenged entrant, Rachel Smith.

Sandra Endo

And just before the rains: a musical performance by Miki Hayama, jazz pianist.

Japan Day music

There's 1 comment so far ... Japan Day 2007

June 18, 2007

The pianist totally shut Endo down. That was awesome!

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