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59th Annual Sakura Matsui organized by the Japan-America Society of Washington

31 May 2019 12:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Spring weather greeted Sakura Matsuri festival goers on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Organized by the Japan-America Society of Washington, the Japanese Street Festival offered visitors a delightful look and taste of Japanese culture from shopping at the Ginza Market Place to anime creations at the Japan Now to Okinawan Taiko drumming and JTR Jujitsu performances in the Arts and Culture area and of course a bit of imbibing at the Hakutsuru Sake Tasting Pavilion and the Kirin Ichiban Beer Station. JAVA was thrilled to participate for the 16th year and share our unique story with festival goers, many whom remain unaware of Executive Order 9066 or the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team or the Military Intelligence Service. Linda Bethke-Cyr and Mark Nakagawa coordinated the JAVA booth activities which included handing out complementary copies of the “442nd: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity” and “MIS: Human Secret Weapon.” JAVA members Major General Garrett Yee, USA, along with Noriko Sanefuji, Museum Specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Barbara Watanabe, Museum Specialist at the National Museum of Natural History also volunteered to staff the JAVA booth. Booth volunteers not only shared the history of the Japanese American experience during World War II with the steady stream of visitors to JAVA’s booth but also shared the more personal experiences of their families.

While there was much merry making in the streets of downtown DC, JAVA volunteers all agreed they had just as much fun working behind the scenes. Not only did they catch a glimpse of friends and neighbors enjoying the festivities but they cemented friendships as they explained the relevance of JAVA’s mission to festival goers.

Much thanks to JAVA volunteers: Al Goshi, Mark Nakagawa, Linda Bethke-Cyr, Garrett Yee, Noriko Sanefuji and Barbara Watanabe.

Noriko Sanefuji, Garrett Yee, Al Goshi, Mark Nakagawa and Linda Bethke-Cyr

Garrett Yee, Festival Goer, and Mark Nakagawa

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