【Cultural Event】 Memphis Japan Festival (September 24th)

  On Sunday, September 24th, the Japan-America Society of Tennessee and the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville co-hosted the Memphis Japan Festival at Memphis Botanic Garden in Tennessee.
 Over 6,000 people attended the festival, including Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., former Shelby County Mayor Bill Morris, and Memphis City Councilman Kemp Conrad, and Mr. Arnold Perl, founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Japan-America Society of Tennessee, Inc. Representatives from both Japanese and American companies, students, families, and friends of Japan gathered together for the festival launch ceremony.
 During the ceremony, Mayor Luttrell noted the importance of the Japan-U.S. relationship in a world that continues to get smaller with technological advances. Councilman Conrad noted how foreign direct investment in Tennessee by Japanese companies grew from a mere 2 percent to over 50 percent during the last four decades. He expressed appreciation for the contributions made by the Japanese companies to the communities in social and cultural aspects as wells. Mayor Luttrell, joined by Councilman Conrad, then read out a joint proclamation by Luttrell and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland to declare September 24th, 2017 “Japan Friendship Day”.  
 Consul-General Kinefuchi expressed his gratitude to the City of Memphis and Shelby County for the proclamation of “Japan Friendship Day.” He remarked on how wonderful it is that the Japan-America community in the Memphis area has grown so strong that a new Japan Festival could be created, and he expressed his vision to grow the festival into a regional event in the future. As culmination of Japan’s appreciation, Consul-General Kinefuchi presented the Certificate of Commendation to the Memphis Botanic Garden for its contributions to the deepening of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and the greater Memphis area, as well as between Japan and the U.S.   
 Festival guests enjoyed Taiko drumming, Japanese martial arts, bunraku puppets, and circus performances.  Other opportunities to enjoy Japanese culture included lectures on bonsai, mini Japanese lessons, Japanese food trucks, a community bon odori (summer dance), tea ceremony, tours of the Japanese garden, yukata dressing, origami activities, and kamishibai readings.

                                                        
                                                           [Festival Launch Festival]                                                      [Certificate of Commendation]