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Tokyo and Washington, D.C., celebrated 110 a long time of cherry blossoms and friendship Sunday at the U.S. capital’s Cherry Blossom Competition opening ceremony.
The Cherry Blossom Competition is a celebration of the wonderful, flowering pink trees which dot the streets of the nation’s funds. The authentic 3,000 trees had been a reward to D.C. from the mayor of Tokyo in 1912.
This year’s festivities provided functions from local Washington D.C. teams and Japanese artists, all hosted by StormWatch7’s Veronica Johnson and samurai artist Yoshi Omao. Particular messages and movie greetings have been offered by 1st lady Jill Biden and the National Park Provider.
Mayor Muriel Bowser, one particular of the keynote speakers, advised the viewers the festival was a concept to the entire world that “D.C. is open up.” On the other hand, the party necessary attendees to give evidence of COVID-19 vaccination and wear masks.
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“Now we can basically odor the blossoms,” the mayor remarked, “…in all eight wards.”
Japanese Ambassador Koji Tomita gave remarks at the party, reflecting on the historical past of the trees and their symbolism.
“110 years in the past, as a present of friendship, the mayor of Tokyo donated 3,000 trees,” the ambassador stated. “That present has blossomed.”
The ambassador made a short observation of the close of the pandemic, as very well as the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“[The festival] will be a celebration of the most vital values we cherish – independence,” Koji mentioned. “We remind ourselves of how valuable freedom is, possessing lived underneath the shadow of the pandemic for years.”
He continued, “Our feelings are with the people of Ukraine in their combat for liberty.”
“[Japan and the U.S.] have a multilayered marriage,” claimed Yuki Sugiyama, general public affairs officer for the Japanese Embassy in D.C. “We think in the electrical power of lifestyle, and cherry blossoms stand for renewal.”
Sugiyama has served with the Japanese embassy for 3 many years, but because of to the pandemic, this was his 1st authentic knowledge with the festival.
There is no comparable celebration to the pageant, Sugiyama explained to WHD News Digital in an interview, declaring, “So far as I know, this function is exclusive.”
Entertainers who flew in for the opening ceremony integrated: Samurai artist troupe Kamui, shamisen skilled Keisho Ohno, taiko drummer Toshihiro Yuta, and musical team Minyo Crusaders.
U.S. performers included the Unstoppable Steppers, a D.C.-primarily based stepping team, and DJ Heat.
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Samurai artist Tetsuro Shimaguchi, the grasp of the Kamui troupe, spoke to WHD News Digital on Thursday.
Shimaguchi is coaching a new generation of youth from close to the world in the means of the sword, as well as the warrior’s way of thinking.
Tetsuro has visited 140 metropolitan areas, operates dojo in a number of countries, and oversees the most significant samurai-centric cultural preservation campaign in the planet.
He arrived in D.C. on Wednesday in advance of his general performance at the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival opening ceremony.