Japan Day Parade in New York City

george takei japan day

The first ever Japan Parade in New York City will be held on Saturday, May 14, beginning at 1pm.  The purpose of the parade is to celebrate, express and bring awareness to the friendship between NYC and Japan with a thank you from the Japanese community. Actor, author, civil rights activist, and Influencer George Takei will be the Parade’s inaugural Grand Marshall.

The Japan Parade is affiliated with Japan Day, an annual event that has taken place in Central Park since 2007.
This year also marks the 150th anniversary of two important milestones for Japan-United States relations: the Japanese mission to the United States, led by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Iwakura Tomomi, as well as the United States’ introduction of baseball to Japan.
Beginning on Central Park West at West 81st Street and traveling south to West 68th Street, the Japan Parade will feature live performances by the cast of “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” The Super Live, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Cobu, Soh Daiko, Japanese Folk Dance of NY, 10tecomai, Tate Haroryu, International Karate Organization Kyokushin-kaikan, and Anime NYC. More performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
George Takei will serve as the parade’s inaugural Grand Marshall, and Sandra Endo, news correspondent on KTVV Los Angeles, Fox 11 News and feature reporter for Good Day LA, will serve as Emcee of the parade.
The Consulate General of Japan in New York initiated this project. Ambassador Mikio Mori said, “Japan and the U.S. have come a long way in our relations, from early official exchanges to economic and diplomatic partnership backed by multi-layered people-to-people exchange in recent decades. The Japan Parade is a symbolic evolution of this relationship, and a landmark culmination of Japan and New York’s friendship. We hope many will join us for this historical moment.”
“I am honored and proud to be the Grand Marshall of the inaugural Japan Parade,” said George Takei. “To see the Japanese community in New York celebrated is a beautiful thing and it will be exciting to see Japan’s friendship with New York on full display.”
“We are very excited to be presenting the very first Japan Parade in New York City,” said Japan Parade Executive Producer Kumiko Yoshii. “The diversity of the Japanese community is part of what makes New York special and we are very proud to show off our culture in this family friendly event. Bring the kids and experience a bit of the far East, right in your backyard. ”
“It is an honor to be the Chairman of Japan Day, Inc. for the first-ever Japan Parade in New York City, “ said Japan Day Chairman of the Board of Directors, Atsushi Ueda. “We are making our best effort to create a memorable event to be continued on in the future to represent the Japanese Community. Participating groups will show Japan’s various attractions, such as culture, tradition, sports, music, cosplay, etc. for everyone’s enjoyment.”
The Japan Parade aims is to strengthen the solidarity of the Japanese-American community on these milestone anniversaries.

Initially, the parade was planned for 2020 to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the first Japanese delegates’ visit to the U.S. in 1860, as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, but was sadly cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mission of Japan Day is to showcase the Japanese community’s appreciation toward their home city, New York, build a bridge of cultural understanding between the people of Japan and the U.S., and facilitate stronger grass-roots connections within the community. This is a family-friendly annual event designed by the Japanese community of New York. It all started in 2007 to promote a deeper understanding of the Japanese culture and to say “Thank you, New York!” Throughout the years, this cultural event received official support from the Office of the Mayor. And with the help from the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy, we get to use the beautiful Central Park. Furthermore, the Consulate General of Japan in New York, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Nippon Club, and many other Japanese and American corporations have been supporting us since day one. The event continues with the Japan Day Festival featuring a wide range of Japanese traditional and family-friendly activities, free samplings of popular Japanese cuisine, and powerful stage performances throughout the day.