Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sakura Matsuri: Lantern Lighting Ceremony in Washington D.C.

This last April 10th saw the annual Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony in Washington DC's Cherry Blossom Festival. This ceremony marks the 60 year old gift from Japan which is over 350 years old and sits by the Tidal Basin and is only lit once a year.
Lighting the Stone Lantern was Ms. Miyuko Niwa (seen here in the beautiful kimono) who is the 2016 Japan Princess, chosen by the local Japanese community in the D.C. area. She lit the lantern with the help of a member of the National Park Service. 
Current Japanese Ambassador Kinichiro Sasae delivered these words before a large crowd that included Cherry Blossom Princesses selected by Japanese American Communities: "One day this lantern of friendship will have spent as much time in this country as in Japan and some future Japanese Ambassador will be standing here talking about the ancient friendship between Japan and the United States."
We evidently didn't know this Stone Lantern was there or we would have stopped by on our trip to Washington D.C. last year but happy to see this here. We at American Mishima would like to give Ambassador Sasae and the Government of Japan a big ども ありがとう and wish for our two nations continued friendship for generations to come!

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