New York City’s First Japan Parade Celebrates Culture with Music, Dance and More

NEW YORK — Thousands of people gathered Saturday for the first Japan Parade in Manhattan.

As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reports, organizers say the event also showed solidarity with other Asian nations by celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The celebration of Japanese culture kicked off on Central Park West, marching from West 81st Street to 68th.

The parade was led by none other than George Takei, famous for his role as Sulu in “Star Trek.” Takei served as the parade’s grand marshal.

“The United States is a great country. Japan is a great country,” Takei said. “Look at all these people having a parade together in Japan. All the diversity of America. It’s a glorious day.”

There was music, dancing and celebration. The Japanese culture exhibit was brought to New Yorkers by the nonprofit organization Japan Day Inc.

“Oh, it was lovely. And looking around, people did a wonderful job,” said one parade attendee.

A reveler celebrated Japanese culture with clothes he designed himself.

“I went to Japan to study Japanese art, the tea ceremony, so it was a great opportunity to come and celebrate it in New York,” he said.

The first original date of the parade was canceled due to the pandemic, so many said they were excited that they were finally able to celebrate, two years later.

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