“Japan Festival,” the largest event celebrating Japanese culture in Southern U.S., was held at Hermann Park in Houston on April 9th and 10th. 2011 marked the 18th year of the festival. The event was sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Houston with support from three other local Japan related organizations: Japanese Association of Greater Houston, Japan Business Association of Houston and Japanese American Citizens League Houston Chapter. Together the four organizations formed an executive committee that oversaw the planning and management of the festival.
This year, in response to the March 11th 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the slogan “Ganbare JAPAN, We are with you,” was adopted to raise funds for the area struck by disaster. Over 28,000 people attended the festival and wrote messages of encouragement on a cloth banner (4.7 m wide, 1.5 m tall) to be dedicated to the Japanese victims. The Mayor of Houston, Mayor Annise Parker also added a message praising the Japanese people for demonstrating to the world great integrity, courtesy and dedication in the face of natural disaster.
The message banner was sent from the City of Houston to its sister city, Chiba City where it has been on display at Chiba City Hall since September 12th.
The mayor of Chiba City, Mayor Kumagai with the banner:
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