Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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Letters and Messages

Remarks by Consul-General Nozomu Takaoka
at Japan Festival in Houston Opening Ceremony
on April 18, 2015

April 18, 2015

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen and thank you for joining us for the opening of the 22nd Annual Japan Festival here in Hermann Park. First of all I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the people and city of Houston for their kind and generous tradition of hosting this festival in the center of this city for such a long time. I am glad that the Japan Festival is now an important and integral part of a “prosperous, beautiful, and diverse Houston. For that, I want to recognize the esteemed community representatives, corporate leaders and volunteers here with me, on stage and in the festival flyer, for all their support.

This year’s festival motto is “Education through authenticity” and it is embodied by the variety of vendors and performers here this weekend.  I encourage you to take steps towards knowing and learning about Japanese culture, just like the spirited people on stage who are learning taiko.  You can see history in action when you just watched bunraku, a form of Japanese puppetry that has inspired modern robotics; you can taste the sweet flavors of Japan when you take part in ikebana and tea ceremony; and you can channel your love of manga, cosplay, and sushi into your study of the Japanese language.

Japanese culture is wide and varied and unique. I hope that you enjoy all of this weekend’s authentic traditional and modern activities and through learning, take a piece of Japan home with you.