New York City’s first-ever Japan Parade celebrates culture with music, dance and more

NEW YORK — Thousands gathered on Saturday for the first-ever Japan Parade in Manhattan.

As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reports, organizers say the event also showed solidarity with other Asian countries as it celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The celebration of Japanese culture got off at 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 Grand Marshal for the parade.

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

There was music, dancing and celebration. The display of Japanese culture was brought to New Yorkers by the non-profit organization Japan Day Inc.

“Oh, it was lovely. And looking around, and the people have done an amazing job,” said one parade goer.

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

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