Japan Society of Fairfield County
Ohanami 2006

Consul Sugamiya red rain drop Before our Ohanami began, nature paid us another visit that won't soon be forgotten. A weekend of rain fell, flooding roads and washing away the cherry blossoms at the Greenwich Japanese School.  The Japanese kanji to the left is the literary character "kouu" and refers to the rain falling over the cherry blossoms which literally means "rain of rouge".  It is derived from the image of rain drops falling from the blossom that are stained taking the color of the petals.  This was brought to our attention by Masaki Sugamiya, Director of General Affairs at the Consulate General of Japan in New York.  It was the perfect union for our rainy ohanami and kendo demonstration. 

 Our event began with introductory remarks by Vernon Beck, president of The Japan Society of Fairfield County, followed by remarks from Greenwich Japanese School Principal Ryuichiro Toki, translated by our vice president Harry Sakamaki.  Ryuichiro Shima of the Japan Educational Institute addressed us next, followed by Masaki Sugamiya of the Consulate General of Japan in New York.  Our remarks were concluded by Gregory Boyko, honorary consul general of Japan in Connecticut.  Mr. Boyko is CEO of Hartford Life International and a US citizen.  Consul BoykoHis company has achieved great success in Japan, having the largest market share of the annuity business. To help him promote  good  relations between Japan and the United States,  Mr. Boyko regularly  receives briefings  from the Japanese government so that he can present the Japanese view to the largest possible audience.

We enjoyed a delicious bento for lunch from Tokushin Restaurant in Greenwich. The Westchester Fairfield Hebrew Academy is in the process of purchasing the campus of The Greenwich Japanese School and the two schools plan share the campus into the foreseeable future. We chose to commemorate this union by inviting representatives of WFHA to join us and having kosher bentos.

Fujima Konishiki of the Soke Fujima School choreographed our Japanese dance presentation.  Fujima Konishiki, is the name granted to our own Kyoko Ohnishi, a licensed instructor in the Soke Fujima school.  DancersThe dance Sakura, Sakura (Cherry, Cherry) was presented by Alisa MacDonald , age 4. She has just started taking dance lessons and wore a blue kimono with sakura patterns made especially for this occasion by her mother, Chika.  Yumi and Alice Kaori McDonald and Erica MacDonald (7) joined Alisa in demonstrating Sakura, Sakura to the audience which joined in a second round.  Our own Yumi McDonald, JSFC Membership Chair, had her solo dance debut, presenting Harusame (Spring Rain).

Kendo At this point we moved from the GJS cafeteria to the Gymnasium for a superb educational program on kendo presented by Robert Gordon, Esq. of Kyodokan Kendo Dojo in Scarsdale.  He began with a discussion of the history and philosophy of kendo and then he and fellow kendoists Tadaki Kawae, Soo Chul Bang, Masato Nakamura, Takuya Sawaoka, and Amy Iwazumi demonstrated and explained how kendo is executed and scored. 
Details on Kendo Presentation
Kyudokan Kendo Dojo Brochure

Photos courtesy of Harry Sakamaki
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