Japan Society of Fairfield County
2011 Sakura & Aid Japan

Junko Fisher -->(Preliminary) We enjoyed a delightful Sakura at the Greenwich Japanese School again. Early cherry blossoms and better weather than expected graced our day. In spite of the earthquake we chose to hold our annual ohanami event but use it to benefit our Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Project.  We were joined by Norwalk school groups from Ponus Ridge Middle School and Roton Middle School whose two week trip to Japan was canceled.  Because it was expected to be very rainy, we held our activities in the GJS Auditorium. Mayumi Kleinman served as Master of Ceremonies. President Harry Sakamaki opened our event.  Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy Consul General and Director of Japan Information Center, Consulate General of Japan in New York addressed us. Yasuyuki Uchino, the newly appointed principal of the Greenwich Japanese School gave a welcoming speech.  We then enjoyed our ample lunch Bentos, prepared by Sonobana Restaurant of Hamden, Connecticut.
Taiko Aiko Kai      We had a full entertainment program which began with an Okinawa Dance Performance by Junko Fisher of Kanayo (A Beloved one) by Miyagi Ryu Nosho-kai followed by an Okinawa Music Performance by Junko Fisher of Tinsagunugubana. We then enjoyed a riveting Taiko performance by the New York Taiko Aiko Kai. To close our entertainment program, we sang We are the World to a video by society members and friends to honor Japan's losses.
    Our Japanese cultural workshop featured three activities. Junko Nanahara conducted a Japanese Tea Ceremony. Atsuko Giampaoli presented an Ikebana Demonstration. Marilyn Moore, Naomi Manning, and Yoko Kawai conducted a session on paper drawing/origami.
Tea Ceremony Atsuko's Ikebana    Treasurer Diane Caminis and Karen Fisher conducted our raffle.  This year we had many gift certificates from local Japanese restaurants: Hajime-Harrison, Kujaku-Stamford, Sakura-Westport, and Matsu Sushi-Westport.   IACE Travel donated a discount travel voucher; Sukura Shoji donated 9 designer items including women's bags, brooches, and plates. Junko Fisher donated a Japanese silk bag of Nishijin brocade. Our members contributed additional prizes including wood block prints, plants, liquors, and photographs.  This year the raffle proceeds of $1220.10 were donated to our earthquake relief project rather than being used to cover our expense of Bon Odori.  Vice president Vernon Beck closed Sakura 2011 and announced upcoming events.
     We thank our many members who helped us celebrate Sakura this year, setting up, cleaning up, and handling the logistics.  We thank the Greenwich Japanese School and especially Mr. & Mrs.  Yasuyuki Uchino, principal, and Mr. Sano, vice principal, for their support.
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