Junzo Nojima’s Cherry Trees
(First draft, photos wanted)
50th Anniversary at Stamford's Arbor Day
On Friday, April 27, 2007 at 10:00 AM we celebrated the 50th
anniversary of the Nojima Cherry Trees and Arbor Day at Hart Magnet
School in Stamford. Besides an heavy rain there was a bomb
in central Stamford that tied the morning commute in knots.
Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy presented Stamford's Proclamation of
Arbor Day and the 50th Anniversary of the Nojima Cherry Trees but could
not stay due to
pressing business. Mr. Jiro Okuyama, Director of the Japan
Information Center, addressed us. The City of Stamford
was again proclaimed a "Tree City USA" by Chris
Donnaly. Two relatives of Mr. Nojima and their spouses came from
Kikaiga Shima in Japan to attend the festivities. Mr. Hisayoshi
Nojima knew Junzo and addressed the gathering in Japanese with
translation provided by our vice president Harry Sakamaki. A DVD
of the Junzo Nojima Kamishibai created by
Uezumi was presented.
The cultural program begun on faith that everyone would arrive and they
did but not in the order expected. Yumi McDonald presented the
classical Japanese Dance Wisteria Maiden. Ms. Kyoko
Ohnishi presented the classical Japanese dance Blessing Dew and
lead the third graders of Hart Magnet School in the Japanese dance Sakura
Sakura. Sandra Shen and O-Tatsu Taiko presented a rousing
Taiko drum performance.
Our last performance was by the shamisen
group Kichoukai (Happy Butterfly). Ms. Yoko Arimura, Ms.
Kumiko Martin, and Ms. Tomoko Takagi's shamisen performance included
the very appropriate Karakasa (Umbrella), Shio Kumi (Sea Water
Drawing), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Haru no Ogawa (A Brook in
Springtime), and Shiretoko Ryojyou (A Journey to Shiretoko).
The performers, Mr. Okuyama, and the Nojima relatives retired to
lunch at Kujaku Restaurant
which also supplied a Japanese buffet at
Hart School. Seven JSFC members and friends provided additional
Japanese cultural education for the third graders of Hart Magnet
School: Ms. Chika McDonald, Ms. Sachiyo Furukawa, Ms. Hiroko
Sakamaki, and Ms. Noriko Hiraga led the children in Kimono Dressing and
Ms. Naomi Shima, Ms. Kyoko Aishman, and Ms. Kotomi Osa lead the
children in Origami.
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