The Japan-America Society of Houston, with support from other local organizations and corporate sponsors, put on their 18th annual Japanese Festival in Hermann Park, Houston this past weekend. The event drew about 28,000 people over two days, and many groups, including the Japan Business Association of Houston, Japanese Association of Greater Houston, and Japanese American Citizens League Houston Chapter were collecting donations for earthquake and tsunami relief. Many vendors at the festival were also donating proceeds to various relief efforts.
Houston is the sister city of Chiba, a seaport located about 25 miles from Tokyo.
USJC Member Linda Toyota attended the event and sends her reflections on the festival:
“The four Japanese organizations work well together to make this event happen every year. I was there with the Japanese American Citizens League and the numbers of people attending was even greater than last year. People were generous – children were dropping off money to our booth. The weather was warm and breezy. The entrance to Hermann Park (where you enter the Zoo and Natural Science Museum) was so backed up that they had to close the entrance on Saturday around lunch time since there was too much traffic.
Unbelievable. Young people were wearing anime outfits and traditional Japanese clothing. Houston is a warm and caring city with so much diversity. It does not make any difference that there are few Japanese Americans in Houston, people want to help.”