Executive Producer Kumiko Yoshii spoke to The Natural Aristocrat® about the creative process behind Japan Parade 2023 in New York City. Yoshii also discussed the social media synergy between Japan Parade, NYC’s Japan Society, and Anime NYC.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): What’s the creative process like behind NYC’s Japan Parade?
KUMIKO YOSHII: Well, early on, we let people know that they can apply to participate in the parade. And as we reported prior, we had over 2,400 participants this year.
That would be over 98 groups. Those individuals will apply to us and we interview them & look at their video footage if they have some or their website.
Then, if we believe that they’re appropriate to work with us, we tell them that we would be happy to help them as participants! That’s how we acquire the participants in the parade.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What have been some of the challenges for you as the Executive Producer of Japan Parade to make it all come together?
KUMIKO YOSHII: Fundraising is always a challenge. But because we have amazing supporters and the Board of Directors, we do a great capital campaign basically, and fundraising.
Editor’s Note: A capital campaign is defined as “an intensive fundraising effort designed to raise a specified sum of money within a defined time period to meet the varied asset-building needs of an organization”.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What’s your favorite part of organizing Japan Parade 2023?
KUMIKO YOSHII: This year when we realized that the Naruto 2.5D live performers would be coming here, I was very pleased.
I think the characters of this anime are very popular in this country, both in the Japanese community and American community. So I think it’s going to be a great big hit! We were very pleased when they agreed to come over.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: I’ve noticed there’s a certain synergy on social media between Japan Parade, Japan Society and Anime NYC. I was wondering if it’s a full initiative on part of the Japan Consulate of New York?
KUMIKO YOSHII: I feel that we are all friends and consider ourselves as colleagues & support each other.
We don’t really have a meeting or committee per se, among ourselves, which actually is not a bad idea. I think we should pursue it! Thank you for your suggestion.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What do you hope attendees take away from Japan Parade 2023?
KUMIKO YOSHII: The most important thing for me is the safety. I would like to make sure that everybody is safe and that it’ll be a fun, fun event. That’s my hope!
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Thanks Kumiko!
KUMIKO YOSHII: Thank you!
– Be sure to watch our interview with Ambassador Mikio Mori on Japan Parade 2023 in NYC
– You can also watch the above interview with Kumiko Yoshii on YouTube. Be sure to comment there too and have your voice be heard!
– Japan Parade 2023 will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Details below.
About Japan Parade:
“The 2nd Annual Japan Parade will take place on Central Park West from 81st Street to 67th Street on Saturday, May 13th, beginning at 1:00 pm with the opening ceremony from 12:30 pm. Olympic gold medalist, author, and Always Dream Founder Kristi Yamaguchi will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal.
This year’s parade will also feature a live performance by the cast of the 2.5-Dimensional show from Japan, Live Spectacle “NARUTO”. We are also seeking the attendance of senior representatives of NYC for the parade’s opening ceremony.
Alongside the Japan Parade, the Japan Street Fair will be held on West 72nd Street, and will feature activities including calligraphy, water balloon yo-yo fishing, origami, photo opportunities, and a giveaway.
Also at the street fair, JAPAN Fes will be organizing over 20 tents serving authentic Japanese food, nearly doubling the number of tents from last year.
Participating groups include Anime NYC (Anime Convention), COBU (Drum), Harlem Japanese Gospel Choir, International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan, The Japanese Folk Dance of NY,Katsura Sunshine (Rakugo Comedian), Midori & Friends (Music Education Group), Soh Daiko (Drum), TATE Hatoryu NY (Sword Fighting), Yosakoi Dance Project 10tecomai, Young People’s Chorus of NYC, and many more.”
– Learn more about the parade at the official Japan Parade NYC website.
– Be sure to read our interview with George Takei on being Japan Parade’s inaugural Grand Marshal!
Visit the NYC Local News section for exclusive event coverage, including photos & videos on the scene, interviews, and much more!