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Mar 18, 2014

Japan Day celebrated in Belize

Japan is located several continents away from Belize, but this Saturday, that Asian country brought its culture to the Jewel. An all-day event was held at the Princess Hotel, where the Japanese Embassy in Jamaica showcased the mysteries of the Land of the Rising Sun. From the traditional kimonos to the sushi and contemporary arts and crafts, were on display. Duane Moody joined in the celebration of Japan Day and has a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The open day featured everything Japanese, from its language to its culinary arts, cultural attire, music and creative arts. The event was organized by the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica and was held this past Saturday at the Princess Hotel. The intention was to share knowledge and the Japanese culture with Belize. First Secretary, Hiromoto Oyama spoke of the importance of the event.


Hiromoto Oyama, First Secretary Embassy of Japan in Jamaica

Hiromoto Oyama

“Japan is island country and so are the Caribbean countries so we have to work together on common challenges such as climate change, energy issues, etc, etc. But for our governments to work together, we need to have our people understanding each other. Unless we need to have favorable feeling towards Caribbean people and Caribbean people have favorable things to our people, it is very difficult for our government to work together. So this kind of event is very significant to form a basis of cooperation between our governments.”


Hundreds of Belizeans and Japanese nationals living in the jewel attended the festive event. The young and the old were given the opportunity to change into the traditional garment of Japan, the kimono. The straight-lined, full-length robes are wrapped around the body and secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. While the kimono is worn by both men and women, for most, it makes them feel regal…and if that was the case, this little girl would be a pretty princess.


Attendees were also given the opportunity to sit in the arts and craft booth, to learn the art of origami. Art instructor Akina Osawa gave us a crash course in making a balloon.


Akina Osawa

Akina Osawa, Orgami Instructor

“This is traditional…we use the square paper…square is important and then we have the color side and the white side. We hold the paper…we don’t use scissors, glue… just holding the paper but we can make a lot of things. For example this is a bird and then this is a balloon. So in just a few minutes.

Like this, then kinda whole this and blow it… this is balloon. So there are some tricks, but very interesting.”

Aside from art, origami is also used for praying for children and adults. Aside from that activity, the writing of coupled of names in Japanese were favorite activities of the da.  


Leo Matura, Attendee

Leo Matura

“I’ve learnt about the different materials and different clothing that they wear and the different celebrations that they have as well. And also the history and the products that they produce in their country. So that’s what I’ve learnt so far. I’ve known they had a rich culture, but not precisely what they had. But learning now, I am appreciating it some more.”


Duane Moody

“Shantel tell us what you have in your hand.”


Shantel Carter

Shantel Carter, Attendee

“It’s my name, Shantel. There is a booth over there and you learn how to write your name in their language and it is really cool.”


Duane Moody

“Tell us about this experience for you as a Belizean.”


Shantel Carter

“First of all I personally love Japanese stuff…I love it and that is why I am here today and I brought him. What I really appreciate is their kimonos that they have and then other people are wearing it…so that’s pretty cool. I did not know and one thing I really love is their dolls…they have a day for girls and they call it peach day and they have different roles for dolls. It is so cool.”


And of course, you cannot forget the food.


Hiromoto Oyama

“Today we have some Japanese dishes. Owashutu has been registered as an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO recently. We brought some samples of Japan foods. We have wide variety in Japan but today, we brought a Japanese style curry, Japanese lunch box, Japanese sweets and some other. And we appreciate that Belizean people come over here and it is sold out. So that means that Belizean people liked it. So we are very happy with that.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Japan Day celebrated in Belize”

  1. Rod says:

    Go japan que viva japonica.

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