MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Marines aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, participated in the Daimyo Procession during the 38th Annual Kintai-kyo Bridge Festival in Iwakuni City, Japan, April 29, 2015.
The procession is an annual parade that reenacts the return of a daimyo, one the most powerful feudal rulers who are subordinate only to the shogun, and his entourage from the capital of Japan.
As part of the bride festival service members received the opportunity to don traditional kimonos as they transformed into Koshimotos, lady maids and Tomo-zamurai, samurai warriors.
“I think it’s very meaningful to be able to have members of MCAS Iwakuni out here to share this experience with us,” said Yoshihiko Fukuda, the Mayor of Iwakuni City. “It shows how strong our relationship is and how much stronger it will become as we share our cultures with one another.”
Fukuda said he wants to share the beauty of the Kintai Bridge with as many people as possible because it’s the symbol of Iwakuni City. By inviting members of the air station to participate in events like the bridge festival, he is spreading the word and giving service members an opportunity to see the beauty of the city and its culture in different ways.
“This is a unique experience that not a lot of people get to have. Not many Marines can say they have been a samurai for a day,” said Lance Cpl. Anthony Moniz, an administrative specialist with Headquarters and headquarters Squadron. “Taking part in Japanese history and culture as wells as interacting with the local community is an amazing experience because it shows how much they want to interact with service members.”
Moniz said he is looking forward to continuing to be part of events like the Kintai Bridge Festival in the future because it enables him to see Japan from a different perspective.