SHUNAN CITY, Japan (March 5, 2018) --
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni residents joined the Marine Corps Community Services Youth and Teen Center for a kimono and tea ceremony at the 20th Hina Doll Festival in Shunan City, Japan, March 3, 2018.
The event was coordinated between MCCS and the Shunan International Children’s Club, and it was open to parents and children.
Attendees were split into groups and traveled to different stations around the community hall where the event was held. Activities at the stations included making mochi rice balls, a tea ceremony and dressing in a traditional Japanese robe called a kimono. There were also stations for writing kanji, folding origami creations and games for children.
Kenichiro Kimura, mayor of Shunan City, attended the event and gave a speech during the opening ceremony.
Stephanie May, an air station resident, said the event helped Americans attending understand the Japanese culture and the things that they celebrate, while the Japanese children and parents had an opportunity to talk with Americans. May added that her favorite part of the cultural exchange was kimono dressing.
The event brought American and Japanese families together to make new friends and bond while taking part in Japanese traditions.
“The Youth and Teen Center is here so we can provide an opportunity for youth to grow, develop, make new friends and socialize with each other,” said Geraldine Ragin, the Youth and Teen Center director with MCCS. “This event was important because not only were they able to socialize with people that they see on a day-to-day basis, but they were able to make new friends with the Japanese children. Hopefully memories from this event will last a lifetime.”