MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- U.S. Marines and Iwakuni locals participated in the Kuragake Castle Festival in Kuga, Iwakuni City, Japan, Nov. 18, 2018.
Iwakuni City held the 29th annual Kuragake Castle Festival and Samurai Parade to commemorate the battle of faith in 1555. Five U.S. Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and Japanese locals participated in the parade dressed in samurai costumes.
To prepare for “battle” service members and locals were brought to a school gym to dress and transform into samurai warriors. Their uniforms contained a samurai helmet, chest plate, plated legs and sleeves, and a sword and shield.
“The feeling is like when you become a Marine,” said U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. Michael Lam, administrative specialist with Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron. “My favorite part was putting on the armor, it was motivating, we were really enjoying ourselves.”
After the ceremony the Marines walked around, ate food and posed for photos with local festival participants.
“The festival was great,” said Lam. “The food was amazing also, we ate a lot of Kushi and took a lot of photos. It’s not every day that you see people walking around in samurai armor, especially foreigners.”
Lam says that Marines should try to go out and enjoy the volunteer opportunities provided to them from base organizations.
“It’s an opportunity you may never have again. It’s important to utilize all the events that you can. Now that I’ve been to two, it’s been amazing to participate in these new experiences,” said Lam.