The Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas hosted the 27th Japanese Autumn Festival on Saipan in Garapan last Oct. 21, bringing together spectators of all backgrounds to celebrate the annual celebration of Japanese culture.
Saturday's event kicked off with the Katori Shrine ceremony at the Sugar King Park, where island officials and local Japanese leaders were joined by about 30 religious followers of the Katori Shrine in Japan led by their head priest to commemorate the occasion.
After the ceremony, the visiting Katori Shrine followers accommodated some 30 children garbed in customary Japanese wardrobe as they made Shinto offerings and received gift bags.
The festivities carried on at the Paseo de Marianas, where several concessionaires selling traditional Japanese and international fares as well as non-food merchandise were set up at bargain prices.
Saturday afternoon's program began with the ceremonial breaking of the sake barrel led by event organizers, and the Japanese alcoholic beverage was shared with the audience. Games and cultural dance performances, including the traditional Yosakoi and Bon Dance, provided additional entertainment.
The Japanese Society of Northern Marianas is a non-profit corporation chartered in July 3, 1985, and is currently headed by president Nick Nishikawa, also general manager of Hyatt Regency Saipan.