The Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas will be hosting the Autumn Festival and a Katori shrine ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 26, to promote the Japanese culture and as a show of its commitment to the CNMI community.
The Autumn Festival will be held on Saturday, from 5pm to 9pm, at the Paseo de Marianas. That same day, representatives of the Katori Shrine in Japan—one of oldest and highest shrine in Japan—will hold a special ceremony at the Katori shrine at the Sugar King Park at 10am.
In a statement, Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas chairman Masato Tezuka said the Autumn Festival is intended to celebrate the CNMI’s remarkable recovery from the damage caused by Super Typhoon Yutu a year ago. Also, he said this is a good occasion to celebrate the new bridge between the CNMI and Japan that will be created by Skymark Airlines, which will start regular flights to Saipan in November.
“We have been facing difficult times due to the cancellation of direct flight from Japan, and the big damage caused by [Super] Typhoon Yutu last year. But our society is very pleased to see the remarkable progress [of] Saipan and [the] very good news about the launching of regular direct flight from Japan operated by Skymark Airline this winter,” Tezuka added.
The Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas press statement quotes Tezuka as saying that the Katori shrine represents a place of prayer for peace and prosperity. It said the Katori shrine on Saipan is the only one built outside of Japan.
“This year we celebrate 105 years since the establishment of katori shrine since 1914. History tell us that the strong and unbreakable relationship between [the] CNMI and Japan still remains and it will for many years to come,” Tezuka said in the statement.
As for the Autumn Festival, it will feature a bazaar from 4pm to 6pm and traditional demonstrations and dances. Food vendors will also be selling popular Japanese foods. Game booths and a raffle are planned.
There will be a raffle, with a roundtrip airline ticket to Japan among the prizes, courtesy of Skymark Airlines.
In addition, there will be product gifts from the mayor of Katori City in Japan for the CNMI’s support of a possible sister-city program between Saipan and Katori City in the future. The number of gift are limited and will be first come, first serve.
“This festival and ceremony are one of many examples of the historic ties between the Marianas and Japan,” Tezuka said.