With Saipan still recovering from Super Typhoon Yutu damage, the annual Japanese Autumn Festival that was originally scheduled for late October this year has been moved to early 2019.
Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas chair Masato Tezuka announced that the festival, which they organize every year, has been moved to Feb. 9, 2018, at the Paseo De Marianas.
Unlike prior autumn festivals, there would be no ceremony at the Katori Jingu Shrine at the Sugar King Park.
“…Due to tremendous damage caused by Super Typhoon Yutu just two days before the festival, we had no other option except for postponing it,” he said in a statement announcing the festival’s postponement.
The festival was originally scheduled for Oct. 27, 2018.
The re-scheduled festival would be held on Feb. 9, 2019, from 11am to 3pm only and would feature traditional Japanese demonstrations and dances, along with food vendors selling popular Japanese food.
“We offer our deep sympathies for those who were affected and pray for the quick recovery of the community,” Tezuka said. “…This was a truly unfortunate result as we made a good preparation for this festival for more than several months.”
Despite the extensive destruction wrought by Yutu, Tezuka noted that the spring theme for the festival was perfect since spring in Japan symbolizes a “new life” emerging from hardship.
“We would like to celebrate this festival as the ‘Spring Festival’ after suffering the difficult time since the end of October and by sharing the spirit of ‘Marianas Strong,’” Tezuka said in the same statement.
He noted that in Japan, February is the month for welcoming spring and is regarded as a time when everybody “starts feeling the new life after the long winter.”
“This festival is one of many examples of the historic ties between the Marianas and Japan, and our society is warmly welcoming all residents and visitors,” Tezuka said.