Celebrate the History of the Japanese in New York City with JAA’s Virtual Fundraiser

JAA’s Virtual Walk/Run Fall Fundraiser

Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25 (anytime)

Any Location

Suggested Registration Fee/Donation: $30/$20 JAA members/$10 seniors and students

Celebrate Japan in New York City!

To celebrate Japanese American community connections and their history in New York, come join JAA’s fall fundraising walk/run anytime over the weekend of October 24 to 25. This is a virtual event, in support of JAA, the Japanese American Association of New York, a nonprofit that builds community ties between Japanese, Japanese Americans, and those who love Japanese culture.

It is also in commemoration of the 160th anniversary of Japan-New York relations, when the first Japanese delegation, in samurai gear, was welcomed to the city. For two weeks in the summer of 1860, envoys from Japan visited with dignitaries; toured parks, businesses, and schools; attended lavish parties; and participated in parades and dinners in their honor.

Celebrate the bond between our two countries in your own way, dress to impress (from Cosplay to Halloween themes), in any location, at any time during the weekend of JAA’s fundraising walk. Complete the suggested distance of 5 kilometers (3.10686 miles) with the goal of ending at a spot that‘s meaningful to the history of the Japanese in New York, or concerns your personal connection to Japan. Post photos to your social media platforms using the hashtag #JAANYWalk2020 and tag @JAANewYork. Send your photos to JAA via Facebook Messenger, and the organizers will add them to their Facebook page.

Ideas for Endpoints

The stretch of Sakura around the Central Park Reservoir

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of JAA’s annual Sakura Matsuri

Your favorite Japanese eatery or sake bar

Where you saw your first Japanese film or favorite Japanese art exhibition

Or you can choose memorable places from the past such as the 1860 “Welcome Parade” route for the first Japanese delegation in lower Manhattan to Union Square along Broadway or the Brooklyn Navy Yard neighborhood, where the first Japanese settled at the turn of the 19th century

Not only is this walk a fundraiser, but it can serve as a history lesson as well.

To register for the walk, please visit JAA’s Facebook event page. Donate your registration fee via JAA’s new website and indicate “JAA’s Virtual Walk/Run Fundraiser” in the “Write a note” section.

Sponsorship and Donations in Others’ Names

For those who wish to sponsor a participant or make a donation in someone’s memory, please indicate the name of the person when making your donation. For participants outside of New York, please share your story (and photos!) about Japan‘s significance in your area.

About JAA

Your donations will be supporting The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc., which has been active in NYC for 113 years, keeping Japanese and Japanese Americans of all ages connected through Japanese culture by providing scholarships, cross-cultural events, and basic social services. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, our Project Bento program has been delivering free bento to seniors in a safe, socially distant manner and homemade masks to those in need all over the city. Your donation will help JAA help others.

So far, it’s been a year of hurting, of separation and concern, but let’s celebrate and reflect on the strength of our community, what it took for us to get here, and what more we can do for each other. Walk/run with us on October 24-25.

(Disclosure: The author is a member of JAA and serves on the Board as a Vice President and Secretary.)