Stylized image of cherry blossoms and the words culture, tradition, history, titled Japanese Culture Day

Celebrating Japanese Culture, Tradition, and History

Culture Day is a national holiday in Japan that is celebrated every year on November 3. Officially adopted in 1946 after World War II, the holiday coincides with the first week of November known as Education and Culture Week. Culture Day, along with the events that take place during this week, aim to encourage the public to honor traditional Japanese culture and history. These celebrations also promote the values of peace and freedom, which are important pillars declared in the constitution of Japan.

Northeast Maglev’s strong relationship with Central Japan Railway over the years has enabled our team to peek into just a few elements of Japanese traditions, technologies, and culture. In fact, some of our team members are even currently in Japan! Northeast Maglev has been fortunate to engage with different cultures on a regular basis, and holidays like Japan’s Culture Day further remind us to honor, respect, and engage with the history all around us.

Photograph of a scale model of the superconducting maglev in front of cherry blossoms
Mini maglev at the 2022 Sakura Matsuri

One way that the Japanese public celebrates Culture Day is through parades and festivals. This reminds us of the great time we had earlier this year at Sakura Matsuri, a massive Japanese street festival run by the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. The largest celebration of Japanese culture in the United States, Sakura Matsuri celebrates the cherry trees that Japan gifted to the U.S. over 110 years ago. In sync with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri offers Japanese cultural performances, authentic Japanese foods, handmade crafts, and educational experiences, all in the midst of gorgeous cherry blossoms.

We had a remarkable experience at Sakura Matsuri this past April, along with our friends at Central Japan Railway. We soaked in the amazing music and atmosphere while engaging with attendees about the revolutionary maglev. Many of the Sakura Matsuri attendees traveled from several major cities along the U.S. East Coast, and can’t wait for the maglev’s construction to start.

Photograph of a Northeast Maglev employee and a young man in cosplay
Discussing maglev at the 2022 Japan Day Festival

More recently, in October, we had the pleasure of attending “Japan Day/Fall Festival” in Columbia, Maryland. The event celebrated forty years of the “sister state relationship” between Maryland and Kanagawa Prefecture. There were plenty of activities and traditions present, like origami, calligraphy, a cosplay contest, and tea ceremonies. We were eager to talk to Maryland residents (and non-residents, for that matter!) about the Superconducting Maglev and its potential cultural significance when it arrives in the U.S.!

Photograph of four women in traditional geisha attire in front of a shinkansen train
Traditional Geisha attire in front of a Shinkansen locomotive

While the events and festivals here in the U.S. are remarkable ways to honor and learn about Japanese culture, we’ve also had some team members travel to Japan experiencing the real deal! The cultural enrichment and exchange are invaluable, and we’re always eager for more, whether it’s through delicious meals, appreciating the landscape and nature, or, of course, through riding the maglev!

Northeast Maglev hopes that everyone has a great Culture Day, and such a day reminds us that there are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to experience and appreciate other cultures. We look forward to further deepening our understanding of Japanese culture, while celebrating the strong relationship between our nations. We hope to see you at next year’s Sakura Matsuri!

Now more than ever, Northeast Maglev believes that by working together we can do big things. Keep track of what we’re up to by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.