July 11, 2015
On July 11, 2015, during the National Day dedicated to Japan, Expo 2015 was the scene of a colorful and joyous parade.
Representative groups from six Tohoku region festivals and four Fukushima area festivals once again saw Hello Kitty among the protagonists.
The parade was a tribute and thank you to Italy and all of the other countries which contributed and supported Japan after the tsunami that hit the southern part of the country in 2011.
All the highest representatives of the organizing committee and the executive committees of the various festivals, along with the highest political officers of the trade and agriculture ministries and Japan’s First Lady were present to express a message of gratitude and strength.
Hello Kitty, as the official ambassador of the Japanese Pavilion, carried these messages of vitality and joy dressed in her traditional scarlet kimono, opening the parade of 424 participants. It was a huge party to celebrate and let the world know about Japan’s fascinating traditions in the artistic and cultural sphere. Participants included the lantern carriers of Akita’s Kanto Festival, where groups of men exhibited their ability to carry and balance a bamboo scaffold 12 meters high on which the lanterns are placed, and dancers from Morioka’s Sansa Festival, included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the party with the largest number of musicians playing traditional Taiko drums.
It also featured the seven meter long straw sandal, a symbol of strong legs and good health coming from the Waraji Festival of Fukushima, and the dancers of Japan’s most famous Sendai’s Tanabata Festival, counting over two million visitors from around the world. For this special moment, the colorful Tanabata streamers, together with each district’s decorations, were all personalized with Hello Kitty’s image.