MCAS Iwakuni writes in a New Year with Japan

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and Japanese residents, students, and leaders take part in kakizome, at Waki Elementary School, Waki Town, Japan, Jan. 11, 2019. Kakizome is the first calligraphy writing of the year that sets the writers goals for the New Year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Triton Lai)
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and Japanese residents, students, and leaders take part in kakizome, at Waki Elementary School, Waki Town, Japan, Jan. 11, 2019. Kakizome is the first calligraphy writing of the year that sets the writers goals for the New Year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Triton Lai)

MCAS Iwakuni writes in a New Year with Japan

by Lance Cpl. Trista Whited
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan (January 11, 2019) – Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and Japanese residents, students, and leaders take part in kakizome, or, first calligraphy of the New Year at Waki Elementary School, Waki Town, Japan, Jan. 11, 2019.

Kakizome is one of many New Year’s Holidays, or Shogatsu traditions. Usually performed on the second day of January, the writer expresses their goals and resolutions for the year to come in a kanji calligraphy style.

“It’s much more difficult than it looks,” said Lt. Col. Eric Harris, Executive Officer of MCAS Iwakuni, “I wrote tomodachi, for friendship. The U.S. – Japan alliance is the strongest one that we have. They’re our neighbors and they’re in our community. So, it’s very important that they come to us for culture and we go to them for culture as well.”

MCAS Iwakuni residents engaged in kakizome and many other activities with Japanese residents at the U.S. – Japan Friendship First Calligraphy Writing of the Year. Other activities that took place were hanetsuki, kendama, and flying kites.

“The purpose of this event is to celebrate the new year with residents of MCAS Iwakuni,” said Haruo Morita, Director General of Chugoku-Shikoku Defense Bureau.

This event is a cultural exchange that brings two communities together to dive deeper into each other’s traditions. The participants in this event were the USA Girl and Boy Scouts Overseas West Pacific, students from the local schools, residents of both MCAS Iwakuni and Japan and the leaders of both MCAS Iwakuni and Japan. These events are important to gain understanding of each other’s communities.

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