Earth Day Celebrations


On April 12th, the Embassy of Japan and the Embassy of the United States invited families to celebrate Earth Day with an afternoon of planet-friendly activities and a screening of Disney's Ponyo by Hayao Miyazaki.


Over 120 guests enjoyed a variety of environmental activities including planting a seed, which children could take home to start their own garden and Furoshiki demonstrations. A Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese folding cloth, which can be folded a number of ways to carry books, bottles and other items. Children received their own Furoshiki cloths and learned how they can use this environmentally friendly wrapping to reduce waste at home and at school. Children also had a chance to play with a selection of traditional Japanese toys.


Following the craft session, Minister Yawata of the Japanese Embassy and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Sanders officially welcomed guests to the event, underscoring how everyone can do their part to help protect the Environment.

“The most important thing you can learn from today’s celebration is that every day should be Earth Day,” said Minister Yawata. Mr. Sanders echoed this sentiment, reminding guests that while watching the film, they should remember the importance of protecting the ocean as they are an important source of life on Earth.


While munching on popcorn kindly donated by the U.S. Embassy, guests watched a private screening of  Ponyo, Hayao Miyazaki’s imitative and modern retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, which depicts the importance of human beings coexisting  peacefully with nature.

The event ended with awarding the prizes for the Earth Day Art Contest. After a difficult deliberation, Minister Yawata and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Sanders chose the artwork which best demonstrated how kids can protect the environment at home, school and in the community. Congratulations to our three contest winners!


Thank you to everyone who participated in this sold-out event. For information on having a Furoshiki demonstration or learning about traditional Japanese toys at your school, please visit our school visit  page.



Minister Yawata making opening remarks



Mr. Richard M. Sanders delivering remarks.



Mr. Sanders giving Minister Yawata a book as thanks for hosting the event



Children drawing pictures for the Art Contest.





Environmental Craft workshop by the U.S. Embassy



Guests enjoying the movie