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The event was organized by Bakumatsu Okichi Kenkyukai, a civic group set up to study Okichi and other themes from the end of the Edo Period Novels and movies whose storylines portrayed Okichi as being separated from her lover to serve national policy became popular during the early Showa Era There was a time when the cherished tradition was in jeopardy because geisha stopped joining the performance. The inaugural festival was held in , with Joseph Grew, U.
After a hiatus due to the war, the festival resumed and its participants started in to exchang vows of goodwill for Japan and the United States at Shimoda Park in front of the monument commemorating the opening of Japan to the West. A memorial service is held at Gyokusenji temple, where the U. Consulate once stood, to console the spirits of five crew members of the Black Ships who died while staying abroad.
The Perry Road district, which extends from a spot near the mouth of the Inozawagawa river to Ryosenji temple, where the Japan-U. Shimoda Treaty was signed, is especially crowded. Lined with retro-looking buildings, willows and stone lanterns, the district has an atmosphere of traditional Japan. Perry Road and its vicinity are magnificent to look at with their beautiful scenery, unique architecture and American jasmine lining the streets as you walk along the canal.
To make use of the blessings of the sea and human resources, the city will be a host town for the Tokyo Olympics to foster exchanges with members of the U. The aim is to develop a new bond with the United States. Members of the Izu Systematized Goodwill Guide, a local group of volunteer interpreters headed by Norimoto Tsuchiya, are also making efforts to provide hospitality for foreigners and promote local information to international communities while they deepen exchanges with Viner.
Many U. VIPs have left their mark in Shimoda, including President Jimmy Carter, whose visit to the city is commemorated by a monument. Except for Okichi, however, the city is short of local historical sites and traditions from a period during which Japan opened its ports to modern trade.
For that reason, Bakumatsu Okichi Kenkyukai is working on a comic book themed on Sukezo Nishiyama, who worked at the U.
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