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History of St. Patrick’s Parades in Japan

Parade listing in Japan since 1992




In the early 90s the Idea of Parade came up from John McKiernan (Also original editor of the Survival Guide), eventually going ahead in 1992 on what ended up being a Pioneering walk around Roppongi with a Piper and some speeches. Conor MacNamara should be credited with making it happen and also the enthusiasm of Ambassador Sharkey was inspiring to all involved. After considering another site in Ginza, the big move was made to Omotesando in 1993. That is now the permanent home of the Tokyo Parade, and the imagination has inspired the start up of 13 other Parade locations in Japan. Some former members have since moved to other parts of Asia and helped start other Parades there, notably Singapore and Seoul. About 60 marched in Roppongi, 250 in the first time in Omotesando, nowadays 1400 is the norm.

Parades outside Tokyo

Not to be confused that Irishness and St. Patrick's Day in Japan is limited to Tokyo, there has and still is various groups throughout Japan doing their own unique events with tireless amounts of volunteer. Tokyo of course will always get the limelight partly because of number of participants, but regional groups rival Tokyo in many other areas of event quality –> so if you get a chance try attend one. They usually are on different days than Tokyo! The progress of Parades can be seen above.

Some unique aspects of some regional Parades ; Parade on water, Parade under a roof, stamp rallys, anime characters, Oyster Festivals, mass ceili, dedicated after parties for all, live performances.

Note : Aomori, Kumamoto, Matsue, Tsukuba, Okinawa are/were independent of INJ, but we support(ed) them as much as possible.

Route of first Parade in Japan;

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