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Aleethia Dinners
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Aleethia’s “Friday Night Dinner” on March 14, 2014 was graciously hosted by Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae and his wife, Nobuko at their beautiful residence. The rooms were characterized by a sense of modesty, symmetry and balance. Many enjoyed the peacefulness in the tea ceremony room.

Guests included Department of Defense and Pentagon officials, Members of the US military, Japanese military officials and Embassy Staff.

Ambassador Sasae welcomed the wounded and injured service members and expressed gratitude for all they have done for their country. Other remarks included the Honorable Paul Wolfowitz, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Honorable Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy.

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral James Winnefeld thanked Ambassador Sasae for hosting this dinner for the wounded service members and offered a Sake toast in honor of the friendship between the people of the United States and Japan.

Several rooms were decorated with displays of Japanese culture and tourism especially touching on the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC. The festival celebrates the gift of the cherry blossom trees, and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan.

The honored guests….

Over 150 wounded/injured service members, their families, staff and special guests enjoyed a wonderful buffet of traditional Japanese cuisine. The table displays were works of art and included Sushi, Tempura, Sukijaki, Miso soup, Soba, Rice Bowls, Chirashi-zushi and more.

After dinner, the service members and guests enjoyed the Japanese Cultural Performances of drums and dances.

Mark H Rooney studies, performs, and teaches taiko: a dynamic form of full-body drumming based in Japanese tradition. Mark combines that traditional foundation with a modern sensibility to create performances that are full of energy, endurance, and excitement!

The Shizumi Kodomo Dance Troupe is a children's dance troupe under Artistic Director, Shizumi Shigeto Manale. The troupe was formed in 2000 when the President's committee on the Arts and Humanities asked Artistic Director, Shizumi Shigeto Manale to create a children's dance troupe for the White House Millennium Celebration. The troupe is currently comprised of young dancers from diverse ethnic backgrounds ranging in age from 4 to 17 years old and exemplifies what is best about our world. A truly multicultural company, the children have discovered that dance is an international language.

In creating the Shizumi Kodomo Dance Troupe, Ms. Shigeto Manale hopes that dancers and audiences alike will be inspired to connect to other cultures and thus, contribute to the understanding and friendship between East and West.

The members of the troupe share a passionate interest in expressing their love for Japanese culture and dance.

Everyone enjoyed the evening…it was a deeply moving experience, as well as a highly enjoyable one.

Ambassador Sasae spoke with each wounded service member and presented his “coin” to each as a memento of the evening.

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