Successful delivery of 8 large Koi donated by Niigata breeders to City of Philadelphia
On 4/15-4/16, SUBARU CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA was held. As a part of the festival, 8 large Koi from Japan were released to a beautiful pond at Shofuso.
Shofuso is a traditional 17th-century-style Japanese house and garden. It was built in 1953 as a gift from Japan to American citizens, to symbolize post-war peace and friendship between the two countries. It was first exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, then relocated to Philadelphia.
The Koi-release event happened at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday, 4/16. The event was not open to the public due to the limited space; however, many local VIPs, as well as Ambassador Mori, Consul-General of Japan in New York attended.
Mr. Zuritsky explained a brief history of Japanese Koi and talked about each Koi, as each one was released to the Shofuso Pond. Every time Koi were lifted by hand and released to the Pond, everyone applauded. Thousands of people came to the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival and appreciated the new addition of large Koi from Japan.
Mr. Zuritsky is the person with the vision. He is not only a board member of Japan-America Society, but also a very longstanding, keen hobbyist of Japanese Koi. He believes that donating Japanese Koi to Shofuso, which was already a symbol of friendship between the US and Japan, reinforces and improves the relationship of the two countries.
Mr. Zuritsky called Taro at Kodama Koi Farm last fall with the idea of donating large Koi from Japan. There were many obstacles to overcome, but Mr. Zuritsky and Taro worked together to make this event happen.
They approached Shinkokai or Niigata District of Nishikigoi Promotion Association several times, but they could not get any responses and moved forward even an inch.
As the date of the festival got closer, Taro decided to start talking to breeders directly. With his personal network with breeders, these breeders below kindly understand the importance of the mission and agreed to donate large Koi to Shofudo in Philadelphia.
Mr. Zurisky says “without Taro, there would be no event of Koi release.”
Taro Kodama with Mr. Mikio Mori, Ambassador, Consul-General of Japan in New York
Taro said, “We are very happy to be a part of this event. We are the only Japanese who sell Koi in the US. In that sense, we are very unique.
I have always wanted to do something to pay back the American Koi community. I thank Mr. Zuritsky for the opportunity.
I thank all the breeders for their generous donations.
As a self-appointed Koi ambassador, I would like to continue to promote beautiful Japanese Koi in the US, which makes people happy.”
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