Susumu Yoshida, Shinto Priest, performs the Shinto rites of purification upon the ground where the Japan Pavilion is to be built

SOURCE: Groundbreaking Brochure, The Japan Pavilion

Following is the transcription of remarks made by Japanese and World's Fair officials at the groundbreaking for the Japan Pavilion, New York World's Fair, Monday, April 15, 1963.

AMBASSADOR RICHARD C. PATTERSON, JR. [Chief of Protocol]: The first speaker is a man who through lifelong experience with projects similar to this World's Fair, is considered America's number-one expert in the realm of expositions. I give you my colleague, Mr. Allen Beach, director of International Exhibits for the World's Fair.

ALLEN BEACH.: Thank you Ambassador. Consul General Kanayama, Mr. Moses, Mr. Kanatomi, Mr. Makita, Mr. Kimura, Mr. Fujise, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to read a cable I received from Governor Poletti, vice president for the International Division, who is today in Kuwait: "Please tell the members of the Japanese delegation and others participating in the Japanese groundbreaking ceremony, that I am very sorry my travels prevent me from being present. The Japanese Pavilion at the New York World's Fair promises to be one of the finest exhibitions in our International Section, and you all have my sincerest congratulations."

May I add that some of the people Governor Poletti refers to are those members of the Japanese Consulate, the Japanese Exhibitors' Association in New York and JETRO with whom we have been working very closely at the Fair. Mr. Gates Davison of our International staff, and I, would like to thank Consul General Kanayama, Mr. Kanatomi of the Exhibitor's Association, and Mr. Fujise, director of the Trade Center. Also not to be forgotten is the efficient and cooperative work done by Mr. Allen Chase, Commercial Attache' of the American Embassy in Tokyo, and Mr. Antonio de Grassi, Jr., of de Grassi and Associates, our official Fair representative in Tokyo.

This fine team plus the other officials present here have brought the progress of the Japanese exhibition to this day's eventful moment. We are all very grateful.

In closing, I would like to speak a few words in Japanese. Please excuse my pronunciation. {Translation:} I have traveled to Japan many times in the past ten years. Until recently, I knew Tokyo better than I knew New York. I have worked on five of the annual trade fairs in Tokyo and Osaka, and through this work I came to love the people and customs of Japan. Now in the Japanese Pavilion at the New York World's Fair many people from all over the world will be able to enjoy Japan and after visiting the pavilion, will want to travel to Japan.

Thank you for the fine cooperation and friendship you have given us.

AMBASSADOR PATTERSON: Your Japanese must have been good because all these beautifully-gowned young ladies in front applauded vigorously. Our second speaker is an eminent representative of Japan. He has had a most distinguished career in the field of diplomacy. He is not only Consul General of Japan, but president of the highly important consular corps of seventy-four nations accredited to New York City. I am happy to introduce a very close personal friend of mine, the Honorable Masahide Kanayama..

Staff members of the Japanese Exhibitors' Association with Robert Moses, Fair president, and Gates Davison of the Fair's International Exhibits staff. Front row: (left to right) Yoshiji Kanatomi, executive vice president, Robert Moses, Kiyoshi Makita, vice president; standing: Gates Davison; Herbert W. Newman, general counsel, the Thinking Corporation of New York; Nori Sinoto, president of the Thinking Corporation of New York.


The first shovels of earth are lifted at the official groundbreaking for the Japan Pavilion. Left to right: Susumu Yoshida, Shinto Priest; Robert Moses, Fair president; Yoshiji Kanatomi, executive vice president of the Japanese Exhibitors Association; Mitsuo Kimura, director of Japan External Trade Organization and Consul General Mashahide Kanayama.

Japanese wave motif and calligraphy "JAPAN"

Wave Motif and Calligraphy

CONSUL GENERAL MASAHIDE KANAYAMA: Thank you very much Ambassador. Mr. Moses, Mr. Beach, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. This is a very happy day for me, as the representative of Japan in New York, to participate in the historic groundbreaking ceremonies for the Japan Pavilion in the forthcoming New York World's Fair. I believe it significant that the Fair coincides with the 300th anniversary of the City of New York. Within this span of years, New York has become the hub of the world's cultural and economic life. This occasion brings to mind our previous participation in the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair on this very same Flushing Meadows site.

Now, after a quarter of a century, Japan is participating in the fair on a greater scale than the last time. It is all the more significant that this comes at a time when the relations between our two nations are closer than at any other time in history. I am confident that our participation will long be remembered as one of the highlights in the history of Japanese-American friendship. The Japanese government and the private enterprises representing our country at the Fair are motivated by the sincere hope that our various exhibits will firmly demonstrate our faith and confidence in the Fair's theme -- Peace Through Understanding.

Our exhibit will feature both the traditional and contemporary aspects of Japanese cultural and economic life in keeping with the theme as exemplified by the Unisphere. We have noted with great pride and appreciation the growing interest among Americans in all walks of life, in the diverse facets of Japanese life -- all of which have contributed immensely to better understanding between our two nations. I feel confident that the Fair will afford us a still greater opportunity to make our country known to the countless millions of visitors who will visit our pavilion.

And now I would like to introduce to you the key men of the Japanese Exhibit: Mr. Yoshiji Kanatomi, executive vice president and Mr. Kiyoshi Makita, vice president of the Japanese Exhibitors' Association; Mr. Mitsuo Kimura, director of the Japan External Trade Organization; Mr. Ejiro Fujise, executive director of the Japan Trade Center of New York. Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR PATTERSON: Thank you Mr. Consul General. Ladies and gentlemen, one of the greatest New Yorkers of all time is the president of the New York World's Fair Corporation 1964-1965. I give you the honorable Robert Moses.

ROBERT MOSES: Consul General Kanayama, Messrs. Kanatomi, Makita, Kimura and Fujise. I come here today primarily to pay the respects of the officers and directors of the Fair to those who have been before, and shall be again, a very great people. Yours is a formidable bastion of freedom which, since Admiral Perry and extending through

the stewardship of General MacArthur, has looked to the West for inspiration, and guarantees that inevitably in the long run, the Far East shall be free. The Japanese are an extraordinarily proud, courageous, ingenious and hard-working people. Day is dawning again over the Pacific.

We are happy that you have space at the very center of the Fair for dramatic presentation of your ancient arts, and your finest modern wares. We welcome these and other evidences of your meteoric rise from utter prostration to renewed respect, dignity, serenity, and world leadership. You will compete at Flushing Meadow in an atmosphere of friendship for the good opinion of the world, and by the end of 1965 you will surely have earned it.


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