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Heart of America

Japan-America Society
The mission of the Heart of America Japan-America Society is to further understanding 
between the peoples of Japan and the Greater Kansas City area by promoting
social, cultural and educational exchanges.

To: Heart of America Japan-America Society members

Greeting from HAJAS President


May is the month of the national holiday, Children’s Day, in Japan, where you can see koi-shaped streamers flying from poles and balconies everywhere in April and May.  The streamers represent parents’ wishes for their children to be strong against the trials and tribulations that challenge most people in their lives.  The streamers movements in the wind make them look a lot like the fish fighting against a strong current.  A related legend is the Dragon Gate, which is a tall, gushing waterfall.  Many koi are swimming around the Dragon Gate.  It is said that if a koi can swim up the waterfall, it will turn into a dragon when it reaches the top.  Of course, not many can be expected to do so—a turbulent waterfall is a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.  But becoming a dragon represents a big change to a higher state of life.  So, it may be useful to remember the koi when we are facing our own trials and tribulations.  COVID and many other difficulties are rampant at this time; the image of the koi swimming up the waterfall is so inspiring.  

John Lytton

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