Honda to Lead 2017 Rose Parade with “Hope Blooms Forever” Float
As is tradition, Honda will lead this year’s 128th Rose Parade tomorrow with its float entry, “Hope Blooms Forever.” The float is meant to celebrate the relationship the United States shares with Japan through the TOMODACHI Initiative, and pays tribute to the people of Fukushima, Japan.
Honda’s float will feature 20 high school students from Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, which was devastated five years ago by the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The students are here as part of the TOMODACHI – Honda Cultural Exchange Program (“tomodachi” being the Japanese word for “friend”), which was established by the United States and Japanese governments following the 2011 disaster.
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“We were inspired by the 2017 ‘Echoes of Success’ parade theme and thought it was fitting to invite the TOMODACHI students to ride the Honda float,” said Steve Morikawa, Vice President of Corporate Relations & Social Responsibility for American Honda. “The students symbolize the renewal of the damaged areas of Japan and exemplify the power of dreams in overcoming tragedy.”
The students contributed to float’s design, which showcases the natural beauty of Fukushima in several ways, including a replica of “Miharu Takizakura” cherry blossom tree, one of the most famous cherry blossom trees in all of Japan, two “Kikuningyo” (or chrysanthemum dolls), and a floral display of “Hanami-yama,” a flower-filled mountain that has been developed over the years by Fukushima farmers.
The “Hope Blooms Forever” float also includes an origami crane, a symbol of healing, and the mythical phoenix, which represents renewal. The two converge in the center of the 75-foot long, 25-foot high float with a large origami rose, which opens in a kaleidoscope effect to release doves into the air.
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