Yokosuka, Japan - Sailors from Information Warfare Training Site (IWTS) Yokosuka, Japan, participated in the city’s 42nd annual Mikoshi Parade, October 28.
Dozens of traditional mikoshi, or portable shrines, and dashi (floats) from around Yokosuka paraded down Blue Street and through Fleet Activities Yokosuka. The event gave Japanese nationals the chance to explore the base while enjoying the parade. IWTS Yokosuka joined Sailors from other base commands to carry the mikoshi during the parade.
"Our men and women serving at Information Warfare Training Site Yokosuka have a wonderful opportunity to experience the rich and storied culture of Japan on a daily basis," said Lt. Cmdr. John Connally, executive officer of Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) San Diego, IWTS Yokosuka’s parent command. "At the same time, they have the honor and responsibility to serve as ambassadors to Japan on behalf of the United States. Events like the Mikoshi Parade capture both of these aspects of military service in Japan and highlight the symbiotic relationship our nations enjoy."
Weighing over 660 pounds, the mikoshi included 48 lanterns representing each Yokosuka-area command and depictions of Oba Nobunaga, the 16th century Japanese feudal lord noted for his innovative military tactics. Sailors could be heard keeping cadence as they walked. They chanted "wasshoi" to keep in step, which translates to "carry peace."
"The Japanese made carrying the mikoshi look so easy,” said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Clifton Reid. “I underestimated how heavy it was going to be, but it felt great taking part in another culture's traditions."
IWTC San Diego, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.