On Saturday, the inaugural Japan Parade took over Central Park West. In prior years, Japan Day was a cultural event with food, music, traditional clothes and dance, and more all taking place inside Central Park.
This year with the parade, they brought one of the most famous Japanese Americans to be Grand Marshall. They got actor George Takei and he waved and flashed the famous Vulcan hand salute to the parade onlookers (even though that's a Spock thing). He then made a few remarks in front of the grandstands including a wish for the Japan Parade to live long and prosper.
George Takei has steadily worked as an actor and voice actor for 7 decades, but is most widely known for playing Lt. Sulu in the original Star Trek television series in the 1960's and subsequent Star Trek feature films in the 1980's and 1990's.
The goal of Japan Day is to build a bridge of cultural understanding between the people of Japan and the US. The parade was originally planned to take place in 2020 to mark the 160th anniversary of the first Japanese diplomatic mission to the United States in 1860.