The Jester Now Speaks Japanese

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First Lady Akie Abe_Sophia_Muratsuchi

First Bilingual English/Japanese Jester Presented to Japan’s First Lady, With 5,000 Copies Donated to Japanese Red Cross Society

Japan First Lady Akie Abe oversaw the official presentation of 5,000 copies of the newly released bilingual English/Japanese edition of The Jester Has Lost His Jingle/Warai wo nakashita dokeshi Jester in Tokyo in early April 2019.

Japan Kzuhiro Iida_ Mrs. Ayako Higuchi_ First Lady Akie Abe_Hiroyuki Oono_ Hiroko Higuchi
Smiles all around accompany the donation of 5,000 copies of “The Jester Has Lost His Jingle/Warai wo Nakushita Dokeshi Jester” to the Red Cross Society of Japan on April 4. Flanking First Lady Akie Abe, center, on left are donors Kazuhiro Iida and Ayako Higuchi, president of the Tokyo Global Rotary Club, with U.S. Jester & Pharley Phund Volunteer Project Director Hiroko Higuchi and Red Cross Executive Hiroyuki Onoo.

The books were donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society for use in their hospitals across the country by members of the Tokyo Global Rotary Club.

“We are delighted to make this donation to provide emotional support, laughter and hope to these children,” said Mrs. Ayako Higuchi, Tokyo Global Rotary Club president. She and Mr. Kazuhito Iida and other members of the organization made the donation in celebration of the club’s fifth anniversary. More than 120 people representing various Rotary Clubs in Tokyo attended the long-anticipated event at Tokyo’s International House of Japan.

Before the donation, South Bay “Junior Jester” Sophia Muratsuchi, daughter of Hiroko Higuchi and California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, made an official presentation of the first book to Japan’s First Lady at a special ceremony at the prime minister’s official residence. Hiroko Higuchi was volunteer project coordinator of the five-year effort. Esteemed translator Etsuko Kihara provided the translation for the new English/Japanese bilingual edition.

Japan First Lady Akie Abe enjoys reading the bilingual English/Japanese Jester with Junior Jester Sophia Muratsuchi.
Japan First Lady Akie Abe enjoys reading the bilingual English/Japanese “Jester” with Junior Jester Sophia Muratsuchi.

Tadateru Konoe, president of the Japanese Red Cross Society, who was unable to attend the official donation ceremony, sent a letter of appreciation read by Red Cross Society Executive Hiroyuki Oono. “I am sure that Japanese children and adults who read this uplifting picture book ‒ no matter what hardship they may face ‒ will be inspired by author-artist David Saltzman’s message: ‘to live life, enjoy it and know that it is meant to be enjoyed.’ David will help all of us understand how smiles and laughter can heal and support everyone.”

“I would like to send my sincere appreciation from the bottom of my heart for the heartfelt presents of The Jester Has Lost His Jingle/Warai wo nakashita dokeshi Jester from the generous, compassionate members of the Tokyo Global Rotary Club in honor of its fifth anniversary,” Konoe added in his letter.

Hiroko Higuchi discusses Japanese Jester project in 2014 with Japanese Red Cross President Tadateru Konoe.
Hiroko Higuchi discusses Japanese “Jester” project in 2014 with Japanese Red Cross President Tadateru Konoe.

“I would like to congratulate David, his mother Barbara Saltzman and Hiroko Higuchi for making possible the debut of the bilingual Jester book in Japan.” Konoe and Hiroko Higuchi met in Tokyo in 2014 to initiate the project.

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