Decoration Conferment Ceremony for Mr. Charles W. Wood
On October 14th, Consul General Shinozuka visited the Charles Wood Japanese Garden in Mobile, Alabama to present Mr. Charles W. Wood., Founder and President of the Japanese Garden Foundation, Inc., with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, in recognition of his contribution to promoting Japanese culture and understanding between Japan in the United States.
Consul General Shinozuka gave a congratulatory speech in which he addressed the significant contributions Mr Wood has made to the advancement of the relationship between Japan and Alabama. After establishing the Japanese Garden Foundation, Mr. Wood invited a designer of Japanese gardens over to ensure that the Japanese Garden in Mobile is authentic and embodies true Japanese aesthetic. The garden continues to introduce Japanese culture to residents of Mobile through ikebana, Sumi-e, and hosting various Mobile-Ichihara Sister City activities.
After being presented with the Order of the Rising Sun, Mr. Wood spoke about how his fascination with Japanese culture originated from learning Sumi-e in the 1970s and developed further with Japanese gardens. He thanked gathered guests for their instrumental help with being able to construct a Japanese garden in Mobile, and expressed gratitude for the support and dedication of his wife, Mary and the city of Mobile.
In addition, the city of Mobile honored Mr. Wood for his dedication with a proclamation which proclaims October 14th as Charles Wood Day in the City of Mobile.
The ceremony was attended by about 60 people including Councilman Gina Gregory, former Alabama Senator Ann Bedsole, Mobile City Director of Civic Engagement Anitra Henderson, former Mobile Mayor Mike Dow, Honorary Consul of Japan in Birmingham Mark Jackson, Mobile-Ichihara Sister City Association Associate Director Yuko Jordan, Alabama Port Authority Vice President Judith Adams, local Japanese companies, officials from local Japanese cultural organizations, etc., Japanese garden sponsors, friends, and family of Mr. Wood.
From Left: Mobile Ichihara Sister City Director Jordan, Mrs. Wood, Former AL Senator Ann Bedsole, Mr. Wood, Consul General Shinozuka, Former Mobile Mayor Doe, Mobile City Councilman Gregory
Entrance to the Japanese Garden (From Left: Honorary Consul Jackson, Mr Wood, Consul General Shinozuka)