SASEBO, Japan – The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) accepted a gift of Kadomatsu, or New Year’s bamboo shoots, from Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Shiane-class destroyer Kurama (DDH-144) Dec. 31, 2014.
This gift is the second part of a friendship gift exchange between the two sister ships. Bonhomme Richard presented a holiday wreath to JMSDF Kongo-class destroyer JDS Chokai (DDG-176), who accepted the wreath on behalf of Kurama, Dec. 9, 2014.
“We are honored to accept this gift of Kadomatsu from our repected hosts in JMSDF here in Sasebo,” said Capt. Joey Tynch, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer. “We enjoy starting the New Year with the exchange of traditions and we look forward to continuing to build lasting friendships with JMSDF and the people of Sasebo.”
Kadomatsu is a traditional Japanese New Year’s gift consisting of three bamboo shoots bound together by string. They are to be placed at the entry way of a home to welcome ancestral spirits of the harvest and bestow the ancestor’s blessing on everyone. Bonhomme Richard’s Kadomatsu will be placed on her quarterdeck through Jan. 7, 2015.
Kurama’s commanding officer and distinguished guests were given a tour of the ship and treated to a friendship coffee meeting after the presentation of the Kadomatsu.
“JMSDF and the Sasebo community have been incredibly welcoming to the Bonhomme Richard and we are grateful for opportunities such as this to share our cultures and strengthen our friendships,” said Tynch. “I look forward to continuing the good will between our nations throughout the New Year and I send my sincerest thanks to Kurama, and JMSDF, for the gift they presented today.”