More About the Presidential Birthday
By Michael Abramowitz
RUSUTSU, Japan -- Information keeps flowing in about the continuing celebrations of President Bush's 62nd birthday.
At his private dinner Sunday with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Bush was presented with a windbreaker and a birthday cake in the shape of a baseball park. He also received a traditional Japanese "Daruma" doll, a round and hollow armless figure with white eyes, according to Kazuo Kodama, the press secretary for the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
The president was invited to fill in one of the eyes with black ink and make a wish, Kodama said. According to tradition, the recipient fills in the other eye when the wish is realized. Kodama said he does not know what the president wished for, but he did say that Bush told the prime minister that when he was young, he "thought the age of 62 was quite old" -- though he said he doesn't feel that way now.
There is some indication that Bush may be tiring of the constant emphasis on his birthday, which was Sunday and was also celebrated at the White House on Friday and by his staff on the flight to Japan.
At their joint news appearance Monday, new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also gave his best wishes. "The other thing which is also important is that I congratulated George on his birthday, which is also a very important thing, irrespective of summits out there," he said.
"Everybody has a birthday," Bush interjected, before calling on reporters to ask a question.
Meanwhile, Bush is receiving a crash course in Japanese cultural traditions. Before dinner Monday night, he and other world leaders offered wishes that were hung from a bamboo tree in the hotel where the summit is taking place. It is one of the ways the Japanese celebrate the July 7 Tanabata festival.
According to the White House, Bush wrote: "I wish for a world free from tyranny: the tyranny of hunger, disease and free from tyrannical governments. I wish for a world in which the universal desire for liberty is realized. I wish for the advance of new technologies that will improve the human condition and protect our environment. I wish God's blessings on all. George W. Bush."
After the tree ceremony, Bush and the other Group of Eight leaders stepped outside the hotel for entertainment, which took place in heavy mist and fog for about 25 minutes. It featured Japanese lanterns with messages of peace and love. Candles were made from vegetable derivatives and other eco-friendly materials, an announcer said, in keeping with a ecological theme of this year's summit. The entertainment included about 200 dancers in colorful costumes and Japanese fireworks shot from bamboo tubes. Bush, the other G-8 leaders and their spouses stood under umbrellas and offered polite applause.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Premier | July 8, 2008 9:13 AM
Posted by: Blarrrrrph | July 8, 2008 11:22 AM
Posted by: pj451 | July 8, 2008 11:45 AM
Posted by: Sherri | July 8, 2008 11:46 AM
Posted by: Connie Niehus | July 8, 2008 12:24 PM
Posted by: soonipi6 | July 8, 2008 12:44 PM
Posted by: Z | July 8, 2008 1:52 PM
Posted by: Hollyinla | July 8, 2008 3:48 PM
Posted by: Mister Methane | July 8, 2008 4:13 PM
Posted by: SKK | July 8, 2008 5:29 PM
Posted by: beakale | August 17, 2008 2:35 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.