The New York Times has an interesting article about the commemoration in Japan of the arrival of American Commodore Matthew Perry, who dragged Japan out of isolation by gun point in the 1850's.
It's a piece of our joint American-Japanese history that is seldom pondered (or even remembered) by people in the US, and this article focuses on the difference in importance to the two countries of this man and his actions. It goes further, though, bringing to light some interesting differences between the US and Japanese views of our relationship and how they tend to pivot around different events and widely varying interpretations of those events.
Particularly interesting was the comment that the most widely-used schoolbooks dedicates three pages to Commodore Perry, but only three lines to the attack at Pearl Harbor. In the US, you'd be hard pressed to find one line about Perry in a history book not dedicated to 1850's imperialism and manifest destiny.
However, this isn't the only American commemorated by parades in Japan. Unfortunately, the specific example that I'm thinking of, an American pilot who is celebrated annually with a parade in a small town in Japan, has so far escaped my search radar. The celebration is in the fall (I'm quite certain that it was between October 1st and 20th, as I remember reading about it in Japan last year), so if anyone knows what I'm talking about, please forward me some additional information. However, just proving my point, it is somebody that I'd never heard of in the US, and I'm an aviation buff.