Welcome to Seattle Center
Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival was initiated by a gift of 1,000 cherry trees that were given to Seattle on May 8, 1976, by Japan’s former Prime Minister, Takeo Miki, in commemoration of America’s bicentennial and the long friendship between the people of Japan and Washington state. Today, the festival is the largest and oldest of its kind in the Northwest. Hanami, cherry blossom viewing, is a reminder to celebrate life, and the pink petals carried on the breeze at the first festival engendered that thought. This year's 2021 festival theme is the Regional Japan Expo — Soul of Artisans.
Friday, April 9: Ceremony & Legacy
Ikebana International is a worldwide organization founded in Tokyo, Japan in 1956. Seattle Chapter 19 was chartered on March 16, 1959. After 60 years of friendship through flowers, we celebrated our 60th Anniversary in June of 2019.
They are a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the ancient art of Japanese-style flower arranging. Their chapter is administered by our volunteer members.
“ike” meaning “alive” and “bana” meaning “flower”
The practice of ikebana is making use of branches, stems, leaves and blossoms to create the living art that shows the unique beauty of the outdoor natural world.
Akemi Sagawa received her teaching certificate in 2000, and teaches Sogetsu Ikebana in the Seattle area. She has exhibited at various venues including Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum, and Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival. She is a member of Mercer Island Sogetsu Branch and a board member of Ikebana International Seattle Chapter #19.
Akemi’s flower name, Kohjun (虹潤), means Rainbow in Abundance.
Diane was initially drawn to ikebana because it enabled her to combine two of her passions, art and gardening. She has earned the Riji teaching degree from the Sogetsu School, and served for many years as Deputy Director of the Sogetsu Seattle Branch under Founding Director Aiko Ii her successor, Nobuko Relnick, before becoming Director in 2016. She is also the editor of the branch's annual magazine, and enjoys introducing others to the beauty and creativity of Sogetsu ikebana.
NHK World-Japan Documentaries:
To American photojournalist Regina Boone, her paternal grandfather was an enigma. He was a hard-working Japanese immigrant but was arrested on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack never to return home. Regina's father rarely spoke about him throughout his life. It was only 5 years ago on his deathbed that he asked Regina to find out the circumstances surrounding her grandfather's disappearance. Our camera follows her quest to uncover the trail of her missing Japanese grandfather.
Saturday, April 10: Regional Japan Expo — Soul of Artisans
In the series Tokyo Miracle City, we unravel the secrets behind some of the capital's most intriguing wonders. In part one, we delve into Tokyo's famed and tantalizing food culture, exploring the role the iconic Tsukiji fish market played in Japan's culinary history. Actor Sato Takeru takes us on a journey back in time as we learn about the lives of the skilled specialists at the heart of the market and discover their unique contribution in the journey of seafood from ocean to table.
Once, the true taste of sake could only be experienced in Japan, due to its complicated brewing method and conditions unique to Japan. But that's not true anymore. Through Japanese retailers' efforts to apply new technologies and the passion of the foreign sake-lovers, sake is now becoming a global beverage. In the first of 2 episodes, we visit Africa, Europe and America to witness sake's skyrocketing popularity and the devotion behind the opening of genuine sake breweries outside Japan.
Sunday, April 11: Regional Japan Expo — Soul of Artisans (continued)
The Tsugaru peninsula lies on the northern part of Japan's main island, and is home to some of the country's most untamed landscapes. For more than 30 years, 93-year-old Kuwata Misao has made over 50,000 Sasa-mochi rice cakes every year here, all on her own. She goes into the wilderness to find bamboo leaves, and grows her own azuki beans to ensure the perfect ingredients for her delicious mochi. What is the meaning of work? Of life? Of happiness? Granny Mochi's quiet, delightful tale warms the heart.