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Date
Friday, April 09
Time
11:00 a.m.
Place
Virtual
Cost
Free Event

Tune in 11am - 3pm on the Cherry Blossom website for the virtual presentation.

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival is part of the Virtual Festál Series with generous support from 4Culture. The 2021 theme, "Where the World Gathers" links together the series of 24 free festivals presented throughout the year, each with a unique cultural focus, identity, and a range of engaging activities.

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

  • Welcome: Awa Odori of Tokushima Prefecture Soul of Festival  (4 mins)
    • Tokushima Prefecture is the home of Prime Minister Takeo Miki, who donated 1,000 cherry trees to citizens of Seattle in 1976
  • Greetings from Festival Chair, Tazue Sasaki (2 mins)
  • Interview with Seattle Center Director, Robert Nellams (4 mins)
  • Mayor of Seattle & Honorary Festival Co-Chair, Jenny Durkan (4 mins)
  • Consul General of Japan in Seattle & Honorary Festival Co-Chair, Hisao Inagaki (4 mins)
  • Suspended Spring: Cherry Blossoms/COVID 2nd Spring (5:04 mins)
  • Seward Park Cherry Blossoms and new Torii  Paul Talbert and Friends of Seward Park (10 mins)
  • '80s Seattle Cherry Blossom Festivals (3 mins)
  • Haru no Umi (The Sea in Spring): Marcia Takamura, Koto and Esther Sugai   Flute  (5 mins)
  • Tea Ceremony with Tankokai Seattle Association (4 mins)
  • 1990-2000’s Seattle Cherry Blossom Festivals (6 mins)
  • Demonstration and Exhibit of Ikebana International Chapter 19  Mariko Faught and Linda Vane (22:04 mins)
    • 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.

  • Moribana Beginner's Tutorial by Akemi Sagawa, Sogetsu School
    • 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.

  • Advanced Ikebana by Diane Elliott, Sogetsu Seattle Branch
    • 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.

  • 2001-2010’s Seattle Cherry Blossom Festivals (6 mins)
  • Taiko Kotobuki Jishi by Seattle Kokon Taiko (8:47 mins)
    • Seattle Kokon Taiko is a performing group based in the local Japanese American community. SKT traces its roots to the Seattle Taiko Group, which formed in April 1980 following a dynamic performance by Ondekoza at the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival. In 1987, three members left STG to form Kokon Taiko Ensemble and focus on smaller, more musical performance pieces. In 1992, these two groups merged to form Seattle Kokon Taiko.
  • 2011-2020’s Seattle Cherry Blossom Festivals (6 mins)
  • Japanese Calligraphy 101 by Ricky Kashiba, Beikoku Shodo Kenkyukai, Seattle Chapter (4:15 mins)
  • Festival Advisory Organizations (~50 mins)
    • Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle: JET Experience
    • Hyogo Business & Cultural Center
    • Japan-America Society of State of Washington
    • Japan Business Association of Seattle
    • Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Seattle Chapter 
    • Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington 
    • Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan
    • Seattle Center: Virtual Festál 2021
    • Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association
  • NHK World-Japan Documentaries:

    • A Vanished Dream Wartime Story of my Japanese Grandfather (49 minutes)
      • 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.

    • 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki: Episodes 1-4  (49 minutes each)
      • An exclusive 4-part documentary chronicling the creative process of the legendary Japanese filmmaker. He is shown as a passionate artisan, a steadfast trailblazer, and a father butting heads with his son.
      • Miyazaki is the co-founder of  Studio Ghibli and best known for his works, such as "My Neighbor Totoro" (1988), "Spirited Away" (2001), "Ponyo" (2008), and more!

Saturday, April 10: Regional Japan Expo Soul of Artisans

  • Hiking in Japan: Michinoku Hike (Tohoku); Shinetsu Trail (Nagano/Niigata); Kumano Kodo (Wakayama) with Hiro Shinozaki, Yamnuska Hiking Tours (8 mins)
  • Fukushima Prefecture  Seattle Fukushima Club  (30 mins)
    • Tohoku Earthquake
    • Tsunami 10th Memorial with Panos
  • Wakayama Prefecture  Seattle Kishu Club  (15 mins)
    • Ochiba Art by Muneo Yoshikawa
    • Kamishibai Dojoji with Dillon Brown
  • Demo - Aikido with Ki Aikido USA (10 mins)
  • Hyogo Prefecture  Hyogo Business & Cultural Center (27 mins)  
    • Myouchin Hibashi Wind Chimes
    • Japanese Swordsmith
  • Hiroshima Prefecture  Seattle Hiroshima Club (20 mins)
    • Hiroshima Sites
    • Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki
  • Fukuoka Prefecture Promotional  Seattle-Tacoma Fukuoka Kenjinkai (10 mins)
    • Fukuoka culturally-induced products
  • Okinawa Prefecture  — Okinawa Kenjinkai of Washington State Chijinshuu(20 mins) 
    • OKK Taiko
    • Dancers/Musicians
  • Tokyo Fukagawa area of Koto ward with its famous Fukagawa Matsuri  (7 mins)
  • NHK World-Japan Documentaries:
    • Tokyo Miracle City: Gourmet Capital - Keeping Alive the Spirit of Tsukiji  (49 mins)
      • 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.

    • SAKE R-Evolution: A Fever Brewing across the Globe  (44 mins)
      • 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.

    • SAKE R-Evolution: Heady Milestones in a New Era (41 mins)
      • In the second of 2 episodes, we focus on Japan and France, countries known for their many connoisseurs of fine beverages. France is a top producer of wine, and now the French mindset is bringing about a revolution in the sake tradition. One Japanese brewer adopts the concept of terroir and starts using French rice, and the former cellar master at Dom Perignon attempts to make the ultimate sake by combining Japanese craftsmanship with the art of "assemblage." What are the results?



Sunday, April 11: Regional Japan Expo Soul of Artisans (continued)

  • Taiko by Northwest Taiko (8 mins)
  • Mixed Critters (2018) & Nori and His Delicious Dreams (2020)     readings by Jeff Chiba Stearns (8 mins)
    • Jeff Chiba Stearns is an animator and documentary filmmaker best known for his feature length documentaries, One Big Hapa Family (2010) and Mixed Match (2016) . He is also an accomplished author and illustrator. Jeff, who is of Japanese and European heritage, has been an international spokesperson on mixed-race identity since his 2005 short animated film “What Are You Anyways?”.
    • Lately, Jeff has focused his creativity on writing and illustrating children's books including  Mixed Critters (2018) and  Nori and His Delicious Dreams (2020).
  • Chiyogami Ningyo Dolls by Kuniko Mancini (5 mins)
  • Japan in a Suitcase: Taro Goes to Elementary School ( JAPAN In the SCHOOLS— Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (16:14 mins)
  • Cooking Demonstration: Sakura Roll with Jean Nakayama of  Maneki Restaurant (15 mins)
    • Located in Japantown, Maneki is Seattle's oldest sushi restaurant. 
  • Tea Ceremony with Chanoyu Seattle Omotesenke-ryu (8 mins)
  • Classic Martial Tradition by Shintokan Dojo (9:55 mins)
  • Enka by George Satake group (10 mins)
  • Karate Demonstration by Seattle Seido Karate (5:58 mins)
    • Seido Juku Karate  teaches a traditional Japanese style of Karate-Do. The school was founded by Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura in New York City in 1976, and has branches all over the United States and abroad. Seido Karate emphasizes personal development and meditation in a graded series of promotions of increasing skill and complexity.
    • The Seattle Branch of the World Seido Karate Organization was founded in 1983 under the direction of Sei Shihan Tom Tanaka. Sei Shihan Tanaka brings over 30 years of experience to his instruction, as well as having raised many committed Black Belts within the Seido system. His unique and personable teaching style has made him beloved of his students and has contributed to an atmosphere of respect and dedication in the Seattle Seido dojo.
  • Dances by UV Dance Squad(7:25 mins)
  • Taiko Demonstration by The School of Taiko(1:42 mins)
  • On Being Yukiko   reading by Jeff Chiba Stearns (45 mins)
    • Jeff Chiba Stearns is an animator and documentary filmmaker best known for his feature length documentaries, One Big Hapa Family (2010) and Mixed Match (2016) . He is also an accomplished author and illustrator. Jeff, who is of Japanese and European heritage, has been an international spokesperson on mixed-race identity since his 2005 short animated film “What Are You Anyways?”.
    • In 2021, he co-authored and illustrated his first graphic novel entitled, On Being Yukiko, with famed Japanese Canadian artist, Lillian Michiko Blakey. The graphic novel is the first to address themes of Japanese Canadian history and identity. 
  • Performance by Fujima Dance/Music Ensemble (12:30 mins)
  • NHK World-Japan Documentaries
    • The Tale of Granny Mochi: Kuwata Misao (44:45 mins)
      • 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.

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