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Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival will take place on April 14-16, 2023: 10am-6pm at the Armory Food & Event Hall and Fisher Pavilion. The festival is part of the Seattle Center Festál series.
Seattle Center Festál is a year-round series of 24 free cultural festivals, produced in partnership with community organizations. In 2022, Festál celebrated 25 years of stories and traditions, ushering in a new era of hybrid programming. Learn more about Festál and subscribe to the newsletter for updates.
The festival is dedicated to increasing the understanding and friendship between the people of Japan and the Pacific Northwest. It features ikebana, martial arts demonstrations, tea ceremonies, kimono dress-up, children's activities, koto music, taiko drumming, and more. The festival was initiated by a gift of 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle from Japan's former Prime Minister, Takeo Miki, to commemorate America's bicentennial and the lifelong friendship of Japan and Washington. Hanami, cherry blossom viewing, is a reminder to celebrate life.
In the meantime, view the 2022 highlights below.
Seattle Center Festál presents Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival in partnership with Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee (SCBJCF). The festival deepens the understanding and serves as a vehicle for sharing Japanese and Japanese American culture and heritage through hundreds of performing and martial arts, exhibits and demonstrations, hands-on children’s activities, culinary treats, and more!
Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee (SCBJCF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, comprised of volunteers and overseen by an advisory group:
Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival is the first ethnic festival held annually at Seattle Center and the oldest in the Festál series. It distinguishes itself through innovative and in-depth outreach to the public through traditional/contemporary Japanese art, new scientific and technological innovations, and cultural examinations, especially race and social justice of Japanese in America, Japanese Americans, and Japanophiles.
The festival strives to deepen and expand mutual understanding, serve as a vehicle for people to exchange ideas, and promote as well as recognize cultural contributions and achievements of the Japanese American community.
The first festival was initiated by Mayor Wes Uhlman and community leaders to commemorate a gift of 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle on the occasion of the U.S. Bicentennial by Japan’s former Prime Minister, Takeo Miki. It was held at Seward Park for three years.
In 1979, the festival moved to Seattle Center and has now grown into a three-day celebration enjoyed by thousands of people each year.
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