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In the Spotlight

Friday, April 13, 2012

The 37th Annual Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival this weekend! (April 13, 14, and 15)

Come celebrate the yearly blossoming of the cherry trees and meet special guests and representatives of local Japanese cultural organizations active throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 2012 is the 100 year anniversary of the gift of trees given from Japan to the United States. Seattle has its own history in regard to cherry trees from Japan; the annual festival was founded in appreciation of the gift of 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle by Prime Minister Takeo Miki on behalf of the Japanese government in commemoration of the United States' Bicentennial in 1976.  The festival  is co-sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle and is produced by the all-volunteer based Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee.
For complete Festival program schedule, visit the North American Post Website here. (programs subject to change)
Festival Hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday, April 13
                           10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday, April 14 & 15 

Special from Japan! Spectacular award-winning performance by Tsugaru shamisen group ABEYA at Benaroya Hall.
7:30 pm, Friday, April 13, at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, 3rd and Union, Downtown Seattle.
Tickets ON SALE:  $10
Online: http://www.seattlesymphony.org/or call (206) 215-4747

SPECIAL APPEARANCE and lectures by Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki who bloomed cherry blossoms from Seattle in outer space. Enjoy her lectures on April 13 at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm and see her also at the Opening Ceremony at 4:00 pm!

A rare kugo harp performance by Tomoko Sugawara!
The kugo is an ancient angular harp that came to Japan via the Silk Road. See her live performances at the Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Saturday, April 14, and from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm, Sunday, April 15. 

Delicious yakisoba from the “B-kyu” (Comfort Gourmet) league gourmet champion team from Fujinomiya, Japan. They will prepare their special Mt. Fuji yakisoba noodles on April 14 and 15. They will use 240 lbs of cabbage and prepare their delicious yakisoba for Seattleites! Featured foods include takoyaki (octopus cake), gyudon (beef bowl), Japanese-style hot dogs, bento-boxes, and manju sweets.

Visit the staff of the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle! At our booth you can enter the Consulate-General of Japan’s first ever spring haiku contest and learn about traditional Japanese armor. This year’s haiku contest theme is: “The Centennial Celebration of the Gift of Cherry Trees.” 
See our event flyer here

Other programs:
•  Updates on March 11 Earthquake/Tsunami Recovery progress.
•  Readings commemorating the 70th anniversary since Internment.
•  Hapa identity and Cultural Traditions in youth.

Exhibits and Demonstrations:
•  Over 60 Traditional Arts and Crafts.
•  Over 30 Traditional Performing Arts/ Martial Arts including Taiko Drummers.
•  Many Kid’s oriented hands-on activities. The Passport Game is back!
Sci-Tech Access:
•  Sustainable Resource and Eco-Sense technology.

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