The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival will be presented virtually this year on April 9–11, from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. at cherryblossomfest.org. The annual festival seeks to deepen understanding and highlight the cultural contributions and achievements of Japan and Japanese Americans. The festival includes online performances, martial arts, exhibits and demonstrations, documentaries, and Japanese culinary demonstrations.
Started as a small ceremony in 1976, the festival today is the largest and oldest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
The festival opens on April 9 with a focus on ceremony and legacy. It starts with interviews and greetings by festival advisory organizations and local dignitaries. The day also features a look back at Seattle Cherry Blossom Festivals over the past 45 years, a traditional tea ceremony, and an Ikebana demonstration and exhibit.
The schedule on April 10 highlights regions of Japan with hiking tours and cultural, musical, and culinary offerings from several Japanese prefectures. The day also takes a look at various prefectures of Japan and presents three NHK documentaries.
On April 11, viewers will find Taiko drumming by Northwest Taiko, along with other music and dance performances and children’s book readings by animator and documentary filmmaker Jeff Chiba. The day also offers classic martial arts, Taiko drumming, and karate demonstrations; and the owner of Seattle’s oldest sushi restaurant, Maneki, Jean Nakayama, will present a cooking demonstration on how to make a Sakura roll.
View the program details at seattlecenter.com/events/event-calendar/seattle-cherry-blossom-and-japanese-cultural-festival.