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Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival will take place on April 12-14: 11am-5pm at the Armory Food & Event Hall and Fisher Pavilion. The festival is part of the Seattle Center Festál series. It is free and open to the public. 

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.

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Event Schedule

April 12, Friday

TIME FISHER INDOOR ARMORY STAGE ARMORY LOFT 4
11:00am Talk by Victor Yamada NHK WORLD-JAPAN videos on Armory LED Screen Cultural Classes
11:30am Tea Demo by Masaye Nakagawa and Akemi Edwards
12:00pm Japan in Schools by Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (JASSW)
1:00pm Folktales by Lori Tsugawa Whaley
4:30pm Opening Ceremony
5:00pm Close

April 13, Saturday

TIME FISHER INDOOR OUTDOOR FISHER ARMORY STAGE ARMORY LOFT 4
11:00am Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) - Seattle Chapter Shintokan Dojo
11:15am Wall of Remembrance
11:30am Seattle Competitive Karuta Club
12:00pm Victor Yamada  Tobe Daiko
12:30pm JA Internment in New Mexico Dance (JDW)
1:00pm Ikebana International Seattle Chapter #19 Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation (PNWKF) Seattle Competitive Karuta Club
2:00pm Tea Ceremony (Omotesenkei) @ Tea House Dance (UV PA)
3:00pm Seattle Miyagi-kai Rain City Sumo
3:30pm Kamishibai by Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington (JCCCW)
4:00pm Stories (Omoide) Seattle Kokon Taiko
5:00pm Close

April 14, Sunday

TIME FISHER INDOOR ARMORY STAGE ARMORY LOFT 4
11:30am Iaido (Muso Shinden)
12:00pm Ikebana International Seattle Chapter #19 The School of Taiko
1:00pm Tea Ceremony (Tankokai) @ Tea House Vocals (Uguisu Kai)
1:30pm Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) - Seattle Chapter OKK Taiko
2:00pm Calligraphy by Beikoku Shodo Kenkyukai
2:30pm Seattle Dojo
3:00pm Kamishibai by Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) Dance/Music (Fujima)
4:00pm Stories (Omoide)
4:45pm Closing Ceremony Close
5:00pm Close

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OVERVIEW

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!

HISTORY

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:

  • Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle
  • Hyogo Business and Cultural Center
  • Japan Business Association of Seattle
  • Japan-America Society of State of Washington
  • Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) - Seattle Chapter
  • Japanese Community Service of Seattle
  • Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington
  • Office of the Mayor, City of Seattle
  • Seattle Center
  • Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association (SKSCA)

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The beauty of cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
  • “Hanami” or the custom of viewing cherry blossoms, is a reminder to celebrate life.
  • Thousand-years old cultural traditions co-exist with contemporary/pop culture in Japan. No other country can attest to the same degree.
Learn more about Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival (SCBJCF) Committee.
Visit Cherry Blossom Festival Website

Festal Sponsor

Campus Sponsors