Cherry Blossom Festival today

2014 Cherry Blossom Festival poster

News release for the Fort Wayne Cherry Blossom Festival:

8th Annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival – Sunday, May 18th

Presented by: Japanese American Association of Indiana, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne Sister Cities International Inc., Allen County Public Library, IPFW -Japanese Saturday School

Sponsors: Fort Wayne Sister Cities Int’l, Sweetwater Sound, VisitFortWayne, The Chapman Fund, TRIN, American Mitsuba, Stucky Bros. Inc., Allen County Public Library, Ford Meter Box Foundation, Bob & Kaoru Mason, The Gallant Group, Asakusa, Gabriel DeLobbe, Discount Comic Book Warehouse, Tokyo Seoul, Ichiban, Takaoka of Japan, Woo’s Oriental Grocery & Mart, Coca Cola, City of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Bonsai Club, and Suzi Hanzel.

When: Sunday, May 18, Noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Allen County Public Library, Main Branch (downtown)
900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN (north of Parkview Field between Washington and Jefferson Blvd)

Why: Share the traditions of Japan with the Community. Takaoka, Japan, has been Fort Wayne’s Sister City for 27 years.

Cost: Most events free for the public, but donations are gratefully accepted. Japanese merchandise and food available for purchase.

Opening Ceremony Sunday: May 18, 2014, 12:00 p.m. with Taiko drumming, Mayor’s Proclamation, Suzuki Strings and Fort Wayne Children’s Choir.

Featured Artists and Events at the Cherry Blossom Festival

  • “Duo Yumeno” dynamic duo of Hikaru Tamaki, cello and Yoko Reikano Kimura, koto/shamisen/voice who are traveling from New York City as a featured event
  • Fujima Ryu of Chicago, who are coming from Chicago to perform beautiful dances in the classical Japanese Kabuki tradition with elaborate quick costume changes.
  • Minyo Dancers from Indianapolis will display traditional Japanese Folk style dancing in colorful Kimonos
  • Fort Wayne Taiko, who has been with the festival from the beginning will open the day at 12 noon.
  • Indiana Guitar Trio, led by Dr. Daniel Quinn, with Nemanja Ostoich and Guido Sanchez-Protuguez, will perform Japanese guitar music
  • Dorothy Kittaka, soprano, will sing Japanese vocal music with Irene Ator, pianist
  • Farrell Vernon, saxophone, will perform music of Japanese composers with Junko Rutkowski, pianist
  • Suzuki String Orchestra of Fort Wayne will perform Japanese music for the opening ceremony
  • Shie Otani, expert in Japanese Tea Ceremony will again grace the festival with the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony with participation of audience members
  • Takaoka, Japan Artwork (65 pieces) by Elementary and Middle School students who participated in FAME’s Fusion of Concert Colors will be exhibited.
  • Karaoke, the public
  • Fort Wayne Children’s Choir will sing in the Opening Ceremony

Arts and Crafts of Japan Marketplace:

  • Ronia Marie Krieg – Shibori Silk Scarves
  • Japanese Saturday Schools – Accessories, crafts and Japanese souvenir items
  • Japancast -Anime-based T-shirts, backpacks, other accessories, and kanji bookmarks
  • Special New Cherry Blossom Festival T-shirts for Sale
  • Creative Women of the World – Japanese souvenirs for Tsunami relief fund (chopstick covers, earrings made from jewelry washed ashore, …)
  • And more…

Martial Arts Demonstrations

  • Zentai Martial Arts
  • Indianapolis Kendo Club
  • Mudokwan Martial Arts USA


  • Anime Art! Draw a famous anime character or your own original character for prizes.
  • Can You Haiku? Students will submit work prior to festival. Finalists from the schools will have their haiku displayed and will be invited to read their haiku at the festival. The public may also compose haiku at the festival for prizes.
  • CosPlay Competition! Fans may wear costumes depicting their favorite anime character for prizes.

Taste of Japan

  • Toyko Seoul Restaurant, Sushi, yakitori, gyoza
  • Ichiban, Yakisoba, curry, oden
  • Takaoka of Japan, Teppanyaki
  • Woo’s Oriental Grocery & Mart, Japanese candies, drinks, ice cream, crackers etc.
  • And more….

Hands-on and/or demonstrations of Japanese activities

  • Bonsai by the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club
  • Cut Paper Art by Janice Furtner
  • Shogi (Traditional Japanese Game) by Indianapolis Anime Underground
  • Japanese Goldfish Catch
  • Japanese-themed “Make and Take”, ACPL Children’s Services
  • Origami Demonstration and Hands-on sessions, Mike Schmid, Art educator
  • Pinwheels & Kaleidoscopes
  • Japanese-influenced Face Painting by T.A.G. Art Company
  • And more…

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