March 9 — El Camino College will present its 10th Annual cherry blossom festival from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 9 on campus, next to the planetarium at the adjacent cherry tree grove.
Now known as the Dr. Nadine Ishitani Hata Memorial Cherry Blossom Festival, the event is named after the college’s former vice president of Academic Affairs, who served El Camino College for 34 years as history professor, dean, and vice president. Hata was a
fourth-generation Japanese American whose teaching and scholarship promoted awareness of issues related to Asian Americans.
The winner of the 2010 Dr. Nadine Ishitani Hata Memorial Scholarship will be announced at the event. Renowned koto player and composer, Yukiko Matsuyama, will perform several works on the 13-string harp-like instrument, the national instrument of Japan. Student presentations will also be featured, and light refreshments will be served.
Much of Hata’s career as an internationally known historian focused on improving American history education to include the contributions of both genders and all races and ethnic groups. Hata was a fellow of the Historical Society of Southern California and a distinguished humanities educator of the Community College Humanities Association. A recipient of the California Community College Chancellor’s John W. Rice Award for Promoting Equity and Diversity, Hata co-published with her husband, Dr.
Donald Hata, a supplement to elementary school history textbooks that documented the plight of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Hata was instrumental in working with American Honda Motor Corporation to bring several dozen Japanese cherry trees to El Camino College 10 years ago. Under her leadership, the cherry blossom festival has become a college tradition celebrating friendship and the beginning of spring.