Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival Set for April 30-May 1

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CUPERTINO — The 28th annual Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 30-May 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Memorial Park on Stevens Creek Boulevard, across from DeAnza College.

The spring celebration, honors Cupertino’s sister-city relationship with Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture. In 1983, a delegation from Toyokawa visited Cupertino to present a gift of 200 cherry trees, which were planted in Memorial Park to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the sister-city program. As the trees have grown, the bonds between the cities and their people have also grown.

The festival features Japanese and American food; outdoor entertainment by taiko groups, classical Japanese dancers, martial arts schools and musical groups; a large koi display; indoor Japanese cultural displays, demonstrations, and musical performances at the Cupertino Senior Center; over 60 arts and crafts booths; and a special children’s play area with hands-on activities.

To raise funds for disaster relief in Japan, special T-shirts sponsored by the Cupertino-Toyokawa Sister City Program will be sold for $15 each.

This year’s special guest artist is Bay Area koto instructor Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto, who performs both traditional and contemporary koto pieces as well as jazz. She started learning koto from her mother at age 5 and has trained hundreds of students, including her son, Brian Mitsuhiro Wong, who has followed in her footsteps as a koto teacher and composer. She is currently doing research on traditional Japanese artists in the World War II internment camps. For more information, visit www.skmkoto.com.

Admission is free. Parking is available at DeAnza College for $2. For more information, visit www.cupertinotoyokawa.org or call festival chair Asif Kausar at (408) 940-5287.

Amphitheater Schedule

April 30

11 a.m.: Opening remarks by emcee Bill Nishimoto

11:05 a.m.: Sunnyvale Suzuki Violinists

11:30 a.m.: Taiko Motion

12 p.m.: Introduction of exchange students by Cupertino Unified School District Board members and Cupertino City Council members

12:10 p.m.: Fine Arts Commission: “Art, Culture, Community”

12:15 p.m.: San Jose Taiko

1 p.m.: Bando Japanese Classical Dance Troupe

1:20 p.m.: Satsuma Dojo (karate)

1:50 p.m.:  Northern California Naginata Federation

2:20 p.m.: Cupertino Judo Club

2:50 p.m.: Aikido of Silicon Valley

3:20 p.m.: Halau Na Wai Ola Hula Dance Troupe

3:50 p.m: Watsonville Taiko

4:35 p.m.: Closing remarks by Bill Nishimoto

May 1

11 a.m.: Opening remarks

11:05 a.m.: Miwa-Kai Dance Group

11:30 a.m.:  Palo Alto Kendo

12 p.m.:  Western Aikido Yosho Kai

12:30 p.m.: Stanford Taiko

1:15 p.m.: Okaigan Dojo (children’s karate)

1:45 p.m.: Kodenkan Jujitsu Dojo

2:15 p.m.: Cupertino Judo Club

2:45 p.m.: Aikido of Silicon Valley

3:15 p.m.: Yamato Buyo Kenkyusho (classical dance)

3:45 p.m.: Emeryville Taiko

4:30 p.m.: Closing remarks

Cupertino Senior Center – Reception Room

April 30

12:10 p.m.: Aloha Nani Hula Dancers

1 p.m.: Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto and Brian Wong Koto Studio

2:20 p.m. Essence with Masayuki Koga (shakuhachi) and Jimi Nakagawa (taiko)

3:10 p.m.: Aikido of San Jose (instructor: Jack Wada)

3:50 p.m.: SFJS (San Francisco Japanese School) Parents’ Chorus and Marimo-Kai Koto Group

May 1

12 p.m.: Rinka (Japanese traditional fusion dance)

1 p.m.: Tea ceremony demonstration by Urasenke Soko Kobara Shachu

2:10 p.m.: Shamisen by Hideki Kai and students (instructor: Hideko Nakajima)

2:35 p.m.: Michiya Hanayagi Dance Group (classical dance)

3 p.m.: Kiyonomoto Ryu (classical dance — instructors: Minako Ohara and Kazuko Nishimura)

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