The 17th annual Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival was held April 26 and 27 in Barnes Park. Performers on the outdoor stage on Sunday included Azuma Kotobuki Kai, a Nihon buyo (Japanese classical dance) group instructed by Sumako Azuma II and Kikusue Azuma.
Karen Ogawa, festival chairperson, and Ronnie Shishima in the chicken teriyaki area. This year’s festival was dedicated to Shishima’s wife, Kathy, who passed away last December at age 51. Kathy Shishima was a festival committee member for years and was dedicated to making the event a learning experience for kids. Daughters Skye and Alex and son Trey worked in the teriyaki and kids’ craft booths at this year’s festival.
Other performers/demonstrators included Yuujou Daiko, Mark Keppel High School Aztec Singers, Kodama Taiko, Torres Kempo Karate, Halau Hula Moani’a’ala Anuhea, kotoist June Kuramoto, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, Local Mojo, Phyllis Chang, magician Allen Oshiro, Andy Matsuda of Sushi Chef Institute, Brian Kito of Fugetsu-do, Bando Hidesomi, Mark Keppel High School Pep Band, Yoki Daiko, Kuntau Martial Arts, Kayama Puppet Troupe, Magic Wayne, singer Momotama, and Michael Sanders (origami).
Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo