Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Sister City ties and calls for relief


CUPERTINO, Calif. — The 28th annual Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival honoring the Sister City relationship with Toyokawa, Japan will be held Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Memorial Park on Stevens Creek Boulevard across from De Anza College.

In 1983, a delegation from Toyokawa, Japan visited the city of Cupertino to present a gift of 200 cherry blossom trees to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Cupertino-Toyokawa Sister City Program. John Gatto, mayor of Cupertino at that time, and Toyokawa Mayor Yoshio Yamamoto, assisted by the city, planted the trees in Cupertino’s Memorial Park.

The annual Festival celebrates the blossoming of the trees and the friendships nutured by the Sister City Program.

Alongside the cherry blossom trees, the Festival celebrates the annual exchange of students between the two cities. Each autumn, Toyokawa middle school students travel to Cupertino. They are guests of Cupertino and the Cupertino Union School District. Each spring, a group of seventh and eighth-grade students from Cupertino are chosen to visit Toyokawa in a similar exchange.

The Festival features Japanese and American food, entertainment by taiko drum groups, classical Japanese dancers, martial art schools, musical groups, a large koi fish display and more will be featured during the two-day celebration of internatioinal ties and culture.

The Cupertino Senior Center will feature Japanese cultural displays, demonstrations and musical performances.

Admission is free. Parking is available at DeAnza College for $2. For more information visit, or call Festival Chair Asif Kausar at (408) 940-5287.


Amphitheater Schedule
Saturday, April 30

11 a.m.                Opening Remarks ­— by emcee Bill Nishimoto

11:05 a.m.          Sunnyvale Suzuki Violinist (children’s group)

11:30 a.m.          Taiko Motion

12 p.m.                Welcome and Introduction of exchange students

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

12:15 p.m.            San Jose Taiko

1 p.m.                    Bando Misayasu Kai (classical Japanese dance)

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

1:50 p.m.               Northern California Naginata Federation (martial arts)

2:20 p.m.               Cupertino Judo Club

2:50 p.m.              Aikido of Silicon Valley (classical martial art)

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

3:50 p.m.              Watsonville Taiko

4:35 p.m.              Closing Remarks


Sunday, May 1

11 a.m.                     Opening Remarks — by emcee Bill Nishimoto

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

11:30 a.m.               Palo Alto Kendo (fencing)

12 p.m.                    Western Aikido Yosho Kai (martial art, “Way of Harmony”)

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 (classical martial art)

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

3:45 p.m.               Emeryville Taiko Group

4:30 p.m.              Closing Remarks

(schedule to change)


Cupertino Senior Center Schedule


Saturday April 30

12:10 – 12:30 p.m.         Aloha Nani Hula Dancers Dancers from Cupertino Senior Center

1 – 2 p.m.                         Shirley Muramoto and Brian Wong Koto Studio

2:20 – 3 p.m.                  Essence

Masayuki Koga – Shakuhachi (Japanese flute)

Jimi Nakagawa – Taiko (Japanese drum)

3:10 – 3:40 p.m.             Aikido of San Jose (Instructor: Jack Wada)

3:50 – 4:10 p.m.             SFJS Parent’s Chorus & Marimo-Kai Koto Group

Sunday May 1

12 – 12:30 p.m.           Rinka (Japanese Traditional Fusion Dance)

1 – 1:45 p.m.                Japanese Tea Ceremony Demonstration Urasenke Soko Kobara Shachu

2:10 – 2:30 p.m.          Shamisen Hideki Kai and Students Instructor: Hideko Nakajima

2:35 – 2:55 p.m.          Michiya Hanayagi Dance Group

3 – 4 p.m.                      Kiyonomoto Ryu (Japanese Classical Dance) Instructors: Minako Ohara & Kazuko Nishimura


Japan Relief Fundraiser

The Cupertino–Toyokawa Sister Cities Project is soliciting funds in conjunction with their Cherry Blossom Festival. They will be selling T-shirts and raffle tickets. All proceeds after the cost of the T-shirts will go toward the fund.
T-shirts are $15 each and may be purchased by e-mailing or at the Festival. Raffle tickets will be sold at $1 each with a book of six sold for $5, and 30 for $20.
Donations can be directly mailed by check to Cupertino Sister Cities, P.O. Box 742, Cupertino, Calif., 95014. Indicate “Japan Relief Fund” on the memo line. Donations are tax deductible and receipts will be mailed back within 10 days. Receipts may also be e-mailed back if an e-mail address is provided.

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