Queen Stephanie Misa Doi and court embark on year-long JA journey

The AMC Kabuki 8 in San Francisco’s Japantown was packed for the 2022 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program April 9, signaling a return to form for the annual program for young professional Japanese American women. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a major break in tradition as the in-person festival was canceled in 2020. The […]

Kyle Sayaka Fujiki Tana crowned 2014 Northern Calif. Cherry Blossom Queen

With cherry blossoms in bloom in San Francisco’s Japantown, the 47th annual Cherry Blossom Festival began April 12, and with it, the new queen’s court was named that evening during the queen program at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas. Emcees Jana Katsuyama, a KTVU reporter, and George Kiriyama, a former NBC Bay Area reporter, led the program, […]

CARRYING ON A TRADITION: The history of the festival’s portable shrines

Every year, one of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival’s biggest highlights is the taru mikoshi, one of the entrants in the Grand Parade. The mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine, which a deity is believed to inhabit. Legend has it that shaking the shrine spreads its blessing. The San Francisco Taru Mikoshi Ren leads […]

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