Asaki Osato named 2012 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen

Asaki Osato, a college student from San Jose, was crowned 2012 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco’s Japantown on April 14. Candidates Chihiro Hirai, Manami Kidera, Osato, Miki Fukai and Megumi Yoshida competed for the role of queen in the program, a highlight of the 45th annual Northern California […]

S.F.’s Japantown kicks off 45th annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

The streets of San Francisco’s Japantown were filled with people who had gathered amid the fluttering pink petals of the cherry blossom trees to celebrate the first day of the 2012 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday, April 14. Allen Okamoto, one of the co-chairs of the festival, described the annual event as “one […]

LETTERS: Great job on the Cherry Blossom Festival and Japanese Culture Guide!

Dear Editor, The Cherry Blossom edition (Nichi Bei Weekly Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival and Japanese Culture Guide) is fantastic!  I enjoyed reading it cover to cover and especially liked the directories the paper provided on how you can learn more about each of the topics highlighted. In addition to being a sort of introduction […]

DEDICATION AND PATIENCE: Understanding the disciplines of naginata

Naginata, a type of Japanese spear, has a rich history within Japan’s martial arts, and has historically been known for its abundance of female practitioners. “The naginata is favored by women because the long staff uses the whole body and centrifugal force,” said Miyako Tanaka, kyoshi (master and teacher) and vice president of The Northern […]

The art of washi ningyo: Paper dolls capturing lifelike movement

One annual highlight of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is the Grand Parade, when dancers, drummers and the Queen court march through the streets. But a second, smaller parade is also part of the festival, with its own taiko, kimono-clad women and a miniature mikoshi. This parade is composed of washi ningyo, traditional Japanese […]

Urasenke Foundation teaches tea ceremony — and appreciation of each moment

A woman enters a tatami room with slow, measured steps and approaches an iron pot of water in a hearth sunken into the floor, set to boil on pieces of charcoal. She slowly sets out supplies, unwraps the tea powder and meticulously wipes the teacup and bamboo scoop, all in a steady silence, pausing meaningfully […]

Call for NorCal Cherry Blossom Festival photos

The Nichi Bei Weekly is looking for photo submissions to be considered in the 2011 Nichi Bei Weekly Guide to the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. People may submit photos of their favorite Festival memory, along with the following: • a photo title • photographer’s name, city of residence, phone number, and e-mail address • […]

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