Spring has arrived! And with its arrival comes the wonderful Sakura Festival!
The annual blooming of the cherry trees in the month of April are a sight to behold. Flower petals cascade down and flutter throughout campus to bring a refreshing feeling to everyone. I enjoy walking underneath the arched branches to admire the blossoms, breathe the fresh air, and watch the people meandering between the trees while creating their own photoshoot. If you have wondered where the trees came from, since sakura trees are not indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, they were gifted to the City of Vancouver by John Kageyama, the President of America Kotobuki Electronics, Inc. This gift of friendship represents the lasting bonds between Vancouver and Japan.
On April 11th, 1990, Bruce Hagensen, the mayor of Vancouver, Governor Booth Gardner, and John Kageyama were all present to celebrate together. The celebrations of that particular day consisted of the planting of the one hundred Shirofugen cherry trees along with Arbor Day, Earth Day, and also the signing of the “Learning by Choice” bill, which included the creation of the Running Start Program. From then on, while growing just like the Sakura trees, Clark has moved forward to establish a sister-city relationship with Joyo, Japan in 1995. Furthermore, the first annual Sakura Festival was held in 2006 and the opening of Clark’s Japanese Garden took place in 2012.
This year’s Sakura Festival will be the eleventh celebration to take place at Clark. It begins at 1:00 PM under the cherry trees and will include guest speakers and music for the attendees. After that, at 2:00 PM, the celebration continues in the Gaiser Student Center with a dance performance
by our very own Japanese Club and with a guest performance by the Portland Taiko Drum Group. Attendees will be able to visit the display tables and sample the cookies and tea provided for free!
The Clark page about this event is here.
Here is a great video about the Sakura Festival