Music, Juggling at Cherry Blossom Festival Kickoff (photos)

The 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival officially got underway with an elaborate opening ceremony at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 23, celebrating the anniversary of the 1912 gift of trees from Japan to the United States through a showcase of American and Japanese talent.

The cast members of the show “‘Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon’ The Super Live” made their North American debut. The all-female show is based on one of the most popular manga (Japanese graphic novels) of all time.

Violinist and composer Ikuko Kawai presented an original interpretation of Japan’s famous “The Tale of Genji,” accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments. The 6821 Quintet performed “Cherry Blossom Fantasy.” (6821 represents the distance in miles between Washington and Tokyo.) World-champion diabolo juggler Yusaku Mochizuki (Mochi) and the Skylark Circus rounded out the program.

Bill Kelly and Michelle Marsh of ABC 7 served as emcees for the event and Japan’s ambassador to the United States, Shinsuke Sugiyama, delivered the keynote address.

View Jeff Malet’s photos of the 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival opening ceremony by clicking on the photo icons below.


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