February 11, 2019 (REVISED February 26, 2019) Library to Host Cherry Blossom Festival Events

Japanese Cultural Activities Scheduled in March and April

Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady, (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Mari Nakahara, (202) 707-2990
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

Family enjoys the origami activities at the Japanese Culture Day, photograph by Katherine Blood.

In honor of the annual celebration of Japan’s 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees, the Library of Congress announced that it will host two cultural events during the 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival, the nation’s most celebrated springtime festivity. Japanese Culture Day will kick off the Library’s daylong celebration on Saturday, March 23, with a trove of family activities, including music, dancing, lectures and arts and crafts indigenous to Japan. On Friday, April 5, the history and mysteries of the Ise shrines, Japan’s most famous sacred site, will be the subject of a talk by Japanese history and culture scholar Jordan Sand. Recognized as official programs of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. 

Japanese Culture Day
Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Young Readers Center, LJ-G29
Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., SE, Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Library of Congress, Japan-America Society of Washington DC and the National Conference of State Societies, this event will provide an exciting opportunity for children of all ages, their families and teachers to learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Japanese-related books also will be on display. One special highlight of the day is “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” an inspiring program about Japanese life and culture, scheduled at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Other activities include:

  • Rodd Chin and his students performing Japanese drum music, including Sakura Saku Ondo;
  • Sakura Saku Ondo dance performance by Satoko Kajima Best;
  • Former Cherry Blossom princesses providing instructions on the art of tiara-making;
  • Hands-on lessons about origami artwork creation;
  • Decorative Koinobori coloring, the kimono dress-up experience and more.


Lecture by Jordan Sand
Friday, April 5, noon – 1 p.m.
Mary Pickford Theater, LM-302
James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, D.C.

Visitors will delve into the mysteries of Japan’s most famous sacred site, the shrines in Ise. This presentation will introduce the shrines, explore the metaphoric meanings that have made them famous icons and unearth some of their forgotten history. Few have studied the history of the Ise Shrines’ complex and eventful history, marked by war, natural disaster and internal disputes. Why have the shrines been continually rebuilt over the past thousand years? Historian Jordan Sand, professor of Japanese History and Culture at Georgetown University, will explore the answers to that question and more as he shares the findings of his research on the Ise shrines. 

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the nation’s greatest springtime celebration. The 2019 Festival, March 20 – April 14, includes four weeks of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org or call 877.44.BLOOM for more information, or check out Facebook (CherryBlossomFestival), Twitter (@CherryBlossFest), and Instagram (@CherryBlossFest).

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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PR 19-012
2019-02-11
ISSN 0731-3527