Call for Entries: 64th Cherry Blossom Festival Encourages Student Participation in “Haiku Art Contest”

The 64th Cherry Blossom Festival, a project of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, has announced a call for entries for its annual “Haiku Art Contest.”

The Cherry Blossom Festival invites Hawaii students in grades 3-12 to showcase their creativity through haiku, the Japanese style of short-form poetry, and art. Each haiku must be accompanied by a two-dimensional original artwork (such as a painting, drawing, print, or photo) that conveys this year’s theme, Kansha, the Japanese value of gratitude.

Entries can be submitted in the following categories: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12.

Completed entries (including the application form, haiku, and artwork) must be mailed to:

64th CBF Haiku Art Contest
P.O. Box 1105
Aiea, Hawaii 96701

Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 12, 2015. Eligible students must submit their application form under the supervision of an adult educator, parent, or legal guardian.

Application forms and full contest details are available online here.

Last year's winner (Grades 3-5): Karys Imai, Grade 5, Kaneohe Elementary

Last year's winner (Grades 3-5): Karys Imai, Grade 5, Kaneohe Elementary

62nd Cherry Blossom Festival Queen contestants revealed

HONOLULU - Fifteen Japanese-American women will be vying for the title of queen for the 62nd annual Cherry Blossom Festival in March.

The 2014 contestants were revealed on Sunday during the festival's opening ceremony. Under this year's theme "Issho Ni" -- translated as "together" in Japanese -- contestants were selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service.

The 62nd Cherry Blossom Festival contestants:

Nicole Alohilani Ansai
Nicole Mari Kai Burns
Alyssa Erika Fujihara
Erin Mei Fukaya
Kristin Meilynn Imose
Kaysha Fujiko Izumoto
Michaela Kyoko Kamemoto
Sarah Kiyomi Kamida
Jasmine Emi Nicole Nagano
Karen Reinante Nakagawa
Chelsea Noelani Okamoto
Danica Chiemi Tamaye
Alysha Tanabe
Cara Lei Mariko Tsutsuse
Chelsea Jaye Chie Uchihara

Over the next few months, these women -- between 19 and 26 years old and at least 50 percent Japanese -- will participate in cultural classes, public appearances and community service events before the crowning of the 62nd Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court at the festival ball.

Festival Ball
Date: Sunday, March 30
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: Sheraton Waikiki, 2255 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

61st Cherry Blossom Festival Announces New Queen and Court

The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival court (from left to right): Miss Popularity Ashley Higa, Princess Misha Maletta, First Princess Lori Higashi, Queen Crystine Ito, Princess Kellene Sasano, Princess Leila Mitsunaga, and Miss Congeniality Eryn Kawamoto. Photo by Sean Nakamura.

This evening, the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Cherry Blossom Festival crowned the new 61st Cherry Blossom Queen and Court at its annual Festival Ball and coronation ceremony at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. For the 15 Queen Contestants, Festival Ball is the culmination of seven months of cultural and professional development classes that include Japanese history and business etiquette, bon dance, aikido, taiko, speech and pageant training, and more.

Queen, First Princess and three Princesses are selected by a panel of esteemed judges for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service. Princesses are listed in alphabetical order. Miss Popularity is awarded to the Queen Contestant who has accumulated the most points by raised funds used to support the perpetuation of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Miss Congeniality is awarded to the Queen Contestant who has been selected by her peers as exemplifying the spirit of friendship.

Proudly presenting the 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court:

Queen: Crystine Hisae Ito
Crystine is a 2007 graduate of Kapa‘a High School. She is the daughter of Carol Ann and Carlton Ito. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in American Studies in 2011 from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and currently works as a legislative aide in the Hawaii State Legislature House of Representatives.

1st Princess: Lori Hiroko Higashi
Princess: Kellene Noenoelani Sasano
Princess: Misha Nicole Yurie Maletta
Princess: Leila Tomoyo Mitsunaga
Miss Popularity: Ashley Michiko Higa
Miss Congeniality: Eryn Akemi Kawamoto

This year's theme, Laulima, is a tribute to the legacy of the Festival and its many volunteers, sponsors, donors, contestants, families, and supporters. Without "many hands working together," these 61 years of awareness, education, and preservation of the Japanese culture in Hawaii could not have been possible.

Highlights of the evening included:

  • Taiko Performance – Contestants performed a taiko sequence choreographed and instructed by world-acclaimed musician Kenny Endo, and accompanied by members of the Taiko Center of the Pacific.
  • Western Phase – Contestants delivered one-minute speeches in evening gowns from Casablanca Bridal & Formals.
  • Eastern Phase – Contestants answered one impromptu question while wearing authentic furisode kimono flown in from Japan specifically for this event by Watabe Wedding Hawaii.

Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship

Tonight, the recipient of the Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship was also named. Established in 2002 by Dr. Scott Oishi in memory of his mother, the very first Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and a career educator, this $5,000 award is designated for the continued education of one Queen Contestant. The recipient was selected on the basis of her educational excellence, essay submission, and community service involvement.

Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship Recipient: Leila Tomoyo Mitsunaga

Leila is a 2006 graduate of Iolani School and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2010 from Willamette University. She will be attending Argosy University in the fall, where she will be studying to become a clinical psychologist and pursue her dream to help children with mental health problems.

61st Cherry Blossom Festival in the media

Hawaii News Now Sunrise
February 1, 2013

60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Erin Morimoto and Princess Nicole Kinney sit down with Tannya Joaquin to discuss the Festival.

Watch the video here:

Honolulu Pulse
January 31, 2013

Photo: Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo

Social Encore blogger Jermel-Lynn Quillopo reports on the mission of the Cherry Blossom Festival and its cultural impact on Queen Contestants and the community.

Read the full article here.

Hawaii-Arukikata.com
January 22, 2013

The Japanese language website Hawaii-Arukikata.com covers the 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony.

Read the full article (in Japanese) here.

Meet the 61st Cherry Blossom Festival's 1st Annual Haiku Contest Winners

The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival celebrated the launch of its 1st Annual Haiku Contest. Students in grades 3-12 attending school in the state of Hawaii submitted original haiku sets within an original piece of artwork that depicted the poem and further exemplified the contest theme: "Laulima: Bridging Hands Across Oceans."

The three first-place winners and their work were recognized at the 61th Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony on January 19, 2013. Their winning entries were also published in the 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Souvenir Book.

Congratulations to our winners! View their original haiku and artwork here.

From left-right: Aisha Yamamoto, Joy Okimoto and Georgienne Murray with 61st CBF general chair Holly Duarte. Photo by Sean Nakamura.

The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Unveils its 15 Queen Contestants

The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Contestants: (left-right) Misha Maletta, Hannah Tsunemoto, Whitney Shiroma, Stephanie Chiang, Eryn Kawamoto, Neysa Taba, Leila Mitsunaga, Lori Higashi, Kellene Sasano, Tiffany Hsu, Mychal Hatae, Shanna Nakamura, Crystine Ito, Ashley Higa, Chayne Toyama. Photo by Sean Nakamura.Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival unveiled yesterday its 15 Queen Contestants at an Opening Ceremony at The Villa at Aloha Tower Marketplace. This year's theme "Laulima," which translates to "many hands working together," was also announced. Click here to view more event photos on our Facebook page.

Queen Contestants are selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service. More information about individual Queen Contestants can be found online at /contestants/.

One contestant will be crowned the 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Queen during this year's Festival Ball on Saturday, March 30 at 5 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants are:

Stephanie Masako Chiang
Mychal Chiyoko Kanoura Hatae
Ashley Michiko Higa
Lori Hiroko Higashi
Tiffany Akemi Hsu
Crystine Hisae Ito
Eryn Akemi Kawamoto
Misha Nicole Yurie Maletta
Leila Tomoyo Mitsunaga
Shanna Kailolaina Nakamura
Kellene Noenoelani Sasano
Whitney Sachie Melendres Shiroma
Neysa Joy Mayumi Taba
Chayne Kimi Toyama
Hannah Ying Tsunemoto

About the Cherry Blossom Festival

The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, the 61st Cherry Blossom Festival spans from January to March 2013. Featured events include several community events open to the public, Golf Tournament, Contestant Reception and the highly-anticipated Festival Ball where a new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by: Bank of Hawaii, Fujiyasu Kimono Company, Obun Hawaii Group, Watabe Wedding, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant, Japan Airlines, Kyoya Company, Ltd, Pam Futa-Campbell, Shiseido, Island Insurance, Kirin Brewery of America, Marukai Wholesale Mart, Tori Richard, Gyotaku by Naoki, Images by Steven, JHM Productions, JTB Hawaii, and Servco Pacific.

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.

The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival presents the 1st Annual Haiku Contest

**This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!**

Entries are being accepted for the 1st Annual Haiku Contest. Students in grades 3-12 who attend school in the state of Hawaii are eligible.

Entries must contain an original haiku set within an original piece of artwork that depicts the poem and further exemplifies the contest theme: "Laulima: Bridging Hands Across Oceans."

All entries must be postmarked by Friday, November 16, 2012. LATE ENTRIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Mail entries to:

61th CBF HAIKU CONTEST
P.O. BOX 1105
Aiea, Hawaii  96701

All entries must include the following:

  • Completed application form with signatures of both student and parent/guardian.
  • Original haiku and artwork – DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME, TEACHER’S NAMES, OR SCHOOL NAME ANYWHERE ON OR WITHIN YOUR ENTRY.
  • SASE (only if requesting the return of student's work)

Entries must be:

  • the student’s original work
  • legible, inclusive of lettering no smaller than 1/2”
  • no larger than 9” x 12”
  • securely paper clipped to the contest application

Awards will be given in three age categories: Grades 3-5, 6-8 & 9-12.

  • First: $75 US Savings Bond
  • Second: $50 US Savings Bond
  • Third: $25 US Savings Bond

The three first place winners and their work will be recognized at the 61th Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony in January 2013 as well as have their winning entries published on the Cherry Blossom Festival website and in the festival Souvenir Book.

For more information, email Howard Chi at howard_chi@notes.k12.hi.us with any questions or concerns.

Announcing the 60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 Saturday, March 31, 2012
 Contact: Sean Nakamura
 Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
 cbfhawaii@gmail.com

60th Cherry Blossom Festival Announces New Queen and Court

 Honolulu, Hawai‘i – This evening, the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Cherry Blossom Festival crowned the new 60th Cherry Blossom Queen and Court at its annual Festival Ball and coronation ceremony at the Hawai‘i Theatre. The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest continually running festivals in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage.

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants are selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service.  This year’s festival theme, “Kizuna,” translates to “To Bond,” which represents the bonds and relationships created through the years that keep our festival together and strong.

Queen, First Princess and three Princesses are selected by a panel of esteemed judges. Princesses are listed in alphabetical order. Miss Popularity is awarded to the Queen Contestant who has accumulated the most points by raised funds used to support the perpetuation of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Miss Congeniality is awarded to the Queen Contestant who has been selected by her peers as exemplifying the spirit of friendship. Proudly presenting the 60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court.

Queen – Erin Mie Hi’ileialoha Morimoto
Erin is a 2005 graduate of Punahou School. She is the daughter of Gayle Morimoto and the late Colin Morimoto. She has earned a bachelor of arts in Psychology with a minor in Marketing at the University of Southern California and a Master of Education in Teaching at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She currently is a middle school language arts teacher.

First Princess – Edrea Eri Katsunuma
Princess – Nicole Yuriko Kinney
Princess – Cari Ayako Tasoe
Princess – Tomomi Julia Ida
Miss Congeniality – Heather Leilani Chiyono Smith
Miss Popularity – Teri Leinaala Nakakura

In 2002, Dr. Scott Oishi established the $5,000 Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship in memory of his mother, the very first Cherry Blossom Festival Queen. In honor of Mrs. Oishi’s career as an educator, this $5,000 award is designated for the continued education of one Queen Contestant. The recipient was selected on the basis of her educational excellence, essay submission, and community service involvement.

Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship Recipient – Cari Ayako Tasoe
Cari is a 2004 graduate of Iolani School. She is the daughter of Gary and Candace Tasoe. She has earned a bachelor of arts in Psychology and Social Behavior at University of California Irvine and a Master of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She currently is a Chapter Coordinator. 

Kristine Wada and Devon Nekoba served as mistress and master of ceremonies. The Festival Ball was opened with a taiko performance by the contestants followed by the Taiko Center of the Pacific. During the Western Phase, contestants delivered one-minute speeches in evening gowns. The Eastern Phase featured contestants wearing authentic furisode kimono flown in from Japan specifically for this event by Watabe Wedding Hawaii. The contestants also answered one impromptu question.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by: Bank of Hawaii, Fujiyasu Kimono Company, Japan Airlines, Shiseido Cosmetics America, Kyo-Ya Company, Obun Hawaii Group, Pamela Futa Campbell, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant, Watabe Wedding Hawaii, Kirin Brewery of America, Tori Richard, Marukai Wholesale Mart, Island Insurance, JTB Hawaii, Gyotaku by Naoki, Images by Steven, JHM Productions, Servco Pacific. 

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 808-949-2255. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.

About the Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Festival holds the honor of being one of the longest, continually running ethnic festival in the State of Hawai‘i – originally started in 1953 by the founding fathers of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Cherry Blossom Festival was created to celebrate Japanese culture and to enrich the lives of young Japanese-American women. The Festival also has an international reach, partnering each year to host five special sister chapters from Japan: Kobe, Odawara, Kurashiki, Kojima and Tamashima. Over the past 59 years the Cherry Blossom Festival has touched the lives of many, especially the 986 women it has called contestants. 

About the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce
The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC) first convened in 1949 with the mission of developing young Japanese-Americans into civic-minded citizens. The HJJCC aims to foster young leaders through professional development, community service, and the perpetuation of Japanese culture. The HJJCC sponsors many community events – including the well-known Cherry Blossom Festival – as well as offering its members numerous opportunities to develop leadership, managerial and organizational skills through participation in community service projects. The HJJCC also fosters business networking and socializing which allows members to establish life-long friendships. 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012

Contact: Sean Nakamura
              60th Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
              Email: cbfhawaii@gmail.com

60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants make public appearance

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the 60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants made their first public appearance at the Windward Mall. The event opened up with a taiko performance by Somei Taiko followed by an appearance and opening speech by the 59th CBF Court.

The 60th CBF Queen Contestants were then presented on the stage one-by-one and was each asked one question to answer to the audience. The questions were picked randomly and asked contestants a variety of general questions about various topics.  

The 60th Cherry Blossom Festival has more upcoming public appearances and special events. Here is a brief list of upcoming public appearances:

Kahala Mall Public Appearance: Feb. 18 at noon.

Ala Moana Shopping Center Public Appearance: March 3. at 3 p.m.

Pearlridge Shopping Center Public Appearance: March 10 at noon.

For more information on other CBF events such as the Contestant Reception, Golf Tournament, and Fashion Show, please visit www.cbfhawaii.com/events.

The Festival Ball will be on Saturday, March 31 at the Hawaii Theatre at 5 p.m.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, the 60th Cherry Blossom Festival will span from Jan. to March 2012.

For the most up-to-date information on events and announcements, "like" Cherry Blossom Festival Hawaii on Facebook and follow us on twitter: @cbfhi. 

60th Cherry Blossom Festival Unveils Queen Contestants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.

Contact: Sean Nakamura
Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
Email: cbfhawaii@gmail.com

60th Cherry Blossom Festival Unveils Queen Contestants
Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The 60th Cherry Blossom Festival unveiled today its 15 Queen Contestants at an Opening Ceremony at the Pagoda Hotel & Restaurant C’est Si Bon ballroom. This year’s theme “Kizuna,” translates to “To Bond,” was also announced at today’s ceremony.

Queen Contestants are selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service. More information about individual Queen Contestants can be found online at www.cbfhawaii.com/contestants.

One contestant will be crowned the 60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen during Festival Ball at the Hawai‘i Theatre on March 31. Ticket information is available online at www.cbfhawaii.com/events.

The 60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants are:
Kristin Amanda Rie Alm
Carrie Gemma Chiemi Esaki
Tomomi Julia Ida
Edrea Eri Katsunuma
Nicole Yuriko Kinney
Allison Keiko Kunichika
Shiho Matsutaka
Erin Mie Hi‘ileialoha Morimoto
Jenna Akia Moriwaki
Ter Leinaala Nakakura
Erin Ai Shiroma
Heather Leilani Chiyono Smith
Cari Ayako Tasoe
Marika Emi Yano Wilson
Mindy Mitsuyu Yoneshige


The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, the 60th Cherry Blossom Festival will span from Jan. to March 2012. Featured events include several community events open to the public, Golf Tournament, Fashion Show, Contestant Reception and the highly-anticipated Festival Ball where a new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned.

In 1953 Violet Tokei Niimi was crowned the very first Cherry Blossom Festival Queen. In 2001, her son, Dr. Scott Oishi established the Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship in honor of his mothers fond memories of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Dr. Oishi and a committee of four judges will select one contestant to receive $5,000 to go toward continuing her education. The recipient will be selected based on her educational excellence, essay submission, character, and community service efforts. The recipient of the 11th Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship will be announced on March 25. at the Festival Ball.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by: Bank of Hawaii, Fujiyasu Kimono Company, Obun Hawaii Group, Watabe Wedding, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant, Japan Airlines, Kyoya Company, Ltd, Pam Futa-Campbell, Shiseido, Island Insurance, Kirin Brewery of America, Marukai Wholesale Mart, Tori Richard, Gyotaku by Naoki, Images by Steven, JHM Productions, JTB Hawaii, and Servco Pacific

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 808-949-2255. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.

59th Cherry Blossom Festival Announces New Queen and Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, March 26, 2011     

Contact: Desiree Yamamoto
Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
cbfhawaii@gmail.com

59th Cherry Blossom Festival Announces New Queen and Court

Honolulu, Hawai‘i – This evening, the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Cherry Blossom Festival crowned the new 59th Cherry Blossom Queen and Court at its annual Festival Ball and coronation ceremony at the Hawai‘i Theatre. The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest continually running festivals in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage.

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants are selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service.  This year’s festival theme, “Okage sama de,” often simply translated as “I am who I am because of you,” was a guiding principle for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

“This years emphasis was on keeping Japanese traditions and values alive,” said Darren Ota, Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce president and Cherry Blossom Festival general chair. “Over the eight months of cultural classes, professional development, and preparation for Festival Ball, it is our hope that the Queen Contestants have had a memorable experience that will last a lifetime. In addition to perpetuating cultural education and celebrating our Japanese heritage, we hope that Queen Contestants have built deep relationships with each other.”

Queen, First Princess and three Princesses are selected by a panel of esteemed judges. Princesses are listed in alphabetical order. Miss Popularity is awarded to the Queen Contestant who has accumulated the most points by raised funds used to support the perpetuation of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Miss Congeniality is awarded to the Queen Contestant who has been selected by her peers as exemplifying the spirit of friendship. Proudly presenting the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court.

Queen – Jennifer Lauren Aiko Sur
Jennifer is a 2002 graduate of Kailua High School. She is the daughter of Mona and Peter Sur. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a Minor in Speech and a Master of Arts in Speech from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Jennifer is currently a speech lecturer.

First Princess – Elizabeth Shizuko Lee-Tamanaha
Princess and Miss Congeniality – Tamlyn Sachie Pilialoha Toyama

Princess – Anya Chikako Ishida
Princess – Aileen Naomi Tamura
Miss Popularity – Traci Yoshi Hamamoto

In 2002, Dr. Scott Oishi established the $5,000 Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship in memory of his mother, the very first Cherry Blossom Festival Queen. In honor of Mrs. Oishi’s career as an educator, this $5,000 award is designated for the continued education of one Queen Contestant. The recipient was selected on the basis of her educational excellence, essay submission, and community service involvement.

Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship Recipient – Janelle Akemi Ando

Janelle is a 2003 graduate of Roosevelt High School. She is the daughter of Lynn and Richard Ando Jr. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in History and Business Law from the University of Portland. Janelle is currently a hospice and palliative care nurse. 

Highlights of the evening included:

  • Taiko Performance – contestants performed a taiko sequence choreographed and instructed by world-acclaimed musician Kenny Endo, and accompanied by members of the Taiko Center of the Pacific
  • Western Phase – contestants delivered one-minute speeches in evening gowns sponsored by Casablanca Bridal & Formals
  • Eastern Phase – contestants answered one impromptu question while wearing authentic furisode kimono flown in from Japan specifically for this event by Watabe Wedding Hawaii   

A united message of solidarity was extended to the people of Japan this evening. Guests at Festival Ball donned green ribbons bearing a miniature Japan flag. Symbolizing hope for Japan, these ribbons were thoughtfully handmade by the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants with the support of Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce members and the Cherry Blossom Festival steering committee. The 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court have collected origami cranes to send to the Tohoku region.

In honor of the strong relationships with sister Junior Chamber International chapters in Kobe, Odawara, Kurashiki, Kojima and Tamashima, the Japan Cherry Blossom Association, our Japan sponsors, our Japan award donors, and the many individuals who have been affected by this natural disaster, the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Cherry Blossom Festival will be making a monetary donation to support the relief efforts. As a participating organization in the Aloha for Japan Committee, we have encouraged our guests to participate individually in the Japan relief efforts and have directed them to www.alohaforjapan.com.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by: Bank of Hawaii, Fujiyasu Kimono Company, Japan Airlines, Shiseido Cosmetics, Kyo-ya Company, LLC., Obun Hawaii Group, Pamela Futa Campbell, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant, Watabe Wedding Hawaii Branch, Kirin Brewery of America LLC, Tori Richard, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Marukai Wholesale Mart, JTB Hawaii, Inc. Gyotaku by Naoki, Images by Steven, Island Insurance, JHM Productions, and Servco Pacific Inc.

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 808-949-2255. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.

About the Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Festival holds the honor of being one of the longest, continually running ethnic festival in the State of Hawai‘i – originally started in 1953 by the founding fathers of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Cherry Blossom Festival was created to celebrate Japanese culture and to enrich the lives of young Japanese-American women. The Festival also has an international reach, partnering each year to host five special sister chapters from Japan: Kobe, Odawara, Kurashiki, Kojima and Tamashima. Over the past 59 years the Cherry Blossom Festival has touched the lives of many, especially the 986 women it has called contestants.

About the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce
The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC) first convened in 1949 with the mission of developing young Japanese-Americans into civic-minded citizens. The HJJCC aims to foster young leaders through professional development, community service, and the perpetuation of Japanese culture. The HJJCC sponsors many community events – including the well-known Cherry Blossom Festival – as well as offering its members numerous opportunities to develop leadership, managerial and organizational skills through participation in community service projects. The HJJCC also fosters business networking and socializing which allows members to establish life-long friendships. 

# # #

59th Cherry Blossom Festival Calendar of Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, January 29, 2011                            

Contact: Desiree Yamamoto
Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
email: cbfhawaii@gmail.com

59th Cherry Blossom Festival Calendar of Events
January – March 2011

Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The 59th Cherry Blossom Festival announces the calendar of events for its 15 Queen Contestants. Four public appearances will provide the public with an opportunity to meet the Queen Contestants. Five special events will allow ticket holders, primarily family and friends, a chance to interact with the Queen Contestants in a variety of settings.

One well-deserving Contestants will be crowned the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen during Festival Ball at the Hawai‘i Theatre on March 26, 2011. The public is welcome to all Festival events. Ticket information is available online at www.cbfhawaii.com.

Public appearances provide the community a chance to learn more about the Cherry Blossom Festival, which perpetuates Japanese culture and heritage. Appearances also help contestants develop their public speaking, poise and leadership skills. Public appearances are free to the community. At all public appearances, Queen Contestants will wear special designs by Tori Richard – a recently re-instated sponsor of the Festival who used to provide clothing for contestants back in the 1950s.

Kahala Mall Public Appearance, January 29, 2011, Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Queen Contestants will make their first public appearance at Kahala Mall, Center Court. Entertainment provided by Starr Kalahiki. Teri Okita from Hawaii News Now and Shayne Enright from KITV4 will emcee this event.

Pearlridge Shopping Center – Uptown Public Appearance, February 12, 2011, Noon1:30 p.m.

Making their way to the leeward side of the island, the Queen Contestants will appear at Pearlridge Shopping Center – Uptown. Marisa Yamane from KHON2 will emcee this event.

Windward Mall Public Appearance, February 19, 2011, Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Taking a drive to the windward side, the Queen Contestants will continue to refine their public speaking skills. Devon Nekoba of 94.7 KUMU, former Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce President, will emcee this event.

Ala Moana Center Public Appearance, March 5, 2011, Noon – 1:30 p.m.

The largest and final public appearance at Ala Moana Center is always a 3-floor packed event with family and friends waving signs and cheering for their favorite Queen Contestant. Entertainment provided by the Taiko Center of the Pacific. Jill Kuramoto of KITV4 and Byron Furukawa of Hawaii News How will emcee this event.

The five special events provide the Queen Contestants once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to participate in unique events. Special events also aim to develop the Queen Contestants ability to perform under pressure, interact with a diverse audience, converse in casual and formal settings, and foster friendships with each other.

Opening Ceremony, January 22, 2011, 10 a.m., Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa

By Invitation Only
59th Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off with an Opening Ceremony where Queen Contestants will be revealed to the public. This event officially signifies the start of the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival. Reverend Shuji Komogata of Soto Mission of Hawaii will perform the annual blessing of the Festival bringing peace, good health and blessings to all who are involved. Olena Heu and Jai Cunningham from KHON2 will serve as mistress and master of ceremonies. 

Fashion Show, March 13, 2011, 1 – 4 p.m., The Royal Hawaiian Hotel

General Admission: $45
An exciting Fashion Show provides Queen Contestants the opportunity to walk down a runway and experience the fast pace behind-the-scenes. The fashion show will feature local designer Tori Richard, and local boutiques Casablanca Bridal & Formals, Collins & 8th, Cottage by the Sea, Eden in Love and Fashionista’s Market. A silent auction will accompany the fashion show. Steve Uyehara and Tannya Joaquin of Hawaii News Now will emcee the fashion show.

Contestant Reception, March 13, 2011, 6 – 9 p.m., Ka Restaurant and Lounge

General Admission: $15
The Contestant Reception allows Queen Contestants to mingle and interact with family and friend in a casual environment. Food, dancing, music and raffle prizes entertain the crowd while Queen Contestants are able to relax and enjoy the evening. 

Golf Tournament, March 18, 2011, 11 a.m., Pearl Country Club

3-Person Team: $480
Tee Sponsor 3-Person Team: $750
The Golf Tournament is formatted as a 3-person scramble with one hole-in-one opportunity for a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by JN Automotive Group. Following the tournament is a reception with team, individually and raffle prizes. A bento lunch from Gyotaku is provided for every golfer and drinks will be provided by Kirin. Course food will be provided by Aiea Manapua & Snacks.

Festival Ball, March 26, 2011, 2 p.m., Hawaii Theatre

General Admission: $55
The highly anticipated Festival Ball will showcase the 15 Queen Contestants and will culminate 8-months of cultural classes and preparation. The evening begins with a taiko performance entitled “Sakura Daiko” choreographed and instructed by world-acclaimed musician Kenny Endo, and accompanied by members of the Taiko Center of the Pacific. Queen Contestants will deliver a 1-minute prepared speech during the Western phase wearing evening gowns sponsored by Casablanca Bridal & Formals. In the final Eastern phase, Queen Contestants will demonstrate their poise while wearing traditional furisode silk kimonos generously provided by Watabe Wedding. During this phase, Queen Contestants will answer one impromptu question. One well-deserving contestants will be crowned the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen. One First Princess, three Princesses, one Miss Popularity and one Miss Congeniality will be selected. Stephanie Lum and Keahi Tucker of Hawaii News Now will serve as mistress and master of ceremonies.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is also sponsored by: Bank of Hawaii, Fujiyasu Kimono Company, Japan Airlines, Shiseido Cosmetics, Kyo-ya Company, LLC., Obun Hawaii Group, Pamela Futa Campbell, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant, Watabe Wedding Hawaii Branch, Kirin Brewery of America LLC, Tori Richard, Marukai Wholesale Mart, JTB Hawaii, Inc. Gyotaku by Naoki, Images by Steven, Island Insurance, JHM Productions, and Servco Pacific Inc.

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 808-949-2255. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.

About the Cherry Blossom Festival

The Cherry Blossom Festival holds the honor of being one of the longest, continually running ethnic festival in the State of Hawai‘i – originally started in 1953 by the founding fathers of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Cherry Blossom Festival was created to celebrate Japanese culture and to enrich the lives of young Japanese-American women. The Festival also has an international reach, partnering each year to host five special sister chapters from Japan: Kobe, Odawara, Kurashiki, Kojima and Tamashima. Over the past 59 years the Cherry Blossom Festival has touched the lives of many, especially the 986 women it has called contestants.

About the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce

The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC) first convened in 1949 with the mission of developing young Japanese-Americans into civic-minded citizens. The HJJCC aims to foster young leaders through professional development, community service, and the perpetuation of Japanese culture. The HJJCC sponsors many community events – including the well-known Cherry Blossom Festival – as well as offering its members numerous opportunities to develop leadership, managerial and organizational skills through participation in community service projects. The HJJCC also fosters business networking and socializing which allows members to establish life-long friendships.
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59th Cherry Blossom Festival Unveils Queen Contestants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, January 22, 2011      
Contact: Desiree Yamamoto
Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
Email: cbfhawaii@gmail.com

59th Cherry Blossom Festival Unveils Queen Contestants

Honolulu, Hawai‘i – After several months of anticipation, the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival unveiled today its 15 Queen Contestants at an Opening Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa. This year’s theme “Okage Sama De,” which translates to “I Am Who I Am Because of You,” was also announced.

Queen Contestants are selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service. More information about individual Queen Contestants can be found online at www.cbfhawaii.com/contestants.

One well-deserving Contestant will be crowned the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen during Festival Ball at the Hawai‘i Theatre on March 26, 2011. Ticket information is available online at www.cbfhawaii.com/events.

The 59th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants are:
Janelle Akemi Ando
Traci Yoshi Hamamoto
Anya Chikako Ishida
Lauren Akie Kawana
Stacey Miyako Kawano
Katherine Leigh Kudo
Marissa Lai Fong Sayuri Lee
Elizabeth Shizuko Lee-Tamanaha
Sara Ai Shinjo Mattison
Reimy Megurikami
Laurie Sachie Oda
Jennifer Lauren Aiko Sur
Aileen Naomi Tamura
Tamlyn Sachie Pilialoha Toyama
Allison Kimi Yoshida


The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival will span from January to March 2011. Featured events include several community events open to the public, Golf Tournament, Fashion Show, Contestant Reception and the highly-anticipated Festival Ball where a new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned.

In 1953 Violet Tokei Niimi was crowned the very first Cherry Blossom Festival Queen. In 2001, her son, Dr. Scott Oishi established the Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship in honor of his mothers fond memories of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Dr. Oishi and a committee of four judges will select one contestant to receive $5,000 to go toward continuing her education. The recipient will be selected based on her educational excellence, essay submission, character, and community service efforts. The recipient of the 10th Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship will be announced on March 26, 2011 at Festival Ball.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by: Bank of Hawaii, Fujiyasu Kimono Company, Japan Airlines, Shiseido Cosmetics, Kyo-ya Company, LLC., Obun Hawaii Group, Pamela Futa Campbell, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant, Watabe Wedding Hawaii Branch, Kirin Brewery of America LLC, Tori Richard, Marukai Wholesale Mart, JTB Hawaii, Inc. Gyotaku by Naoki, Images by Steven, Island Insurance, JHM Productions, and Servco Pacific Inc.

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 808-949-2255. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.

About the Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Festival holds the honor of being one of the longest, continually running ethnic festival in the State of Hawai‘i – originally started in 1953 by the founding fathers of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Cherry Blossom Festival was created to celebrate Japanese culture and to enrich the lives of young Japanese-American women. The Festival also has an international reach, partnering each year to host five special sister chapters from Japan: Kobe, Odawara, Kurashiki, Kojima and Tamashima. Over the past 59 years the Cherry Blossom Festival has touched the lives of many, especially the 986 women it has called contestants.

About the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce
The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC) first convened in 1949 with the mission of developing young Japanese-Americans into civic-minded citizens. The HJJCC aims to foster young leaders through professional development, community service, and the perpetuation of Japanese culture. The HJJCC sponsors many community events – including the well-known Cherry Blossom Festival – as well as offering its members numerous opportunities to develop leadership, managerial and organizational skills through participation in community service projects. The HJJCC also fosters business networking and socializing which allows members to establish life-long friendships.
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58th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen & Court Profiles - Deadline Extension Until August 16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 29, 2010                

Contact: Desiree Yamamoto
Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
email: cbfhawaii@gmail.com

58th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen & Court Profiles

Application deadline extended until August 16, 2010


Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The Cherry Blossom Festival announced today that the application deadline has been extended until August 16, 2010. Celebrating its 59th year, the Cherry Blossom Festival is seeking bright young women who cherish culture, education and community service. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running festival in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Queen contestant applications are available online at www.cbfhawaii.com.

The 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court were selected at Festival Ball held in March 2009 at Hawai‘i Theatre. Fourteen contestants performed an original taiko composition choreographed by taiko artist – Kenny Endo, delivered a 1-minute prepared speech on a topic of her choice, and demonstrated poise and grace while answering an impromptu question dressed in traditional furisode silk kimonos flown in from Japan.

Months of cultural classes, public appearances and professional development training ensure that each contestant was ready for Festival Ball. “Great care is taken to ensure that every contestant is prepared. It is amazing to witness each contestant’s individual transformation over the seven-month process,” said 59th Cherry Blossom Festival General Chair Darren Ota. “What a contestant may learn from the Cherry Blossom Festival will stay with her forever, and can be applied to all aspects of her personal life and professional career.”

Contestants are commonly asked why they applied for the Cherry Blossom Festival, and answers vary from - meeting other young women with similar aspirations, developing public speaking skills, or for the cultural classes that are provided as part of each contestant’s semi-finalists award.

58th Cherry Blossom Festival Princess Cori Hanagami, medical student, remembers feeling relieved when she realized that others shared her apprehension about public speaking.  The contestants supported each other to overcome their nervousness - building camaraderie and developing confidence on stage. Hanagami attributed the successful delivery of her speech at Festival Ball to the support from fellow contestants.

As a teenager, Princess Kimberlee Young, investigator, suffered an ACL injury forcing her to wear a three-pound leg brace to play basketball. “In overcoming my injury I learned that challenges we encounter are only as big as we make them out to be,” said Young. Similarly, as a contestant, Young found balancing family, work, friends and the Cherry Blossom Festival commitments challenging at first – but developed and applied her time management skills to successfully complete each task at hand.

Being the only contestant of Korean and Japanese ancestry, 1st Princess Allison-Jae Hyun, social worker, felt apprehension at the start of the Festival because she thought she had to prove she was Japanese enough to participate.  As the weeks of classes passed, Hyun realized that the Festival, although focused on Japanese culture, was more about embodying traditional values and “living my life in a way that respects and acknowledges everything that came before me.”

Miss Congeniality Andrea Hiura, psychology student, acknowledged that the Cherry Blossom Festival can play in integral role in the development of a young woman’s life. While careers will vary, most contestants share a common objective of defining who they are and who they want to become. “I believe that our history and heritage help to shape who we will become, and that’s why it’s so important to understand where we came from,” said Hiura. Being a contestant has changed Hiura for the better, “I used to be constantly late everywhere I went, and now I’m always five minutes early.” When asked what she’d like to tell potential applicants, Hiura said, “you have nothing to lose, but so much to gain.”

Princess Kimberly Fujinaka, marketing coordinator, stressed that potential applicants aren’t expected to come with stacked resumes, and that the Festival provided opportunities for continued learning and personal growth. Fujinaka admitted that submitting her application was huge risk, but the first step towards an amazing opportunity. She was honored being selected as a contestant, and embraced the experience and new friendships. Fujinaka acknowledged the hundreds of past contestants and court members who return to support the Festival, and attributes this as a clear indication on how special this opportunity is.

“If you’re interested in trying something new” said Queen and Miss Popularity Marissa Machida, law clerk, “then the Cherry Blossom Festival has something to offer you.” Machida reflected on the history of the Festival and the 58 years of tradition that she and the contestants are now a part of. She suggests that young Japanese-American woman apply, stressing that no other experience can replicate what the Cherry Blossom Festival can provide.

Applicants must have at least 50 percent Japanese ancestry, be between the ages of 19 and 26 years old, single, a U.S. citizen and Hawai‘i resident. A completed registration form, proof of Japanese ancestry through a birth certificate and a $30 application fee is required.  Visit the website for a complete list of eligibility requirements.
 
For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 808-949-2255. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.

About the Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Festival holds the honor of being one of the longest, continually running ethnic festival in the State of Hawai‘i – originally started in 1953 by the founding fathers of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Cherry Blossom Festival was created to celebrate Japanese culture and to enrich the lives of young Japanese-American women. The Festival also has an international reach, partnering each year to host five special sister chapters from Japan: Kobe, Odawara, Kurashiki, Kojima and Tamashima. Over the past 59 years the Cherry Blossom Festival has touched the lives of many, especially the 986 women it has called contestants.

About the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce
The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC) first convened in 1949 with the mission of developing young Japanese-Americans into civic-minded citizens. The HJJCC aims to foster young leaders through professional development, community service, and the perpetuation of Japanese culture. The HJJCC sponsors many community events – including the well-known Cherry Blossom Festival – as well as offering its members numerous opportunities to develop leadership, managerial and organizational skills through participation in community service projects. The HJJCC also fosters business networking and socializing which allows members to establish life-long friendships.  
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59th Cherry Blossom Festival Announces Contestant Search

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 7, 2010              
Contact: Desiree Yamamoto
Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
Email: cbfhawaii@gmail.com

Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce
Announces 59th Cherry Blossom Festival Contestant Search
Applications will be accepted until August 2, 2010


Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce announced today the contestant search for the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival – seeking bright young women who cherish culture, education and community service.  The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running festival in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Contestant applications are available online at www.cbfhawaii.com and will be accepted until August 2, 2010.

“My experience as a contestant has been truly amazing – I highly recommend that others consider applying for this year’s Festival,” said 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Miss Popularity Marissa Nicole Machida.  “Through this experience I have been able to connect with the Japanese-American community in Hawaii, and have been given the opportunity to meet a group of young women who share similar aspirations and goals.”

Sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival will span from January to April 2011, featuring several community events open to the public including: contestant appearances across Oahu, golf tournament, fashion show and contestant reception, and the highly-anticipated Festival Ball in March 2011 at which time a new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned.  Additionally, for the tenth year in a row, one of the contestants will be awarded the annual Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship Award – to be used toward continuing her education. Established in honor of the very first Cherry Blossom Festival Queen, by her son Dr. Scott Oishi – this award is given to the contestant who demonstrates exemplary community service involvement.

“The 59th Cherry Blossom Festival will continue to uphold the traditions of the past, but will look for ways to modernize the Festival so that it has a place in our society today,” said Darren Ota, Cherry Blossom Festival Co-General Chair and HJJCC President. “One of our initiatives this year is to continue to create meaningful experiences for the contestants, while focusing on mentorship and leadership training for our volunteers.”

In January 2011, the 59th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen contestants will be announced to the public. In the months leading up to the Festival, contestants will take classes in Japanese culture and heritage, develop their public speaking and leadership skills, and participate in community service projects.  After being crowned, the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court are actively involved in the community, and promote and perpetuate Japanese-American heritage by participating in cultural events across the state.
 
Applicants must have at least 50 percent Japanese ancestry, be between the ages of 19 and 26 years old, single, a U.S. citizen and Hawai‘i resident.  A completed registration form, proof of Japanese ancestry through a birth certificate and a $30 application fee is required. 
 
For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 808-949-2255. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.

About the Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Festival holds the honor of being one of the longest, continually running ethnic festival in the State of Hawai‘i – originally started in 1953 by the founding fathers of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Cherry Blossom Festival was created to celebrate Japanese culture and to enrich the lives of young Japanese-American women.  The Festival also has an international reach, partnering each year to host five special sister chapters from Japan: Kobe, Odawara, Kurashiki, Kojima and Tamashima.  Over the past 59 years the Cherry Blossom Festival has touched the lives of many, especially the 986 women it has called contestants.

About the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce
The Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC) first convened in 1949 with the mission of developing young Japanese-Americans into civic-minded citizens.  The HJJCC aims to foster young leaders through professional development, community service, and the perpetuation of Japanese culture. The HJJCC sponsors many community events – including the well-known Cherry Blossom Festival – as well as offering its members numerous opportunities to develop leadership, managerial and organizational skills through participation in community service projects.  The HJJCC also fosters business networking and socializing which allows members to establish life-long friendships. 
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