Cultures Blend at National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

By Brionna Hines
UJW Staff Writer

WASHINGTON – Pan-Asian traditions mixed with American pop culture during the centennial celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.

A larger-than-life Miss Piggy floated down Constitution Avenue to the beat of marching bands from schools and universities from across the country.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade was April 14 in downtown Washington. The parade commemorates when the Japanese gave 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the U.S in 1912.

A century later, Japanese culture continues to influence festivalgoers.

Miaijima Noato, a native of Japan, was making his first visit to the parade with his family.

“I came to see my friends in the parade,” said Noato, who had attended a cherry blossomfestival in Japan. He has been living in Bethesda, Md., for two months with his wife and children.

Maryiam Blucher, of Virginia Beach, Va., stood out from the crowd with her imitation wolf tail and ears, a popular style in Japanese animation, or anime as it’s called. Wearing a traditional Japanese dress called a kimono, she said she was portraying an anime character from the “Spice and Wolf” series.

“I’m enjoying the festival very much,” Blucher said, while standing under a multi-coloredwagasa, a traditional Japanese umbrella.


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