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Graphic for the 66th Cherry Blossom Festival Contestants

66th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants (part II)

CINDY SHINAE NAKAGAWA Parents: Ivan and Joyce Nakagawa High School: Waiakea High School (Big Island), 2009 College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, education, 2014. Occupation: Elementary school teacher at President Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. What or Who Inspires You? “A teacher is someone who inspires and motivates children. But as a teacher, my students inspire....
The 66th Cherry Blossom Festival contestants were introduced at the Ohana Festival. They are (from left): Mika Nakashige, Colette Masunaga, Kristen Yamamoto, Kaydi Hashima, Rhianna Taniguchi, Ariel Stenek, Melanie Carrié, Joy Nakahara, Kylie Hisatake, Chelsea Briggs, Cindy Nakagawa, Renni Iwasa, Karly Kaneshiro, Shelby Meador and Jordie Ocenar. (Photo courtesy Cherry Blossom Festival)

Spotlight – Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants Introduced

The 66th Cherry Blossom Festival got its official kick-off on Jan. 14 with the introduction of the 15 queen contestants at the New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival, presented by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored annually by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. This year’s festival theme is Inspire.....
Chrysanthemum Festival Contestants: (starting from top left) Sokah Furumoto, Kristi Echiverri, Makaylen Tadeo, Jaelynn Nobriga, and Paige Maki Nagahama

Community Focus – Chrysanthemum Festival Set for Dec. 2 in Wailuku

The 65th Chrysanthemum Festival, a Maui Japanese tradition that raises funds for scholarships and the historical preservation programs of its sponsor, Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans, will be held Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Teens from five Maui high schools are vying for the Chrysanthemum....
65th Cherry Blossom Festival queen Heather Omori holds up a winning ballot as Hawaii Hochi president Taro Yoshida looks on.

Community – “Guess The Cherry Blossom Festival Queen” Contest Winners

On March 31, Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Heather Omori drew the winners of the 34th “Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen” contest, sponsored by The Hawai‘i Herald and Hawaii Hochi. With a perfect ballot, Betty H. Higa of Käne‘ohe was the first prize winner of a round-trip for two to wherever Island Air flies in....
Group photo of the 65th Cherry Blossom Festival Court

Spotlight – Heather Omori Chosen as the 65th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen

SPOTLIGHT BY Gwen Battad Ishikawa Gwen Battad Ishikawa Kansha (gratitude) and Kokoro (heart) were the themes, respectively, of the 64th and 65th Cherry Blossom festivals, sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. Heather Kiyomi Omori, who was chosen queen of the 65th Cherry Blossom Festival on March 18 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel,....
Photo of the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants (p. 1 of 4)

Jennifer Keiko Ezaki Parents: Bruce and Laura Ezaki High School: Our Redeemer Lutheran, 2009 College/Degree/Year: Biola University, bachelor’s degree in communication, 2013; University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, post baccalaureate certification in special education, 2016. “What does kokoro mean to you?” “Kokoro is a reminder for me to remain present and connected in a constantly changing....
Photo of the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants (p. 2 of 4)

Lori Satoki Kim Parents: Eric and Karen Kim High School: Pacific Buddhist Academy, 2007 College/Degree/Year: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, bachelor’s degree in business administration – accounting, 2012. “What does kokoro mean to you?” “Growing up, Kokoro always meant heart. It meant using my heart to always try and show compassion to others, a thought....
Photo of the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants (p. 3 of 4)

Kaelyn Sachiko Okuhata Parents: Kevin and Lori Okuhata High School: King Kekaulike High School (Hawai‘i Island), 2012 College/Degree/Year: Chapman University, bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and a minor in art studio, 2016 “What does kokoro mean to you?” “Last winter in the Colorado Rockies, I saw snowfall for the first....
Photo of the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants (p. 4 of 4)

Ruth Mariko Taketa Family: Carol Sato (mother) and Jonathan Taketa (brother) High School: Roosevelt High School, 2011 College/Degree/Year: University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, 2016. “What does kokoro mean to you?” “Kokoro is the careful balance of the heart, mind, and spirit. I think of kokoro as a combination of each characteristic....
Photo of the three sister courts gathering for a group photo while attending the 76th Nisei Week coronation in Los Angeles.

Cherry Blossom Festival Special – Queen Interview

Alexis Sayuri Okihara 64th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Looks Forward to Sharing Knowledge with Future Generations Gwen Battad Ishikawa It is fitting that kansha (gratitude) was the theme of the 64th Cherry Blossom Festival, because kansha is what Queen Alexis Okihara has felt for the past year. “They [Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, who....

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