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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.....
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 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....

Sarah Kiyomi Kamida

Gwen Battad Ishikawa Every year, the Herald interviews the outgoing Cherry Blossom Festival queen as she prepares to pass on her crown to her successor. What are some of the changes that have taken place...

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