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Group photo of the 65th Cherry Blossom Festival queen contestants.

Community Focus – 65th Cherry Blossom Festival Contestants Introduced

The 65th Cherry Blossom Festival was officially launched on Jan. 8, with the 15 queen contestants introduced at the New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. Kokoro, the Japanese word for heart, mind and spirit, is the theme for this year’s festival. “Kokoro embodies the spirit of the Cherry Blossom Festival....
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....
Graphic for the 66th Cherry Blossom Festival Contestants

66th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants (part I)

CHELSEA MOMOKA BRIGGS Parents: Raymond Briggs and Tia Takae Briggs High School: Kapolei High School, 2016 College/Degree: University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu, bachelor’s degree in political science and business administration – finance, anticipated graduation in 2020. Occupation: Student, AVID tutor and college math peer academic leader. What or Who Inspires You? “All my life....
Queen Melanie Carríe at the Jan. 13 opening ceremonies of the 2019-2020 Cherry Blossom Festival, which was held at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. (Photos courtesy Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce)

67th Cherry Blossom Festival – Queen Interview, Queen Melanie Carríe: Time Now to “Give...

Departing Cherry Blossom Queen Melanie Carríe Looks Ahead to a New Chapter Jodie Chiemi Ching In the 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival souvenir booklet published by the festival’s sponsor, the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, queen contestant Melanie Camille Michiko Carríe wrote: “I am inspired by the idea that obstacles are stepping stones towards the....
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,....
67th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants: Jaimee Sambrano (top left), Ariel Lee (bottom left), Reeann Minatoya (top right), and Kalei Kagawa (bottom right)

67th Cherry Blossom Festival – Queen Contestants (part II)

ARIEL KWAI YING KIYOMI LEE Parents: David and Gail Lee High School: Lutheran High School of Hawaii College/Degree: Hawaii Pacific University, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Occupation: Behavioral Health Outpatient Program Coordinator and Therapist What or who drives you to keep moving forward? “My mom has....
First prize winner Eric Kira (right) receives his prize from Grant Murata, Hawaii Herald/Hawaii Hochi advertising manager, on behalf of TransPacific Tours.

“Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen” Winners

Melanie Carrié, 66th Cherry Blossom Festival queen, visited the Hawaii Hochi offices in March and drew the winning ballots for the 35th “Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen” contest sponsored by The Hawai‘i Herald...
67th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants: Kayla Ueshiro (left), Lauren Sugai (center), Katrina Shimomura (right)

67th Cherry Blossom Festival – Queen Contestants (part III)

KATRINA EIKO SHIMOMURA Parents: Karen and Arnold Shimomura High School: Mililani High School College/Degree: University of Hawai’i at Mänoa, Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering candidate Occupation: Student and Part-time Security What or who drives you to keep moving forward? “What inspires me to keep moving forward is my family. They’ve shown me strength from....
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....
Cherry Blossom Festival queen Lauren Sugai randomly drew the winning ballots of the 36th “Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen” contest. She is pictured with Hawaii Hochi, Ltd. president Taro Yoshida.

Community Focus – Queen Lauren Sugai Draws “Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contest”...

Newly crowned Cherry Blossom Festival queen Lauren Sugai drew the winning entries in the 36th “Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen” contest. Sugai pulled Käne‘ohe resident Jemalee Wong’s ballot for the first prize of a $500 travel gift certificate from Regal Travel.

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