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Cherry Blossom Festival

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....
MariCAR adventure through the streets of Tokyo. Heather is third from right, front row. (Photos courtesy Heather Omori)

Queen Interview – “I Know Who I Am”

65th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Heather Omori Reflects on the Past Year Gwen Battad Ishikawa As any Cherry Blossom Festival queen will tell you, their year as queen was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and a whirlwind one at that. It’s been nearly a year since Heather Kiyomi Omori was crowned the 65th Cherry Blossom Festival queen.....
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...
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.....
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....
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....
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. 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....
Photo of Hawaii Hochi President, Hawaii Hochi, and Cherry Blossom Festival Queen, Melanie Carrie, drawing the contest winners for 'Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen.'

Community Focus – Winners of the “Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen”

Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Melanie Carrié visited the Hawaii Hochi offices on March 28 and drew the winning ballots for the 35th “Guess the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen” contest, assisted by Hawaii Hochi, Ltd. president Taro Yoshida (pictured above).

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