2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony
(Clockwise from top left)
Live Spectacle NARUTO
©Masashi Kishimoto, Scott/SHUEISHA/Live Spectacle “NARUTO” Production Committee 2019
“MY HERO ACADEMIA” The “Ultra” Stage
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical
©Naoko Takeuchi・PNP / Musical“Sailor Moon”Production Committee 2017
Kazunori Kumagai. Photo by Makoto Ebi.
TAIKOPROJECT. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Now through April 20, 2021, watch on demand the 2021 Opening Ceremony, which originally aired on Saturday, March 20, 2021.
Time & LocationMarch 20, 6pm EDT
The National Cherry Blossom Festival’s signature Opening Ceremony, an artistic celebration of the 1912 gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, D.C., and an annual tribute to the longstanding friendship between Japan and the United States, will be livestreamed on Saturday, March 20 at 6pm.
The lineup for this year’s Opening Ceremony includes 2.5-Dimensional Musical, LA-based taiko group TAIKOPROJECT, award-winning tap dancer Kazunori Kumagai, and the Matsumoto Arigasaki Senior High School Japanese Calligraphy Club with members of Alexandria, VA’s Hayfield Secondary School.
This event is co-organized by the National Cherry Blossom Festival and The Japan Foundation.
For more information, please click here.
2.5-Dimensional Musical casts of three popular works－Live Spectacle NARUTO, “MY HERO ACADEMIA” The “Ultra” Stage, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical－will perform special comments and Digest of the stage. 2.5-Dimensional Musical is based on Japanese manga, animation and video games. The term not only refers to musicals, but can also be applied to plays, comedies and dramas as well.
TAIKOPROEJCT was founded in 2000 in Los Angeles by a group of young, emerging taiko drummers led by Bryan Yamami and Masato Baba. The group continues to define a modern American style of taiko, blending traditional forms with an innovative and fresh aesthetic. TAIKOPROJECT has performed on the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, NBC’s “The Voice,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and more.
Kazunori Kumagai is a “True Tap Artist” (The New York Times), always searching for expression through sound and rhythm. He trained in the New York Shakespeare Festival Institute of Tap (“Funk University”), the training workshop for the hit Broadway musical Bring in da’ Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk. Since then, he has been performing and teaching all over the world, and opened his first tap dance studio, KAZ TAP STUDIO, in Japan to pass his knowledge and passion to the next generation. Kumagai is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer and the Flo-Bert Award.
The Matsumoto Arigasaki Senior High School Japanese Calligraphy Club
The Matsumoto Arigasaki Senior High School Japanese Calligraphy Club was the first-prize winner in the 12th “Shodo Performance Koshien,” a competition to determine the top high school Shodo (calligraphy) performance team in Japan. The club will appear with members of Alexandria, VA’s Hayfield Secondary School to convey a special message of friendship.