UA Sakura Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama Capstone International Center will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Sakura Festival with cultural events during March.
Just 25 years ago, the Sakura Festival was almost unknown in the Tuscaloosa community, but since its inception, many people have come together to celebrate Japanese culture and the festival.
The Sakura Festival is held to observe the time of ohanami, which is the viewing of the cherry blossoms and a reminder of the enduring nature of life. In contemporary Japan, friends gather whenever the cherry trees, or sakura, blossom. The overarching theme of this year’s festival is jonetsu, or passion.
The schedule for the 2011 Sakura Festival includes:
The Haiku Contest
The deadline for the annual Haiku Contest is March 8. Submissions may be in either Japanese or English, with English submissions limited to Alabama citizens only. For an application, go to http://www.bama.ua.edu/~jprogram/sakura/Haiku_Contest.html
Sakura Festival at The Children’s Hands-On Museum
Throughout the month of March, the Children’s Hands-On Museum will celebrate the Sakura Festival with special activities, displays and its Japanese House exhibit, an authentic replica of a traditional Japanese home. Built of natural materials from Japan, the house represents the Japanese perception of beauty, which emphasizes simplicity and closeness to nature. The CHOM Creation Station will also offer the following Japanese-inspired art activities on each Saturday of the month:
Saturday, March 5 – Cherry Blossom Pictures
Saturday, March 12 – Watercolor Nature Scenes
Saturday, March 19 – Origami Samurai Helmets
Saturday, March 26 – Original Imperial Couple Dolls
Doll Festival/Hina Matsuri Exhibit
This exhibit, which will be held in 121-F B.B. Comer Hall at the UA Capstone International Center, will display dolls that represent the traditional Japanese royal court. Handed down from generation to generation, the dolls provide viewing pleasure for family and friends. The Doll Festival was originally a purification ritual that represented a day of hope for the growth, happiness and future of young girls. For more information, call the UA Capstone International Center at 205/348-5256.
Hanga: Two Hundred Years of Japanese Woodblock Prints
This gallery will be opened daily on a limited basis from March 3 to March 30 in the UA Ferguson Center Art Gallery. Included in this exhibit are examples of ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world,” from the 17th to 19th centuries by well-known masters such as Utamaro, Hiroshige and Hokusai. The exhibit will feature modern work from 20th century masters as well. For more information or to view the gallery by appointment, contact Dr. Catherine Pagani at 205/348-9944.
Sakura Festival at the Tuscaloosa Public Library
The Tuscaloosa Public Library, located at 1801 Jack Warner Parkway, will hold the events listed below at its branches during the month of March. Admission is free for all events, and more information is available from the Youth Services Department at 205/348-5820 x231.
- Anime Movie and Candy Sushi
Tuesday, March 8, 4:30 p.m. – Main Library
Tuesday, March 15, 5 p.m. – Brown Library
Thursday, March 17, 5:30 p.m. – Weaver Bolden Library
- Nozomi Daiko Taiko Drum Ensemble
Wednesday, March 9, 10 a.m. – Weaver Bolden Library
Tuesday, March 15, 10 a.m. – Main Library
Thursday, March 24, 10 a.m. – Brown Library
Matsuri in the Mall
“Matsuri in the Mall” offers another opportunity for the Tuscaloosa community to experience Japanese culture. Taking place on Saturday, March 26, at 11 a.m. in University Mall, Matsuri will feature a variety of cultural exhibits and performances. For more information about the performances or booth activities, contact the UA Capstone International Center at 205/348-5256.
Art Contest at Tuscaloosa Sister Cities Commission
“Shaping Your Community for a Green Future,” is the theme for this year’s art contest, and the entry deadline is Friday, March 11. The contest is open to children from kindergarten through 12th grades from Narashino, Japan, Schorndorf, Germany, the Sunyani/Techiman region, Ghana and all Tuscaloosa City schools. Each entry will fall under the elementary, middle school or high school category and will be displayed in the Center Court of University Mall and during Matsuri in the Mall on March 26. Winning artwork may be selected to compete for cash prizes and national recognition in the 2011 Sister Cities International Young Artist Competition. More information is available from Lisa Keyes at 205/343-0100 or email@example.com
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.