Brooklyn Botanic Garden's 35th Annual Sakura Matsuri

On the weekend of April 30th-May 1st, Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosted its 35th Annual Sakura Matsuri, and with record breaking attendance on opening day!

Rain or shine, and with its collection of sakura blossom trees in peak bloom, it was a weekend filled with 60 events and performances to celebrate Japanese culture.

One of the highlights on BBG’s Main Stage included a performance by Cobu that combines traditional taiko drumming and tap to create a unique and lively art with an urban twist of New York. It was a very high-energy and enthusiastic group!

 Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce                                                                                                      

Next up was DanceJapan with Sachiyo Ito & Company, who for more than 40 years has brought the delicate and powerful art of classical, traditional and contemporary Japanese dance to New York. The performance was a beautiful display of Kabuki Buyō, a mix of dance and pantomime. Fitting of the matsuri, the company graced the stage with “Sakura,” a traditional folk song depicting spring, the season of the cherry blossoms.

Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce
Photo by Bennie Pierce

At the Osbourne Garden “J-Lounge,” many artists and vendors lined up to display and sell their wares. Among the list of vendors were artist Jed Henry, author Abby DensonWuhao Tenugui ArtTogei Kyoshitsu Ceramics Studio, and J+B Design & Cafe. Workshops and signings were also held as well as a Manga Journal where matsuri guests could draw and leave their artwork displayed for all to see.

Wuhao Tenugui Art
Artist Jed Henry
Author Abby Denson
Book signing of her book ‘Cool Japan Guide’ with author Abby Denson
J-Lounge Manga Journal

In addition, in the BBG Tea Center, they held traditional tea ceremonies and lectures, and there were many other events throughout the garden grounds. Be sure to attend BBG’s Sakura Matsuri every Spring! Each year is better than the last!

To see more photos from Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri 2016, please see JapanCulture•NYC’s Flickr page.

For video of the performances discussed in this article, be sure to visit JapanCulture•NYC’s Youtube channel.