Tuscaloosa’s Annual Sakura Festival

Since 1987, Tuscaloosa’s Annual Sakura Festival celebrates and provides Japanese cultural enrichment in the form of educational demonstrations and fun activities for all ages.

In traditional Japanese thought, the time of ohanami, or viewing of the cherry blossoms reminds one of the paradoxically fleeting yet enduring nature of life, which is symbolized in the single moment that a cherry blossom petal detaches itself to float earthward. In contemporary Japan, friends gather whenever the cherry trees blossom. They meet to celebrate and recognize the beauty of sakura, friendship, and good vibes under the billowy pink branches.

Read the latest winning haikus including entries from our Japanese sister city, Narashino-city of the Chiba Prefecture!

Check out Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International’s Facebook page to learn about cultural exchanges and programs!

Everything you need to know about this year’s Sakura Festival and Haiku Contest including demonstrations and activities.

A tradition began in 2005...

when our friends in Narashino-city designed and manufactured an uchiwa (traditional Japanese fan) to hand out at our local festival. Each is unique and represents the year’s theme in Japanese calligraphy and design. Superintendent Mr. Yoshihito Uematsu provided us with stunning calligraphy until Eihaku Iba sensei began providing us with his works in 2014. Iba sensei is the Executive Director for Yomiuri Shohokai, an organization with over 6,000 executive calligraphers and one of the largest public calligraphy exhibitions in Japan.

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