Sakura Matsuri at BBG Brings Japanese Culture to Brooklyn

March 30, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN — One of Brooklyn’s most anticipated weekend events will return in late April for the 31st time: Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (April 28 and 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Tens of thousands of visitors come every year to enjoy a dynamic weekend of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture inspired by BBG’s famous collection of flowering cherry trees. Visitors will experience a program of more than 60 events and performances including dance, martial arts, manga, costume play (“cosplay”), workshops, demonstrations and guided tours of the Garden’s Japanese plant collections.

Among the dozens of offerings on the schedule for 2012 are a special  performance by renowned jazz pianist Kuni Mikami and his band, who will interpret traditional Japanese folk songs using  jazz forms. Morning Musuko, a 15-member big band, returns by popular demand, playing a standalone set in addition to scoring the dazzling Cosplay Fashion Show.

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The fashion show, which will close the festival for the third year in a row, will feature more than a dozen unique renditions of Japanese manga and anime characters — all painstakingly hand-fashioned by dedicated participants exclusively for this event.

Other returning favorites include performances by Okinawan pop stars happyfunsmile and the martial arts ensemble Samurai Sword Soul.

Manga and anime activities include a live collaboration between Veronica Taylor (the voice of Pokémon) and artist Misako Rocks!

Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29. All activities take place rain or shine, with indoor locations provided for some activities in the event of rain.

A detailed schedule for the festival will soon be available at

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