Cherry Blossom Festival


20th Ohanami | Cherry Blossom Festival
April 16 & 17, 2021

Presented by the BGSU Japanese Club, Japanese Program and the Asian Studies Program

The Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Japanese culture and customs. This year's festival will take place online with live participation from Japan and the United States. Join us for individual events or for the entire festival.

Ohanami | Cherry Blossom Festival Schedule

Friday, April 16


7:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m.) Origami for Beginners

Let’s try origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. We will make a box and a bird. Origami is a fun activity for all ages! Please bring some sheets of square paper to the session. Feel free to join in with your family and friends.

7:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m.) Opening Ceremony

8:00 p.m. (9:00 a.m.) Shamisen, Koto & Shinobue Performance from Japan

Come and enjoy a special concert of shamisen and koto recorded only for the ohanami event! Shamisen is a three-stringed musical instrument shaped like a guitar and koto is a Japanese type of zither. The professional performers will be with us live online to talk about shamisen and koto.

Saturday, April 17


2:00 p.m. (3:00 a.m.) Hands-on Games

Join us as we play a few Japanese games over Zoom.

3:00 p.m. (4:00 a.m.) Taiko Performance

Join Kazenodaichi Taiko Ensemble to learn the art of taiko drumming! Using videos of their favorite performances, they will be live online to teach you the basics of learning taiko including form, rhythm, and ways you can keep yourself active and engaged even while at home! 

4:00 p.m. (5:00 a.m.) Advanced Origami Live Demonstration

Origami artist Rob Snyder will demonstrate the art of paper folding while answering audience questions about paper folding, origami history, culture, STEM applications, and more. 

5:00 p.m. (6:00 a.m.) Japanese Puppetry Live Demonstration

Bradford Clark will talk about traditional Japanese puppetry, show images, present performance clips, and demonstrate puppets. He studied performance and carving with experts in Japan. 


7:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m.) Hands-on Games

Join us as we play a few Japanese games over Zoom.

8:00 p.m. (9:00 a.m.) Rakugo

Enjoy Rakugo, a traditional Japanese form of solo storytelling with a folding paper fan and a folded handkerchief as props. Master Shoto will introduce Rakugo in English and Japanese.


BGSU Arts and Sciences

For more information, contact Akiko Kawano Jones at or 419-575-8999

History of BGSU Cherry Trees

In the 1990s the alumni chapter in Tokyo, led by Mr. Emori, came up with the idea of donating sakura trees to BGSU. His vision was to create a site similar to the Washington, D.C. Potomac River cherry trees. In 2001, the dream finally came true. The alumni in Tokyo donated about 50 Japanese cherry trees to BGSU with the dream of having a wonderful park on campus some time in the future. The following year a Japanese company, Tochigi-Fuji, which used to be located in Bowling Green, donated an additional 20 trees. We also have three trees from Washington, D.C.’s original cuttings, which were a gift from the City of Tokyo to the U.S. during the Presidency of William Taft. BGSU’s tree-planting ceremony included a visit by Hope Taft, First Lady of Ohio at the time.

In 2010, Dowa THT America, a Japanese company in Bowling Green, donated 10 more trees to celebrate the 10th anniversary.

The BGSU cherry trees are visible on the north side of Alumni Mall near Kreischer quadrangle.