On April 15th, volunteers and locals gathered at the Danny Woo Community Garden to celebrate Sakura Matsuri & Japantown Jazz, a Hanami festival that celebrates the beauty and symbolism of cherry blossoms in Japanese culture. This year, Karleen Ilagan of BIOM, created a soothing, immersive and meditative sound bath using gongs and singing bowls. Artist Roldy Aguero Ablao shared his healing cedar prints to commemorate the festival. Poets from Youth Speaks Seattle created free form poetry using only 3 words provided by spectators. In addition, volunteers at Danny Woo offered garden tours of the vibrant green space, showcasing its Asian vegetables and herbs.

Afterwards, local businesses Sairen and Pioneer Barber Company hosted jazz events until 10 p.m. The day’s events concluded a series of festivities taking place the week prior throughout Historic Nihonmachi, or Japantown. Participating small businesses and neighborhood partners offered specials and treats and visitors were encouraged to participate in photo contests of the flowers at peak bloom for chances to win gift cards and other limited edition Japantown merchandise.

Local Seattle artist Roldy Aguero Ablao, handing out pink envelopes with chocolate treats at Sakura Matsuri Photo by Randall Kith
Karleen Ilagan of BIOM, hits gongs for her sound bath performance Photo by Randall Kith
Artist Roldy Aguero Ablao (left), selling printed healing cedar art to attendees Photo by Randall Kith
Karleen Ilagan plays resonating bowls for her sound bath performance at Danny Woo Community Garden • Photo by Randall Kith
Karleen Ilagan (top center), of BIOM plays healing wooden chimes for spectators Photo by Randall Kith
Previous articleLongstanding Nikkei community newspaper the North American Post digitizes its 120-year history
Next articleBanned film Joyland, Pakistan’s Academy Awards nominee, sheds light on family, gender, sexuality and repression in Pakistani society