JAPAN-AMERICA SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON, INC. 202-833-2210 info@jaswdc.org

Performers from all over the country and Japan come to the Sakura Matsuri to bring over 30 hours of live musical and dance performances on four stages: ANA‘s Capitol Stage, the Sakura Stage, and our J-POP Stage.

In addition, over 200 martial artists will be demonstrating their skills all day on the Martial Arts Stage.



Star Alliance

“I brought a taiko drum from Japan for the traditional music performances!" – Sakura-chan
Performers from Japan
Kiwi & The PapayaMangoes
This is Tact Hirose's artistic project creating "Tokyo Down Town Rare groove"! Kiwi & The PapayaMangoes a.k.a. "KPM" is a Tokyo-based collective of traditional and experimental musicians that formed in 2009. The group combines the musical style of Japanese traditional/modern dance-pop music and some immigrant's music (Brazillian forró, Indian traditional, African etc.) with elements of reggae&dub. folk, funk, and rock.
Kana Uemura is a Gold record-selling singer, songwriter, and guitarist from the Kansai district of Japan. She is best known for her song "Goddess of the Bathroom”, an acoustic ballad about her grandmother, which became a #1 hit in 2010. That year she also won two Japan Record Awards: Best Song and Best Songwriter of the Year with her album “Pieces of Me”. She credits Julie Andrews performance in The Sound of Music as her inspiration to write, sing, and play music. Since signing with King Records in 2005, Kana Uemura has released nine studio albums, thirteen singles, an English songs cover album, and 16 music videos.
Tamagawa University Dance and Taiko Group
It is our annual honor to welcome Tamagawa University Dance and Taiko Group to the Sakura Matsuri. Their thundering taiko drumming merged with traditional Japanese dancing is a perennial favorite! Enjoy the new performances of drummers and dancers from Tamagawa University, one of the top-ranking taiko groups in Japan who are students at Japan's top performing arts university.
D. A. K.
Awa Odori is the most famous of many dance festivals held across Japan during the Obon season in mid-August. Awa is the former name for Tokushima Prefecture while Odori meansdance. A team of Awa Odori dancers will be coming to Sakura Matsuri this year.
Samurai Sword Soul
Samurai Sword Soul is the only theater company in New York which employs TATE (Japanese sword stage fighting) in their demonstrations and samurai dramas. SSS’s mission is to spread the Bushi-Do, The Way of the Samurai, and to introduce TATE to people who are not familiar with it. SSS believes their samurai spirits reach the audiences of all ethnicities, ages, and genders. They regard the Samurai Virtues: Rectitude (義 gi), Courage (勇yū), Benevolence (仁 jin), Respect (礼 rei), Honesty (誠 makoto), Honor (名誉 meiyo), and Loyalty (忠義 chūgi) as the code of conduct that is still relevant in our time.
Martial Arts
  • Aikido of Arlington
    Will demonstrate a variety of techniques, from both taijitsu (no weapons) or budo, with tanto, joken- what to do if attacked to gain control of the situation
  • Capital Area Jodokai
    We practice Shindo Muso Ryu in Alexandria, VA. We practice with walking stick, sword, jutte(truncheon), and kusarigama(sickle and chain).
  • Capital Katori
    Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu is a Japanese sword discipline, which has been passed down unbroken over 600 years. Its purpose is to develop awareness of oneself and one’s opponent(s) in space, while moving at changing velocities, escalating pressures, and constantly shifting strategies. (2018)
  • Hobyokai / Hobyokan Classical Japanese Martial Arts
    We will be demonstrating classical swordsmanship and a variety of other weapons systems created by the Samurai during the 16th and 17th century.
  • JTR Jujitsu
    JTR participated last year and we had a great time. We think that the format will be likely the same – highlighting both the children’s program and the adult program – to include self defense techniques, partner sparring and a weapons demonstration.
  • Kenkonkai: Traditional Japanese Swordsmanship
    Part of the Capital Area Budokai and Jodokai, come and appreciate a demonstration of Japanese sword kata and cutting from Nakamura Ryu Batto-o and Mugai Ryu Iaihyo-do.
  • Kyudo – Japanese Ceremonial Archery
    Kyudo – Japanese Ceremonial Archery
    A non-competitive, non-combative martial art that trains the student to calm the mind and balance the body.
  • Northern Virginia Isshinryu Karate Club / I shin ryu kara te do
    A comprehensive fitness and self-defense program. Its purpose is to provide qualified instruction in Karate, self-defense and the principles of traditional martial arts through training in Okinawan Isshinryu Karate. Classes are held through the Burke Centre Conservancy at the Ponds Community Center
  • Northern Virginia Kendokai
    Kendo is the Japanese form of fencing with roots in the sword arts of ancient Japan. It disciplines the human character through the application of the principles of the sword. (2019)
  • Traditional Karate Uechi Ryu
  • Yamajiro Dojo
    A traditional Japanese martial arts school blended with modern fighting systems. Styles taught are Jujutsu, Ninjutsu, Karate, Aikijutsu. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a plethora of different weapons. (2019)
Performing Arts
  • Anime USA Cosplay Fashion Show
    Anime USA, Washington DC’s anime convention that takes place in the fall, displays Japanese anime inspired costumes and trivia to teach about cosplay culture.
  • CheeRing School Japan, and Capitol Movement Inc, DC.
    Capitol Movement is DC local, and kids dance, hip hop group called CMI Kidz. We both are learning dance Japanese moves and musics and American moves and music. Some kids are all the way from Japan for Cherry Blossom Festival parade and Japan street festival. (2019)
  • Fox Mill Elementary Japanese Immersion Students
    We perform songs they have learned in school. Some students are native Japanese speakers, but most are not. They start learning Japanese in first grade at Fox Mill and can continue all the way through High School. They love singing Japanese songs, and it is very nice to hear.
  • Great Falls Elementary Japanese Immersion Students
    Students enrolled in the Great Falls Elementary School Japanese Immersion Program will perform a number of Japanese songs. Great Falls Elementary School (GFES) is one of two public schools in Fairfax County that offer Japanese langauage immersion, wherein students learn the math and science elementary school curriculum in Japanese.
  • Japanese Culture Club at SUNY Geneseo
    a culture club that aims to spread Japanese culture throughout our campus and beyond. We will be preforming a traditional fisherman dance called ‘Nanchu Soran Bushi.’
  • JBE Band
    JBE (Japan Business Embassy)バンドは商工会と大使館員による官民連携のバンドです
  • Keisho Center Children’s Choir
    Washington Japanese Heritage Center (Keisho Center) will sing traditional and modern songs of Japan to celebrate this occasion. Our singing program is an engaging way for students to learn Japanese language and culture. Please join us!
  • KuroPOP
    KuroPOP is an all-girl cover group from New York. Join them as they bridge the gap between cultures with music and dance!
  • Lotus Verry
  • LUST
    High-spirited, raw-energy, modern Japanese-Rock trio!
  • Miyako Taiko from The Mark H Taiko School
    Miyako Taiko is a community taiko group affiliated with Mark H Taiko that performs their own dynamic version of contemporary American taiko.
  • NCSS 2019 Cherry Blossom Queens and Princesses
    Come meet the Japanese Cherry Blossom Queen, American Cherry Blossom Queen and the 2019 Cherry Blossom Princesses from the states, territories, and international embassies and enjoy their trivia contest!
  • Nen Daiko
    Enjoy the performance of a mix of traditional festival songs as well as more contemporary compositions that use taiko, fue (bamboo flute), and other narimono (percussion instruments).
  • New York Taiko Aiko Kai (NYTAK)
    New York Taiko Aiko Kai (NYTAK) is one of the Taiko groups in residence as part of the TC Taiko Society at Teachers College, Columbia University and New York Suwa Taiko Association. It began in 2002 when a few families at an Upper West Side public school began practicing Taiko with a hope to pass Japanese culture to their American born children. The group has always been family oriented, but many adults have also joined the group. NYTAK performs both traditional Japanese and contemporary style of taiko. NYTAK has performed at various schools and institutions, including the Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Japan Day in Central Park and public and private schools in New York metropolitan area.
  • Okinawa Cultural Performance
    This group brings the essence of rich Okinawa/Ryukyu culture to the stage. Join our presentation and enjoy a collaboration of traditional court dance, music, eisa dance, and karate.
  • Okinawan Taiko Drummers of Wisconsin
    The Okinawan Taiko Drummers of Wisconsin, along with Chin Daiko and Rockville Ryukyu Taiko of Maryland, perform drum-dances that originate in Okinawa, Japan. This is the 15th year in a row that these groups have performed in the National Cheery Blossom Parade and the Sakura Matsuri.
  • Rie Tamuro
    Tamuro Rie is 25 years old singer song writer from Nara. She plays guitar and sings original songs.
  • Thomas Jefferson HS for Sci & Tech
    High school students will perform artistic form of calligraphy on a giant piece of paper with dance and music
  • University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) – Soran Bushi Squad
    University of Maryland’s Japanese American Student Association’s Soran Bushi squad has been active for over 7 years performing the dance multiple times each spring.
  • WJLS Fab Chorus Plus Koto
    Japanese Traditional Music
  • Yamada Ryubu Kenkyujo (Okinawan Dance and Music)
    Classical Okinawan Koto performance; members also play other instruments (sanshin, taiko) and dance Traditional Ryukyuan dance
  • Yosakoi Dance Project – 10tecomai
    10Tecomais styles of dance is known as “Yosakoi" which originated in teh Kochi prefecture of Japan. Its positive, uplifting, high-energy movements are the defining qualities of Yosakoi dance. For over 13 yrs, they have continued to spread knowledge about Yosakoi across the United States.
  • Ai’s Sakura Band
    Ai Yamashita leads special band!!! J-Pop, Cartoon song, Enka etc. Ai Yamashita from Japan, a pianist, composer and arranger is leading her special band “Ai’s Sakura Band.” They will perform Ai’s original compositions and arrangements that related to Sakura and Japan.