Performers from all over the country and Japan come to the Sakura Matsuri to bring over 20 hours of live musical and dance performances on four stages: ANA's Riverfront 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 in the Southeast corner of the Matsuri.
Keep checking back as we bring you some late-breaking surprises!
Performers from Japan
JR.EXILE from PROJECT TARO
Jr. Exile from Project Taro was founded in 2014 with a group of young candidates were selected from highly competitive auditions in Japan to develop their talents and global appeal through an entertainment-driven educational program. Project Taro is a special three-year educational program to achieve the objectives of strong performance ability, mental strength and competitiveness on the international stage. Please welcome today’s jewels to the Sakura Matsuri stage!
Kanadete sorou is a rock band founded by the leader, Koni. Later he was joined by the vocalist Oyumi, the guitarist Chiaki, and drummer Kentarou, appearing as a group of four. They perform live with the historical background of the Meiji and Taisho Eras, dressed in traditional Japanese clothing such as kimono and hakama. They are a unique band mixing tradition with modernity. They write their own lyrics and music which are inspired by Japanese folklore and traditional tales and novels, with the wonderful modern rock sound. They are happy to be back at the Sakura Matsuri this year!
Keisho Ohno is a Tsugaru Shamisen player who mixes traditional Shamisen music with modern and rock music. He is always a challenger in aspiring nouvelle performance and high musical technique. He now has lots of fans in and outside of Japan.
La Sakura Ladies
We enjoy spreading friendship among Japan and other countries by singing beautiful Japanese folk songs, 70’s & 80’s hits, Japanese pop songs, and more!
Enjoy the new sound explored by this true enka girls trio with a Japanese heart and soul. Come hear enjoy the sound when east meets west and a new style of 3-voice harmony.
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.
The cute ‘Yuruchara’ from Hakata, Fukuoka, dances with vocaloid song ‘otagei’ style with sharp movement. She has a tiger head, but she says “I wanna be a cat”!
Kana Uemura is a Gold record-selling singer, songwriter, and guitarist from the Kansai district of Japan. She has enjoyed much success over the years with her music being featured on popular radio and TV stations across Japan as well as publishing an autobiography. 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.
Culinary Arts Pavilion
Our Culinary Arts Pavilion will feature several Japanese chefs demonstrating how to cook Japanese food throughout the day! You can learn about our presenters here.
Be a part of the Matsuri and dance the Bon Odori with us!
Come be a part of the celebration! Twice during the day, dancers will be leading the crowd in the bon odori, a traditional Japanese dance, around our Sakura Stage, which will be a yagura style stage. The bon odori is danced at bon festivals over the summer to welcome back the spirits of one’s ancestors.
This video shows the bon odori being danced at a festival in Japan:
If you would like to practice the bon odori before the Matsuri, you can watch this video and start to learn the steps yourself. Keep an eye on the schedule on our website to know when you can come dance with us!
Here is a list of all of our performing groups for this year - click on their name to go to their website for more information!
2017 National Japan Bowl and JBE Band
The participants at the 2017 National Japan Bowl, a nationwide Japanese Language and Culture Competition for High School Students organized by JASW, will be joined by the JBE Band to sing J-pop songs.
2UNE is a Japanese-American J-pop group from NYC. They perform original Japanese singles with fully choreographed dances and show of their idol-flair with beautiful, original costumes.
Anaguma Eisa: UW-Madison's Okinawan Taiko Club
Anaguma Eisa is a student organization at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that performs エイサー (eisa), a form of Okinawan folk dance that excites viewers with a fusion of dance, taiko, martial arts, and both traditional and contemporary Okinawan music.
Anime USA Cosplay Fashion Show
Anime USA, Washington DC's anime convention that takes place in the fall, displays Japanese anime inspired costumes to teach about anime and cosplay culture.
Entertainment rock show with J-Rock and anime song covers from your favorites!
Cherry Blossoms Dance Team
A collaborative dance team of US and Japanese girls who practice together online!
Fox Mill Elementary Japanese Immersion Students
Students from Fox Mill Elementary School will entertain you with a selection of Japanese songs.
Great Falls Elementary Japanese Immersion Students
Great Falls Elementary School students will be performing a number of Japanese songs on stage.
We have traveled from Japan to perform a samurai\ninja story to music and also hope to give samurai lessons.
Keisho Center Children's Choir
Washington Japanese Heritage Center will sing songs of Japan from 9th to 21st centuries to celebrate this occasion. Songs help children form linguistic foundations and, when sung well, will become lifetime, cultural and nostalgic assets.
We're a group of kendama specialists who have traveled from NYC to demonstrate our tricks and skills for you!
KuroPOP is a group of four friends from New York City who are here to give you an awesome show full of dancing, singing, and good times!
The gritty Japanese trio LUST crafts high-spirited, raw-energy J-Rock!!
Mark H Taiko
The Mark H Rooney Taiko School teaches and practices a form of Japanese drumming emphasizing the traditions of Japan while adding a contemporary element. Today's performance features Miyako Taiko, the community group affiliated with Mark H Taiko.
Miyu-san is a Japanese exchange student who will perform a beautiful Japanese fan dance with a song called "Sakura-sakura." It is one of the most iconic, recognizable Japanese traditional songs.
NCSS 2017 Cherry Blossom Queens and Princesses
Come meet the Japanese Cherry Blossom Queen, American Cherry Blossom Queen and the 2017 Cherry Blossom Princesses from the states, territories, and international embassies and enjoy their trivia contest!
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)
This ensemble combines several taiko groups from New York to bring you an energetic performance of both traditional and contemporary music.
Okinawa Cultural Performance
For the Sakura Matsuri, our performances will include a variety of dance and song. We have performers from the Washington D.C. area and Uechi ryu karate members traveling from Okinawa, Japan. Relax and enjoy this ensemble from classical court, okinawan bon, and lively children's dance (warabincha), to live music and Karate performances.
Okinawan Taiko Drummers of Wisconsin
High school students from Madison, Wisconsin will perform both modern and traditional Okinawan Taiko Drumming. They are proud to be starting their second decade of performing at the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and at the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival.
Poku Poku Boys
Poku Poku Boys is a New York mash-up of Japanese traditions with jazz, funk, and other musical styles from around the globe.
Shodo (Calligraphy) Performances
Teams of students from both Thomas Jefferson High School and The College of William and Mary will do street performances of calligraphy on a giant sheet of paper (9x16ft) with dance and music.
Studio Cooperative Chin Daiko
We perform traditional taiko drumming and traditional Okinawa style dance and Shisa. We use these to promote the understanding of the different cultures around the world.
SUNY Geneseo Japanese Culture Club
Soran Bushi (ソーラン節) is a traditional co-ed Japanese dance from Hokkaido that portrays fishermen at work. It is a very popular dance commonly taught in schools all throughout Japan.
UMCP Japanese American Student Association
JASA's two dance groups focus on both modern J-Pop dances as well as Soran Bushi, the traditional Hokkaido fishermen dance.
Washington DC Kimono Club
The Washington DC Kimono Club will demonstrate a gorgeous kimono fashion show and a dressing demonstration using different types of kimono - entertaining and educational!
The following martial arts demonstrations will take place throughout the day on our Martial Arts Stage:
Aikido of Arlington
Demonstration of a variety of techniques, including what to do to gain control if being attacked. They will also show weapons (jos/bokkens) and open handed techniques.
Capital Area Jodokai
The Capital Area Jodokai will show a 400-year-old art, Shindo Muso Ryu-jo, which illustrates the use of a a staff versus the Japanese sword. We will also demonstrate affiliated arts showcasing jutte, kusarigama, tanjo and swords.
Beginning with solo sword-drawing forms, we will then demonstrate working in pairs to demonstrate prearranged sword, staff, naginata, and spear forms.
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 centuries.
Genbukan Yamajiro Group
A demonstration of various techniques from Genbukan Ninpo and Jujutsu displaying the art of the ninja and the samurai through use of hands, grappling, weapons, stealth, and more.
JTR Jujutsu is a Dai Nippon Butoku Kai member and teaches a traditional form of Jujutsu. JTR will incorporate group techniques, sparring and weapons into the demonstration.
Kageshin Dojo - US Ninpo
Everyone knows of ninja, but not everyone knows what their martial art was truly composed of. Don’t miss this chance to see a display of shinobi and samurai martial arts skills.
KenKonKai Dojo - Japanese Sword Martial Arts
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.
Northern Virginia Isshinryu Karate Club
Students will demonstrate yraditional Okinawan Karate-Do, including kihon (basic sets), kata (defensive sets), kobudo (use of traditional Okinawan farm implements for self-defense), kumite (two person practice) and tameshiwari (testing effectiveness on solid objects).
Northern Virginia Kendokai
As part of the Capital Area Budokai, we practice Kendo which is the Japanese form of fencing which we practice as a form of physical, philosophical and psychological training which both strengthens and ennobles its students.
Kyudo - Japanese Ceremonial Archery
Come to watch a continuous rotation of group archery shooting (embu no dose) demonstrating the individual and group dynamics which kyudo demands of its practitioners.