Event today celebrates cherry blossoms, friendship

Annual Sakura Festival taking place at Clark College

By Troy Wayrynen, Columbian staff writer

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Cherry blossoms and a long-standing friendship between Vancouver and Japan will be celebrated at Clark College today.

At 1 p.m. today, the college and community will celebrate the annual Sakura Festival, honoring ties of friendship between Vancouver and sister city Joyo, Japan.

Many of the events take place under the trees at the Royce E. Pollard Friendship Garden on campus.

The ceremony will include Yukiko Vossen playing a koto, the national instrument of Japan. The Clark College Women's Ensemble also will perform from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Gaiser Student Center.

Guests will be offered a formal tea ceremony and a taiko drum performance. In 1990, Atsushi "John" Kageyama, then-president of America Kotobuki in Vancouver, presented 100 Shirofugen cherry trees to Vancouver, and they were planted on the campus. He is expected to be a guest of honor today.

Last year, Clark College dedicated the Royce E. Pollard Friendship Garden, a gift from Chihiro Kanagawa, the chief executive of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., the parent company of Vancouver's SEH America.