2009 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program at the Sundance Kabuki

As a part of the ongoing Cherry Blossom Festival, we had six candidates at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program last night in Japantown. Yes, there were elaborate costumes and pageantry, but don’t call it a pageant, it’s a “program.” Fair enough, on with the show.

There was a riot of color with all the kimono up on the stage at the Sundance Kabuki Theatre on Post near Fillmore:

Here’s a close-up of your complicated kimono, complete with obi sash and zoori sandals:

Master of Ceremonies George Kiriyama of KNTV NBC Bay Area San Jose Channel 3 / 11 with Mistress of Ceremonies Jana Katsuyama of KTVU Channel 2:

The mise-en-scene. It was standing room only, just like Japantown’s recent Nichi Bei Times Tofu Dessert Competition and Festival

Stephanie Masako Hata of El Cerrito, sponsored by Benihana:

Mari Masuko of San Francisco, sponsored by Union Bank of California:

Sarah Naomi Kasuga of Burlingame, sponsored by Takara Sake USA:

Margaret Cheney of Los Gatos, sponsored by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California

Eri Tagaya of Mill Valley, sponsored by the Golden Gate Optimist Club of San Francisco

Yurika Vu of Fremont, sponsored by the Nikkei Lions Club of San Francisco:

Benh Nakajo, Queen Program Advisor:

The Honorable Yasumasa Nagamine, Counsul General of Japan:

Masaaki Tanaka, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California and CEO of Union Bank of California:

You don’t see many giant checks these days:

Receiving the check are General Co-Chairs Richard Hashimoto and Allen Okamoto:

So there you have it.

[UPDATE: Here’s David Yu’s take on Flickr and on PBase.]

Six Candidates Seek Title of Cherry Blossom Queen

Six candidates for 2009 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen were introduced in San Francisco Japantown. It was noted that this year, for budgetary reasons, there will be no talent segment. Organizers hope to bring it back next year.

The six candidates are Margaret Cheney, 24, of Los Gatos, Stephanie Masako Hata, 24, of El Cerrito, Sarah Naomi Kasuga, 24, of Burlingame, Mari Masuko, 23, of San Francisco, Eri Tagaya, 24, of Mill Valley and Yurika Vu, 25, of Fremont.

See you next year!

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