Initiated by a gift of 1,000 cherry trees to the city of Seattle from Japan’s former Prime Minister Takeo Miki in 1976, the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people from around the country. The nonprofit festival is the oldest and largest of its kind in the region and is designed to be a life-enriching experience in celebration of the relationship between the people of Japan and the Pacific Northwest. Free to the public, the three-day event April 12-14 will immerse visitors in the rich cultural heritage of Japan, offering educational programs, artistry such as calligraphy, sumi-e and origami, Japanese traditional music and live performances. Hanami, translated as “cherry blossom viewing,” is strongly encouraged as a reminder to celebrate life. See