19th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival honors former EC vice president


A humming bird approaches a cherry blossom tree that is blooming next to the Communications Building at El Camino College, March 24. Photo credit: Rosemary Montalvo

As spring rolls in, pink cotton ball-like flowers begin to blossom on the branches of the trees.

Cherry blossom trees are important to Japanese culture because they signify how fragile life can be, but yet it is so precious, Interim Associate Dean of the Humanities Building, Scott Kushigemachi said.

El Camino will be hosting its 19th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival outside the Student Activities Center on Thursday, March 28 from 1 to 2 p.m.

Due to construction on the north side of campus, by the Communications Building, the event is not able to take place next to the cherry trees like years before.

Former EC Vice President Dr. Nadine Ishitani Hata created the festival and helped bring the trees on campus in cooperation with American Honda Motor Company 19 years ago.

“When she passed away in 2005 it became an annual, partly memorial event to remember how she made a big difference in the college,” Kushigemachi said.

During the event, there will be 12 students who will be sharing their poetry in the Japanese poetic structure known as haiku as well as professional taiko drummers known as UnitOne of Asano Taiko U.S.

“This is from a poetry class on our campus taught by professor Rhea Lewitzki,” Kushigemachi said. “We also have professional taiko drummers who will be performing and this is the first year this particular group will be performing on campus.”

The event is free and is for everybody in the community.