Jerald L. Fox
director, Office of International Education, 308.865.8246 or foxj@unk.edu

The third annual Sakura Japanese Festival on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus is set for Friday, April 28, from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Hostetler Amphitheatre, located just east of the Fine Arts Building.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is hosted jointly by the UNK Office of International Education and the National Collegiate Network (NCN) Foundation.
UNK Senior Vice Chancellor Finnie Murray will welcome guests to the festival on behalf of the campus, and Councilman Stan Clouse will give a formal greeting on behalf of the City of Kearney. Jerald Fox, director of International Education at UNK, will talk about “Sakura and UNK.” He will be followed by Ryo Aoyama, who will tell about the Japanese Association at Kearney (JAK). UNK student Kiyoka Hattori will share the history of the Sakura Festival.
Entertaining those who attend the festival will be the The Japanese Chorus, directed by Shinta Takehana.
A variety of traditional Japanese foods will be served. Among the desserts will be Ajinomeisake Wagashi, Sakuramochi Wagashi, Midori Daifuku, Tsubuan Monaka, Mitarashi Kushidango and Furikake. They will all be served with rice balls, yakitori and California rolls. Cold green tea and hot barley tea will be served to drink.  
According to Fox, the Sakura festival celebrates the blooming of the Sakura trees (a type of cherry tree), which is a symbol of the beginning of spring in Japan. Over the past three years, UNK and the NCN Foundation have been planting cherry trees on the UNK campus as a sign of friendship between the U.S. and Japan. Six more trees will be planted this year, bringing the combined total to more than 45 trees.  
The event is free and open to the public.