Penn's Morris Arboretum Celebrates Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival

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Media Contact:Susan Crane | cranesj@upenn.edu | (215) 247-5777 x121April 1, 2013

This spring, the Morris Arboretum will once again host its annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Celebration, in partnership with the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia. The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is an initiative of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia with the goal of fostering a better understanding of the cultural, social and educational customs of Japan in the United States.

In the early 20th century, John and Lydia Morris (founders of the Morris Arboretum) established one of the finest collections of Japanese plants and gardens in the region at their home, Compton, which would later become the Morris Arboretum. To commemorate this heritage, the Morris Arboretum celebrates the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival with a variety of activities this April. The events are for both children and adults, and will celebrate the art, culture and gardens inspired by the 35 varieties of cherry trees that grace the Arboretum with their blossoms each spring. 

During two weekends in April - Saturday April 13th and Saturday April 20th - the Morris Arboretum will mark this unique aspect of Japan’s rich culture and heritage. 

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival events:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Experience the beauty of Morris Arboretum’s cherry tree collection in bloom.  Both Saturdays will feature traditional Japanese cultural activities.

Free with regular admission.

10am-3pm, by the Bronze Bell (nice weather) or Widener tent (rain)

Pennsylvania Bonsai Society

Bonsai, a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers, dates back more than a thousand years, and has its own aesthetics and terminology.  Learn more about this ancient tradition, and how to grow and maintain your own bonsai.  Questions are encouraged.

11am, Haha Wall (nice weather) or Widener tent (rain)

Hoh Daiko Drummers

Associated with the Seabrook Buddhist Temple in South Jersey, the Hoh Daiko drummers are known for their artful interpretations of both traditional and original music.  The beautiful drums are handcrafted by group members from wine and whiskey barrels.  Audience participation will be encouraged during this, their second appearance, at the Morris Arboretum.

12 noon, Lawn across from Widener (nice weather only)

Zen Archery Demonstration

This archery demonstration enlightens visitors about the ancient Japanese art of archery, which was regarded as the highest discipline of the Samurai warrior.  Now known as Kyudo, this exercise combines the qualities of heart and mind at the moment of the arrow’s release.

1-2 pm, Azalea Meadow (nice weather) or Upper Gallery (rain)

Traditional Japanese Tea Demonstration

The picnic tea or Chabako is a beautiful and unique form of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Featuring traditional costumes and designed to be done outdoors, there are four distinct presentations, one for each of the seasons.  Weather permitting this demonstration will be outside. 

 2-3pm

Japanese Elements Tours

To follow the Tea Demonstration, begins from Azalea Meadow or outside of Widener.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

11 am-12 pm, Two Lines (nice weather only)

Samurai Arts Group

Back by popular demand, the River of Life Martial Arts & Wellness Center will once again perform the ancient Japanese swordsmanship technique, Ken Jutsu.  Used by the samurai on the battlefield, Ken Jutsu is made up of a sophisticated method of personal combat and strategy that is adapted and applied today to find harmony in one’s life.  From these ancient lessons, the practitioner finds the ability to remain calm under pressure, to face one’s fears with strength, to have clarity in the midst of confusion and to surmount obstacles with grace.

12 noon, Lawn across from Widener (nice weather only)

Zen Archery Demonstration

This archery demonstration enlightens visitors about the ancient Japanese art of archery, which was regarded as the highest discipline of the Samurai warrior.  Now known as Kyudo, this exercise combines the qualities of heart and mind at the moment of the arrow’s release.

1–2 pm, Upper Gallery of the Widener Visitors Center

Kimono Dressing Demonstration

Young and old alike will delight in the beautiful kimonos exhibited by Fumiyo Batta.   As a "Cultural Ambassador" for the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, Mrs. Batta has given numerous classes and demonstrations, including seminars on the art of kimono, traditional Japanese attire, since the festival's inception in 1998, and has been considered a significant Japanese cultural asset in the Delaware county area for the past two decades.   As an extensive collector of kimonos, she will talk about the history of the kimono and demonstrate how to wear them. Participation from the audience will be welcomed. 

2pm – 3pm

Japanese Elements Tours

Begins outside the Widener Visitor Center.

 

For more information about any of these events, please call 215-247-5777 or visit Morris Arboretum online at www.morrisarboretum.org.

 

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is a 92-acre horticulture display garden featuring a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. Highlights include a formal rose garden, historic water features, a glass fernery, and Out on a Limb, a permanent nationally award-winning exhibit 50 feet above the ground.  Morris Arboretum’s new Horticulture Center has received Platinum Level LEED® Certification, the highest sustainability rating of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information, visit: www.morrisarboretum.org

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