I had been waiting an entire year to go to San Francisco’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, held in the Japan town area of the city by the bay. As I walked along the streets, the buildings changed architectural structure in dramatic fashion.
I felt like I was in another country. The beautiful cherry blossoms blooming, their significance to new beginnings and rebirth held a deep meaning of hope for all of us people celebrating.
I find a seat and get comfortable with my Sapporo as the first musical act begins. Three Japanese girls in tight-fitting dresses and high heels kick off the day with a rousing rendition of the En Vogue classic.
“I wear tight clothing and high heel shoes
It doesn’t mean that I’m a prostitute
I like rap music wear hip hop clothes
That doesn’t mean that I’m sellin’ dope
Oh please forgive me, for having straight hair
It doesn’t mean there’s another blood in my heirs
I might date another race or color
Doesn’t mean I don’t like my strong black brothers…”
San Francisco is a city that fully embraces the inclusion of all people, a philosophy the Cherry Blossom Festival fully embraces.
I am in wonder of the strength of Japanese immigrants. From the atrocities America committed during WW2 by dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the Japanese interment camps that our government imprisoned Japanese-American citizens in after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the people have not only forgiven these heinous acts, but have built a culture that has flourished and thrived.
Bonsai trees and Origami. Sushi and Karate. Culture and Pride. Free your Mind.