Cherry Blossom Festival

The main street next to our apartment goes all the way to civic center. Standing on the sidewalk, we could see the dome of city at the end of the hill. San Francisco¡¯s summer seemed to have arrived on Sunday. Under the brilliant blue sky, we jumped on #5 bus, going to civic center to see the annual Grand Parade of Cherry Blossom Festival. $1.25 and 20 minutes later, we have arrived.

Usually a very low key and reserved group of people, the Japanese Americans finally got their day on the city¡¯s busy calendar, downed their colorful customs, and showed off their pride and joy in broad daylight. From traditional shiny white socks, straw sandals and blindingly colorful kimonos, to anima-characters, from samurais to military marching band. It was a delicious feast to the eyes.


My favorite was a group of ¡°ghost¡± from their folk tales; they wore straw coats, patched robes, and broken umbrellas. They were mischievous, slightly deformed, alternative figures, forgotten by the mainstream society, but content to be so.

Cherry Blossom Festival, Grand Parade, 2004, San Francisco.