Several Japanese pop stars have been invited to the US capital Washington, DC to perform at the end of the month in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the city’s cherry blossoms festival and to thank the United States for their support after last year’s quake and tsunami.
Girl pop-band AKB48 will appear in two free concerts on March 27 and will be invited to local school, the Japanese embassy announced. Misia, a famous R&B Japanese singer who sold more than 30 million albums will perform on March 25.
Hideki Togi, who plays gagaku classical music, an old tradition at the Japanese imperial court, and a jazz orchestra from Miyagi Prefecture, one of the most affected areas by the March 2011 natural disasters, will also come on stage.
“This is one of the examples of ‘Cool Japan,’” said ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki. “I think people will enjoy it — the traditional and modern Japan, both sides of that.”
Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees in 1912 as a gift to the U.S., symbolizing friendship between the two countries. The annual festival was kept through the history despite the conflicts in the Second World War and is currently one of the biggest touristic attractions of the American capital.