Kick-off the 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival and watch world-renowned performers as we welcome springtime to Washington, DC!

Celebrate the anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan to the United States while enjoying spirited traditional and contemporary performances in the historic Warner Theatre, made possible by DENSO International America Inc.

“Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” The Super Live

One of the most popular manga of all time, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, written by Naoko Takeuchi, debuted in Nakayosi, a leading girls’ comic magazine published by Kodansha, in 1991.

As a new type of performance based on this series, “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” The Super Live has clearly distinguished itself from a conventional musical. The full eighty-minute performance, with an overwhelming sense of speed, dance, images and special effects, premiered in Tokyo in August 2018 and again in Paris in November 2018, and was highly praised.

The cast members of the show will make their North American debut at the 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony, where special selections from the show are performed. With its themes of love, justice and friendship, the musical features an all-female cast; male characters are also played by women.

Ikuko Kawai Ensemble

Violinist and composer Ikuko Kawai will present an original interpretation of Japan’s famous The Tale of Genji, accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments. The Tale of Genji was written in the eleventh century by a woman in the Japanese royal court, and is often called the world’s first novel. Joining Ikuko Kawai in tonight’s ensemble are Tomoka Nagasu (shakuhachi and biwa), Miho Yoshiba (25-string koto), and Toshihiko Kato (nohkan and tsuzumi).

Ikuko Kawai

Since her debut as a violinist, Ms. Ikuko Kawai has been performing with renowned artists from different fields such as Myung-whun Chung (legendary conductor), José Carreras (world famous tenor) and Tetsuya Kumakawa (former principal dancer of The Royal Ballet).

Kawai has performed at prestigious venues all over the world: Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall (Istanbul), Royal Albert Hall (London) and Opéra Bastille (Paris). She also has a plethora of achievements as a composer and her original albums “The Red Violin” and “La Japonaise” are bestsellers in Japan. Moreover, Kawai has created music for TV dramas, advertisements and films; the music she composed for the film “A Chorus of Angels” won the Best Music Award of the 36th Japan Academy Awards.

Her music is popular among the top figure skaters in the world; Japan’s premier skater, Yuzuru Hanyu, skated to Kawai’s “White Legend,” while Kanako Murakami chose “Violin Muse” for one of her performances. Kawai earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tokyo University of the Arts. Currently, she is a professor at Osaka University of Arts.

Yusaku Mochizuki (Mochi)

With thrilling showmanship, Mochi raises the bar of live performance: incorporating tap dance, video art, LED diabolos, digital poi sticks, original music, and cutting-edge tech with world-champion skills, he is an outstanding entertainer for the 21st century who puts his entire body and soul into every show.

Characterized by the precise control, dynamic range, and passionate expressive force of his work as he has taken juggling far beyond the circus and the street, Mochi has performed on many of the greatest  stages in the world. Born in Shizuoka, Japan, Mochi started juggling when he was 13 years old and has previously been a member of the internationally-renowned performing arts company enra that fuses motion graphics with multi-genre dance, martial arts, and juggling. Mochi has enjoyed presenting his act on TV as well as at festivals, theaters, and prestigious events worldwide, including the Cannes International Film Festival, TEDx, Daidogei World Cup, Cirque du Demain, Dollywood, Lunas del Auditorio, multiple USA tours, and a performance for the International Olympic Committee in Tokyo hosted by the Prime Minister of Japan . 


In 2015 Mochi achieved his dream, winning gold at the International Jugglers’ Association individual world championship to officially become the world’s top diabolo artist. In 2018 he was a much-loved contestant on the hit TV show America’s Got Talent, and he reached the Quarterfinals with multiple standing ovations from the celebrity judges and audiences alike.

The 6821 Quintet

The 6821 Quintet is supported by the Ryuji Ueno Foundation. The Ryuji Ueno Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2015, dedicated to supporting excellence in classical music, broadening its relevance to new audiences, and furthering innovation in the arts. The foundation supports individual artists to develop and explore their talent and achieve their full potential through a number of programs, including the Evermay Concert Series and the Potomac Music Lab. The members include:

  • Eric Silberger – Violin I
  • Shizuka Inoue – Violin II
  • Andrew Gonzalez – Viola
  • Clancy Newman – Cello/Composer
  • Ryo Yanagitani – Piano

Skylark Circus

Skylark Creative Group is one of Washington, D.C.’s leading entertainment production companies for special events. Founded by DMV-native, Kathleen Sullivan Nelson, Skylark creates exhilarating custom theatrical performances featuring dancers, acrobats, musicians, and other performing artists. Skylark’s signature productions use visually-dazzling spectacles of physical ability, inventive costumes, props and multimedia to tell unique stories.




Metro Center


To request wheelchair seating or hearing-impaired seating (requiring an ASL interpreter), contact the National Cherry Blossom Festival ticket manager at Wheelchair and hearing-impaired seating requests are limited to two per patron.
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