Sakura-Con

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Sakura-Con
Sakura-Con logo.
Status Active
Genre Anime, Manga, Gaming[1][2]
Venue Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Location(s) Seattle, Washington
Country United States
Inaugurated 1998
Attendance 21,457 in 2012
Organized by Asia-Northwest Cultural Education Association (ANCEA)[3]
Filing status 501(c)(3)[3]
Website
www.sakuracon.org

Sakura-Con is an annual three-day anime convention held during March or April at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, Washington. The convention, which is traditionally held over Easter weekend, is the largest anime convention in the Northwest and is the 8th largest North American anime convention as of 2013.[4][5] It is organized by the volunteer Asia-Northwest Cultural Education Association (ANCEA).[6]

Programming[edit]

The convention typically offers anime game shows, anime music video contest, art show, artist alley, dances/raves, collectible card gaming, cosplay chess, exhibitors hall, fashion show, Japanese cultural arts and presentations (aikido demonstrations, kabuki performances, kendama play, kendo swordsmanship, taiko drumming, tea ceremonies), Japanese pop and rock concerts, karaoke, masquerade ball, panels, table top RPG gaming, video gaming (arcade, console, PC), 24-hour video theaters.[2][5][6][7][8][9] The convention runs programming for 24 hours a day.[5][10]

In 2002 the charity auction benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation and raised $4,560.[7] The 2010 charity auction also benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation raised $27,000.[11] The convention before holding fundraisers at the 2012 event raised $90,000 for Tsunami relief.[12]

History[edit]

Sakura-Con in 2006.

Sakura-Con's roots are from within the local science fiction convention community. A number of anime fans who had decided that there was not enough anime content represented at conventions such as Norwescon, hatched the plan for an anime convention in a Tacoma, Washington anime video rental store.[13] Originally named Baka!-Con, (baka or ばか is Japanese for idiot,) the first convention was held at the Double Tree Inn in Tukwila, Washington in 1998.[14] In 2000, Baka!-Con changed its name to Sakura-Con, (sakura or 桜 (alternately: さくら) is Japanese for cherry blossom).[1]

In 2002 the convention utilized 70 percent of the convention space at the Seattle Airport Hilton & Conference Center along with having county representatives and the local Japanese Consulate General speak at opening ceremonies.[7] Several guests canceled appearances in 2003, Yoko Ishida and Maria Yamamoto due to Pioneer company policy on traveling during international strife, and Akitaro Daichi and Atsushi Okuda.[15] The 2004 convention had a warm body attendance cap of 4,500 people.[16] In 2005 Sakura-Con had to limit its attendance to 5,100 and turned people away, resulting in the convention's move to the Washington State Convention & Trade Center.[17]

The event ran for over 55 hours in 2007 and had 1,200 hours of programming, with only about half the attendees being from the Seattle area.[1] Tatsunori Konno, the CEO of Bandai Visual USA, was heavily questioned about the company's pricing polices during their 2007 panel.[18] In 2009 the event included five concerts, three dances, an large gaming area, seven theaters, and over 1,000 hours of programming.[10][19] Registration line waits of three hours or more occurred due to the convention's growth.[8] Sakura-Con in 2009 brought an estimated $13 million to the Seattle economy.[20]

The convention covered six floors in 2010 and included six gaming rooms, seven panel rooms, and five video rooms.[11] At the opening ceremonies a wedding proposal occurred between two staff members. The Dazzle Vision and High and Mighty Color concert had over 4,000 attendees. Exist Trace's concert in 2011 drew over 3,000 attendees.[21] Before the 2012 convention around 12,000 attendees pre-registered.[22] Sakura-Con 2013 had the second largest impact of area conventions, adding $19 million to the local economy.[23] During the 2014 convention a cosplayer was held up at the nearby Freeway Park.[24]

Event history[edit]

Dates Location Attendance Guests
April 24–26, 1998 Double Tree Inn
Tukwila, Washington
313 Tony Butler, Bruce Duffy, Dr. Antonia Levi, Stu Levy, Sam Liebowietz, Neil Nadelman, and Ron Scovil.[25]
April 23–25, 1999 Double Tree Inn
Tukwila, Washington
553 Yushin Daiko, Tiffany Grant, Tristan MacAvery, and Stan Sakai.[26]
March 31 – April 2, 2000 Double Tree Inn
Tukwila, Washington
866 Yushin Daiko, Sandy Fox, Tiffany Grant, Lex Lang, Dr. Antonia Levi, Tristan MacAvery, Doug Smith, and Taka Koto Ensemble.[27]
April 27–29, 2001 Holiday Inn and Convention Center
Everett, Washington
1,519 Steve Bennett, Hiroki Hayashi, Mitsutaka Iguchi, Pamela Lauer, Dr. Antonia Levi, Mary Ohno & The Kabuki Academy, Lorraine Reyes, Lia Sargent, and Taka Koto Ensemble.[28]
April 26–28, 2002 Seattle Airport Hilton & Conference Center
Seattle, Washington
2,328 Johnny Yong Bosch, Jessica Calvello, Pamela Lauer, Dr. Antonia Levi, Hiroshi Nagahama, Norio Shioyama, Tsunami Taiko, and Masakazu Yonemura.[29]
April 4–6, 2003 Seattle Airport Hilton & Conference Center
Seattle, Washington
3,023 Fred Gallagher, Hilary Haag, Yukio Kikukawa, Hiroshi Nagahama, Michelle Ruff, Susumu Sakurai, Hidakazu Shimamura, and Yoshinobu Yamakawa.[30]
April 23–25, 2004 Seattle Airport Hilton &
Sea-Tac Marriott Hotel
Seattle, Washington
4,775 yoshitoshi ABe, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Akitaroh Daichi, Michael Dobson, Fred Gallagher, Jerry Holkins, Hiroki Kikuta, Mike Krahulik, Scott McNeil, Hiroshi Nagahama, Monica Rial, Kaeko Sakamoto, Run Sasaki, Eric P. Sherman, Hiroko "hiro" Shimabukuro, Yasuyuki Ueda, and Yoshihiko Umakoshi.[31]
April 8–10, 2005 Seattle Airport Hilton &
Sea-Tac Marriott Hotel
Seattle, Washington
4,745 Angela, Tom Bateman, Greg Dean, Jerry Holkins, Kumiko Kato, Hiroki Kikuta, Mike Krahulik, Hiroshi Nagahama, Ikue Ohtani, Run Sasaki, Tatsuo Sato, Travis Willingham, and Tommy Yune.[32]
March 24–26, 2006 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
8,300 The 404s, Katie Bair, Ippongi Bang, Jessica Boone, Camino, Fred Gallagher, Michael "Piano Squall" Gluck, Jerry Holkins, Takanori Hoshino, Takahiro Kimura, Mike Krahulik, Hideyuki Kurata, Tony Oliver, Run Sasaki, Stephanie Sheh, Goro Taniguchi, David Vincent, and David Williams.[33]
April 6–8, 2007 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
11,000 A-Key-Kyo, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Akitaroh Daichi, Michael "Piano Squall" Gluck, K.T. Gray, Shawn Handyside, Kouta Hirano, Jerry Holkins, Jeph Jacques, Kyle Jones, Jonathan Klein, Mike Krahulik, Hideyuki Kurata, Jason Liebrecht, LiN Clover, Sam Logan, Vic Mignogna, Move, Hiroshi Nagahama, Kaori Nazuka, Yasuhiro Nightow, Liam O'Brien, Monica Rial, Rooster Teeth Productions, Carrie Savage, Sumi Shimamoto, Doug Smith, Spike Spencer, John Swasey, and Toshifumi Yoshida.[34]
March 28–30, 2008 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
13,600 Ali Project, J.L. Anderson, Robby Bevard, Caitlin Glass, Brandon Graham, Todd Haberkorn, Wes Hartman, Jerry Holkins, Yutaka Izubuchi, Yuna Kagesaki, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Roland Kelts, ketchup mania, Hiroki Kikuta, Mike Krahulik, M. Alice LeGrow, Vic Mignogna, Jake Myler, Hiroshi Nagahama, Joshua Ortega, Brina Palencia, Derek Stephen Prince, Scandal, Yuji Shiozaki, The Slants, and Nobuteru Yuuki.[35]
April 10–12, 2009 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
16,586 yoshitoshi ABe, Leah Clark, Greg Dean, Aaron Dismuke, Peter Fernandez, Girugamesh, Todd Haberkorn, Shawn Handyside, Hangry & Angry, Jerry Holkins, Roland Kelts, Jonathan Klein, Mike Krahulik, Joel McDonald, Myuji, Sasaki Nozomu, Hideo Okamoto, Wendy Powell, The Slants, Smile.dk, Soul Candy, David Stanworth, J. Michael Tatum, and Kappei Yamaguchi.[36]
April 2–4, 2010 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
18,002 Troy Baker, Luci Christian, Dazzle Vision, Richard Epcar, Todd Haberkorn, High and Mighty Color, Ryo Horikawa, The Hsu-nami, Yasuhiro Imagawa, Noizi Ito, Mai Kadowaki, Vic Mignogna, Yutaka Minowa, Lika Morinaga, Satoshi Nishimura, Tsuyoshi Nonaka, Brina Palencia, Chris Patton, Wendy Powell, Soul Candy, Kent Williams, and Takahiro Yoshimatsu.[37]
April 22–24, 2011 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
19,040 6%Dokidoki, Berryz Kobo, Chris Bevins, DJ Blade, Chris Cason, Jo Chen, Cynthia Cranz, Exist Trace, Tiffany Grant, Clarine Harp, Roland Kelts, Cassandra Lee, Kotono Mitsuishi, Daisuke Moriyama, Daisuke Moriyama, Tony Oliver, Wendy Powell, DJ Rize, DJ Saiyan, Stephanie Sheh, Mike Sinterniklaas, Sixh., Spunk Da Bunny, Atsushi Suzumi, Jason Thompson, Cristina Vee, and Vofan.[38]
April 6–8, 2012 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
21,457 Steven Blum, Leah Clark, Todd Haberkorn, Clarine Harp, Naoto Hirooka, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Fumiko Kawamura, Jonathan Klein, Reuben Langdon, Jamie Marchi, Yutaka Minowa, Katsushi Ota, Chris Sabat, Stereopony, Michihiko Suwa, Retsu Tateo, Gen Urobuchi, Kanon Wakeshima, Kawajiri Yoshiaki, and Zekkyō.[39]
March 29-31, 2013 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
22,419[40][non-primary source needed] Eir Aoi, Ayumi Fujimura, Gashicon, Luna Haruna, Atsuko Ishizuka, Reki Kawahara, Toshihiro Kawamoto, Vic Mignogna, Katsuyuki Motohiro, Bryce Papenbrook, Stephanie Sheh, Naoyoshi Shiotani, John Swasey, and Joji Wada.[41]
April 18-20, 2014 Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle, Washington
Shingo Adachi, Toshifumi Akai, Kyoji Asano, Leah Clark, Elisa, Todd Haberkorn, Chuck Huber, Yui Ishikawa, Tomohiko Ito, Erik Kimerer, Tetsuya Kinoshita, Mami Koyama, Maki, Koji Masunari, Erica Mendez, Matthew Mercer, Mint, Range Murata, Hiroshi Nagahama, Tetsuya Nakatake, Koichi Ohata, RinRin, Shigehiko Sato, Patrick Seitz, and Christopher Smith.[42]

ANCEA[edit]

The Asia-Northwest Cultural Education Association (Sakura-Con organizers) were given the Foreign Minister’s Award from Japan on May 30th, 2012. The award was given at the residence of the Japanese Consul General Kiyokazu Ota.[43][44]

Collaborations[edit]

Sakura-Con in 2013 returned to host the Anime Costume Contest at Dragon Fest 2013 in Seattle, Washington's Chinatown for the fourth time.[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Seven, Richard (2007-04-05). "Manga and anime addicts, don't forget your costumes". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b Hodge, Mike (2011-04-28). "In the thick of Sakura-Con 2011". Film Threat. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  3. ^ a b "Sakura-Con 2011 announces guests Berryz Kobo". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  4. ^ Delahanty, Patrick (2014-01-06). "Ten Largest North American Anime Conventions of 2013". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  5. ^ a b c Chandra, Johan (2012-04-12). "Sakura-Con 2012". The Clipper. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  6. ^ a b Chansanchai, Athima (2007-04-05). "Americans have become anime-ted". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  7. ^ a b c "Sakura-Con 2002". Anime News Network. 2002-04-27. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  8. ^ a b Martin, Julian (2009-04-16). "Sakura-Con: Anime fans enjoy weekend of nonstop entertainment". The Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  9. ^ Hom, Kyra-lin (2013-04-08). "SLIDESHOW: Take Two #72: Sakura-Con 2013". West Seattle Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  10. ^ a b Liu, Marian (2009-04-28). "The Sakura-Con convention is a celebration of Japanese animation". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  11. ^ a b Hodgkins, Crystalyn (2010-04-08). "Sakura Con 2010". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  12. ^ Dong, Bamboo (2012-04-06). "Sakura-Con 2012". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  13. ^ Seven, Richard (2006-08-20). "Odd and Proud". The Seattle Times: Pacific Northwest Magazine. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  14. ^ Siegel, Timothy (2011-04-24). "Where Whimsy Reigns Supreme: Sakura-Con 2011". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  15. ^ Pope, Kyle (2003-04-07). "SakuraCon 2003". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  16. ^ "Sakura-Con announces attendance cap". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  17. ^ Hutchens, Bill (March 24, 2006). "Sakura-Con fans wig out". The News Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  18. ^ "Fans Confront Bandai Visual About Pricing". Anime News Network. 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  19. ^ "Anime lovers suit up, unite for Sakura-Con in Seattle". Tri-City Herald. 2009-04-03. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  20. ^ "Anime convention a boon to Seattle economy". NWCN. 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  21. ^ "Female Visual Kei Band Exist†Trace Performs for 3000 Fans at Sakura-Con 2011". Anime News Network. 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  22. ^ Norimine, Hayat (2012-04-09). "A young attraction". The Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 
  23. ^ Donner, Marcus R (April 19, 2014). "Sakura-Con draws thousands to Convention Center (slide show)". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Harthorne, Michael (April 25, 2014). "Police: Cos-player with fake weapon robbed by man with real one". KOMO News. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "Baka!-Con 1998 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  26. ^ "Baka!-Con 1999 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  27. ^ "Sakura-Con 2000 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  28. ^ "Sakura-Con 2001 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  29. ^ "Sakura-Con 2002 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  30. ^ "Sakura-Con 2003 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  31. ^ "Sakura-Con 2004 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  32. ^ "Sakura-Con 2005 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  33. ^ "Sakura-Con 2006 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  34. ^ "Sakura-Con 2007 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  35. ^ "Sakura-Con 2008 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  36. ^ "Sakura-Con 2009 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  37. ^ "Sakura-Con 2010 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  38. ^ "Sakura-Con 2011 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  39. ^ "Sakura-Con 2012 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  40. ^ "Sakura-Con History". Sakura-Con. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  41. ^ "Sakura-Con 2013 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2014-01-02. 
  42. ^ "Sakura-Con 2014 Information". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  43. ^ Ozeki, Genya (2012-06-13). "Sakura-Con Receives Foreign Minister’s Award from Japan". The North American Post. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  44. ^ "ANCEA receives award from Japanese Foreign Minister". Northwest Asian Weekly. 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  45. ^ "Chinatown–International District fired up for Dragon Fest 2013". Northwest Asian Weekly. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°36′41″N 122°19′58″W / 47.61139°N 122.33278°W / 47.61139; -122.33278