Saku: Each year, the Maui Matsuri planning committee selects a Japanese kanji character to embody its events’ activities. This year, the kanji selected is “saku,” which means “to bloom” or “to blossom.” The theme is reflected in our commemorative t-shirt designed by Maui-born artist Jonathan Clark. Designed to have a hand-made quality, Jonathan started the process of creating the print by carving a woodblock with images of sakura (cherry) blossoms. He then scanned and altered the image digitally to reference the unfolding of sakura as it blooms while retaining the creased look of folded origami paper.
Jonathan’s design and this year’s kanji theme perfectly embody the blossoming of the Japanese culture here on Maui – initiated by the seeds planted by the brave immigrants who made Maui their home and nurtured by their children and surrounding communities. We hope you join us in celebrating all that has helped Japanese Culture bloom here on Maui!