Former Kinnick student to emcee famous Washington D.C. cherry blossom event

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Former Kinnick student to emcee famous Washington D.C. cherry blossom event

Stripes Japan

A 2008 graduate from Nile C. Kinnick High School on Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, will be returning to his Japanese roots as he emcees at an event to celebrate the arrival of cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.
Brian Walters is the son of a retired Navy sailor who is a current civilian employee at Yokosuka. As a military child, Walters lived in Japan from 1992 to 2009 and attended Richard E. Byrd Elementary, Yokosuka Middle School, and Kinnick. Walters moved to New York City in 2009 to pursue his acting and performing career. 
This year, Walters will host a few events at the National Cherry Blossom Festival on April 9-10, including announcing acts on the Sakura Stage and hosting the Japan Bowl, a high school Japanese language and culture competition sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Washington D.C.
Though Walters has not lived in Japan for over 10 years, his parents are still in Yokosuka and he remains involved with the Japanese community in New York. Walters is an experienced emcee and has worked with various organizations to host events in New York, including the Japan Society, Uniqlo and more. He is also the longtime host of BATSU, America’s live batsu-game show. 
Walters said he misses his mom and springtime hanami in Japan. 
“My family and I would go hanami to appreciate the season’s blossoms. Every season, we would take family photos under the cherry blossom trees near our home and I haven’t been able to experience that in the last 13 years,” Walters said. “Knowing that the Washington, D.C., cherry blossom trees are originally from Japan brings me comfort and appreciation.”



Photo by Carol Highsmith, U.S. Library of Congress


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