Sakura-Con is an annual
three-day anime convention held
during March or April at the Washington State Convention and Trade
Center in Seattle, Washington.
Sakura-Con is sponsored by the Asia
Northwest Cultural Education Association (ANCEA).
The convention features a wide array of activities and programming
such as: industry guests, various discussion panels, and anime
screenings. It also sports a large and lively Exhibitor's
hall where one can buy many things related to anime or Japan.
Various contests are hosted, including anime music video
, fan fiction
contests, as well as a fashion show.
The event hosts multiple J-Pop
featuring popular groups such as The
. An art show and auction as well as a charity auction
benefiting the Make-A-Wish
are also hosted. A variety of gaming rooms provide
, and tabletop
gaming. Cosplay is an integral part
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.
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.
In 2000, Baka!-Con changed its name
to Sakura-Con, (sakura
(alternately: さくら) is Japanese for cherry blossom
Sakura-Con's rapid growth prompted a search for larger venues. In
2004 and 2005 Sakura-Con had to limit its attendance to 5,100. Even
with the attendance cap, Sakura-Con was ranked the eighth largest
anime convention in North America in 2004 by paid attendance
figures, and tenth in 2005. When Sakura-Con moved to the Washington
State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington in 2006,
it roughly tripled its capacity for attendees.
Since its beginning, starting with 313 anime fans, Sakura-Con has
grown to be much more than a local event. In 2006, only about half
the attendees were from the area.
The Asia-Northwest Cultural Education Association (ANCEA) is a
non-profit organization organized for charitable and educational
purposes specifically for furthering the understanding of Asian
culture through the use of traditional and contemporary
ANCEA is the organization that presents Sakura-Con. Originally a
separate board of directors that provided oversight to the
Sakura-Con Executive Board, the membership voted on July 30, 2006
to merge the ANCEA and Sakura-Con boards into a single entity. In
this structure, the Chair of Sakura-Con is the President of