The week’s best festivals: April 12–18, 2012

J-Cation: Sakura Saturday 14 Enjoy the culmination of Japan Society’s event series Sakura—Spring Renews, Beauty Blooms, and the...
 (Photograph: Courtesy Chris Piasc)
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Photograph: Courtesy Chris PiascAll My Bikes
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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn ZiBrooklyn Zine Fest
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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn ZiHey, 4-Eyes
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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn ZiPaltry Pamphlets
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Photograph: Courtesy Sara ShahlaVinyl Vagabonds
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Photograph: Courtesy Caroline PaWomanimalistic
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Photograph: Courtesy Colin HagenSlice Harvester
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J-Cation: Sakura
Saturday 14
Enjoy the culmination of Japan Society’s event series Sakura—Spring Renews, Beauty Blooms, and the institution’s current exhibit “Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945” at this annual daylong bash. The fete kicks off with an outdoor drum salute by the New York Suwa Taiko Association. Afterward, guests can learn origami from OrigamiUSA, traditional calligraphy called shodo or a few phrases of Japanese. Pay attention to help your chance of winning a round-trip ticket to the Far East during You’re on Standby! A Japanese Game Show (1pm), which tests players’ knowledge of travel trivia and Japanese culture. You can also send support to the country by writing messages on pink paper blossoms and hanging them on a wishing tree near the institution’s entrance. Taste authentic cuisine with free samples of international sweet shop Minamoto Kitchoan’s wagashi confections and East 44’s pork and chicken yakitori ($4–$6). Four kinds of Japanese beer, three different sakes and plum wine ($4) will help wash down the chow. As day moves into night, Alex York, who wrote the song “Change” to benefit the Tohoku earthquake victims, Brooklyn-based Japanese all-girl band the Suzan and DJ Aki will fuel a party. Japan Society, 333 E 47th St between First and Second Aves (212-832-1155, japansociety.org). 11am–11pm; $10, members and children under 12 $5, children 2 and under free.

Brooklyn Zine Fest
Sunday 15
Whether you’re a sci-fi fanatic or a pizza connoisseur, this haven for print fans has a publication for you. Debuting this year, this extravaganza brings together more than 60 artists behind offbeat titles ($1–$10), including Pickled City, which publishes poetry based on old books; The Carbon Based Mistake, a compendium of horrific commutes illustrated in photos and stories; and Slice Harvester, dedicated to the search for the perfect piece of pepperoni. Try your luck at the raffle ($2 per ticket, $10 for six) to win local rewards like glasses from Williamsburg’s Classic Specs, a $50 gift certificate to Brooklyn Brewery or a one-year membership to arty education center 3rd Ward. Take a break from browsing to hit up the bar, which promises cleverly named drink specials. The neighboring Cubana Social will sell coffee and empanadas ($4) all day. Compare your haul over $4 drafts and shots of Jameson during an after-party at South 4th Bar and Café. Public Assembly, 70 North 6th St between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (brooklynzinefest.com). 11am–6pm; free. • South 4th Bar & Café, 90 South 4th St at Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 7pm; free.—Lula Brown

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