Sakura of America Bestows Awards to Artists, Retailers, Students, and Grand Sumo Champion

Hayward, California (EastBayDaily) — Sakura of America, (Sakura) world class writing instrument and art material inventor, today announces an unprecedented number of awards presented this spring to a wide variety of recipients. The awards were a result of Sakura’s combined efforts to actively support cultural education and enthusiasm for the traditional Japanese sport of sumo wrestling, manga illustration, and the communities in markets the company serves. The recipients included a grand champion sumo wrestler from Japan, students, retailers, and manga artists located in the United States.

The benefit to the company is the satisfaction of involving people in art and increasing interest in cultural icons of Japan. Award dates in 2008 were June 8, May 7, and April 19; see below.

“Sakura is committed to inventing and providing art materials and writing instruments that enhance communication and creativity, and obtains great satisfaction in sharing our enthusiasm for culture and art,” states Peter Ouyang, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development.

June 8, 2008: Sakura awards Grand Champion Cup and Hosts Students to Grand SumoTournament

After a twenty-seven year hiatus, forty top sumo wrestlers from Japan returned to Los Angeles, CA and participated in a Sakura Sponsors Grand Sumo Tournament on June 7 and 8, 2008. Teiichi Nishimura, world-wide President of Sakura Color Products Corp., proudly presented the Sakura Grand Champion Sumo Cup to Sumo Wrestling. Sakura, the main sponsor, launched its new Sumo Grip® II pen, and awarded the four foot tall trophy to Yokozuna Asashoryu after winning his final bout of the tournament.

Sakura hosted the attendance of 150 students to the Grand Sumo Tournament in Los Angeles, CA. Sargent Troy Collins, former U.S. amateur sumo wrestler, of the Los Angeles Police Department (L.A.P.D.) escorted 150 students in the L.A.P.D. Explorers and Jeopardy programs, and Vista Middle School to the Grand Sumo Tournament in L.A. Sakura hosted the student’s attendance to the tournament, so they could experience the customs and ancient sport of Japan.

May 7, 2008: Sakura Awards Retailers at NAMTA in Reno, NV

Jim O’Brien, Sakura National Sales Manager, presented three $1,000 awards to retailers that achieved sales goals at the NAMTA in Reno, NV. Award winners included: Jerry and Susan Urban of Dawn’s Hallmark, located in Auburn, CA; Gary Shirey, MacPherson’s representative, located in Emeryville, CA; and AC Supply/Darice buyer Bryan Waugaman, located in Strongsville, OH.

April 19, 2008: TOKYOPOP(R), Inc. and Sakura Award Sumo-Star Manga Drawing Competition Winners at NYC Comic-Con

Y. Max Valentonis, Tampa, Florida resident, illustrated a sumo wrestling bout in manga style. Valentonis was awarded the first place prize of two tickets to the Grand Sumo Tournament held on June 8th, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA, and two L.A. sumo tournament t-shirts, an official Sumo autograph kit, an assortment of Sakura drawing pens, and a TOKYOPOP prize pack with a retail value of approximately $400.00.

Philip Sustacheck, Portsmouth, VA resident, was awarded the second prize of a L.A. sumo tournament t-shirt, two authentic sumo hand prints, and a retail value of approximately $200 worth of Sakura drawing instruments for his sumo wrestler manga illustration.

About Sakura Color Products of America, Inc.: Sakura Color Products of America, Inc. (Sakura) is committed to the development of writing instruments and artistic mediums that empower individual self-expression, creativity and enhance communication. Headquartered in Hayward, CA, the company services the U.S. and Canadian markets, and is the U.S. subsidiary of privately held, Sakura Color Products Corporation of Osaka, Japan. Sakura manufactures the popular Gelly Roll® gel pen, Pigma® Micron® fine-line pens, Cray-Pas® oil pastels, as well as many other high-quality writing instruments, art materials, and industrial markers. Sponsor of Grand Sumo Tournaments 2008 and 2007, and Maker Faire 2008. For company, product details, and a retailer locator, Sakura of America website or call 800-776-6257 for more information.


Sakura of America