Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — January 2009

All programs are free for JANM members and included with admission for non-members, unless otherwise noted. Events are subject to change.

Reservations are recommended for most programs; you may use the links below. You may also RSVP by emailing or calling 213.625.0414 at least 48 hours in advance. Please indicate the name, date, and time of the program, as well as your name and the number of people in your party.

For all ticketed events (classes, workshops, food tours, etc.), pre-payment is required to hold your space. Cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance or no refund will be issued.

Saturday, January 3, 2009
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

Exhibition Tour

events/commonground100____.png Tour our ongoing exhibition Common Ground: Heart of a Community with our experienced and knowledgeable docents.

In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Saturday, January 3, 2009
2:00 PM—4:00 PM

Erika-San by Allen Say


Meet award-winning author and illustrator Allen Say for the launching of his new book, Erika-san, about an American girl’s discoveries while visiting Japan.

The book will be available for sale in January 2009 through the Museum Store.

Other Family Events at the National Museum

January 4: Oshogatsu (New Years) Family Festival *FREE ALL DAY

January 17: WOK and ROLL Family Cooking Adventures

February 14 – Target Family Free Saturday: Be Animated!

March 14 – Target Family Free Saturday: Say Cheese!

March 28: SPRING ROLLS into JANM (a family cooking workshop)

April 11 – Target Family Free Saturday: What's Cooking?

Sunday, January 4, 2009
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Oshogatsu Family Festival

events/2007-08-18_Kaeru__.jpg FREE ALL DAY!

Ring in the New Year with fun arts ‘n crafts, whimsical tales, and exciting performances.

11:00 – Doors open

11:00 – 4:00 – Craft activities for the entire family

  • Create your own daruma doll and make a wish for 2009!

  • Decorate a postcard to send as a New Year’s greeting to a friend or family member

  • Make an origami crane ornament and embellish it with decorations to make it your own

    12:00 – We Tell Stories presents“New Years Stories”

    1:00 –Kodama Taiko: Mochitsuki (rice cake pounding) Ceremony

    2:00 – Osechi-ryori *:Try traditional Japanese New Year foods

    3:00 – Kodama Taiko: Mochitsuki (rice cake pounding) Ceremony

    4:00 – Doors close

    About our Friends:

    KODAMA is a group of percussionists from the greater Los Angeles area who are dedicated to performing both traditional and contemporary pieces through the sounds of taiko. The group is primarily composed of working professionals who enjoy spending their ³off² time learning and creating entertaining performance pieces.

    Kodama is well known for their unique Mochitsuki (rice cake pounding) performance which combines the age-old tradition of hand-pounding mochi (sweet rice) with the sounds of taiko. This energetic custom is typically performed during the Japanese New Year¹s (Oshogatsu), but has lately been expanded to include any celebratory occasion. Makoto Fujii of the Japan based group Medetaya instructed Kodama in combining the art of taiko and Mochitsuki.

    For more information, visit:

    WE TELL STORIES is a multi-ethnic group of artists that seeks to educate, nurture, and strengthen communities by reconnecting young audiences with the ancient powers of storytelling and theatre.

    For more information, visit:

    * Japanese New Year's food is called osechi-ryori, and colorful osechi-ryori dishes are packed in layers of lacquer boxes, called jubako. Each dish and ingredient in osechi has meaning, such as good health, fertility, good harvest, happiness, long life, and so on. The kinds of osechi dishes eaten at Japanese homes vary from region to region.

    Other Family Events at the National Museum

    January 17: WOK and ROLL Family Cooking Adventures

    February 14 – Target Family Free Saturday: Be Animated!

    March 14 – Target Family Free Saturday: Say Cheese!

    March 28: SPRING ROLLS into JANM (a family cooking workshop)

    April 11 – Target Family Free Saturday: What's Cooking?

  • Thursday, January 8, 2009
    6:30 PM—7:30 PM

    Artist Roundtable

    Join a roundtable discussion moderated by one of the curators and Eve Fowler, Lari Pittman, and Erika Rothenberg from the exhibition.

    These distinguished artists will be discussing visual art in LA over the last 20 years -- relationships of art to the city, changes that have taken place in LA Art since the late 80s, what's it like to be an artist in LA, changing landscape of support (funding, galleries, institutions), current state of things, and other hot art related topcis.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009
    7:30 PM—10:00 PM

    LAAA’s Open Show Film Screening and Panel Discussion.

    Los Angeles Art Association is proud to announce the film component of the Open Show, LAAA’s all signature survey exhibition. As with the Open Show exhibition at currently on view at Gallery 825, all video and films were juried by David Pagel, art critic for the Los Angeles Times.

    This special screening and panel discussion features:
    Teresa Flores, “Tortilla Burning”
    Zig Gron, “Debate 08 (Video Flag Update)”
    Daniel Young and Daniel Forrest, “Discarded”
    Hadiya Finley, “Nesting Two”
    Arzu Arda Kosar and Jessica Mentesoglu, “Hagia Sophia”

    For more information, go to:
    Saturday, January 10, 2009
    3:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Leaps of Faith by Great Leap

    events/100.jpg Performances are at 3:00 and 8:00 PM

    A woman born both Jewish and Muslim wrestles with god; a comical super-hero attempts to save people from their ignorance about the religious practices of others; a raised-Catholic woman finds another “mother” in the Hindu tradition. These are some of the stories in LEAPS OF FAITH, an ensemble theater piece.

    In a world where religious differences often become divisive and destructive, LEAPS OF FAITH dives into the swirling waters of religion and spirituality to explore how people of multi-dimensional cultures and religious identities can live side by side.

    Developed through a highly collaborative process with artists of diverse faiths and spiritual paths, LEAPS is a poetic weaving of personal stories, dance and music. Together the artists question contradictions, find humor in differences, and search for a common language to express unity with diversity.

    This show closes with the question, “What is interfaith?” Perhaps the answer is the harmonic beauty they have created from their dive into the deep.

    For more information, go to:

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Exhibition Closing

    20 Years Ago Today: Supporting Visual Artists in L.A. closes

    Thursday, January 15, 2009
    7:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Bringing the Circle Together: Kaho'olawe Aloha 'Aina

    events/100colorturtlesmall_________.jpg Free Screening of Kaho'olawe Aloha 'Aina

    Produced by the Protect Kaho'olawe 'Ohana, this documentary traces the history and activism on Kaho’olawe island, from ancient times through the years of ranching, U.S. military bombardment, and the modern-day struggle to stop the bombing and reclaim the island. A very special performance to follow the screening by Hawaiian guitar extraordinaire Makana. Kalani Queypo (Blackfeet/Hawaiian) will present his short film 'Ancestor Eyes' to start the evening!

    Bringing the Circle Together: A Native American Film Series

    Bringing the Circle Together: A Native American Film Series is a FREE monthly film series located in downtown Los Angeles at the National Center for Preservation of Democracy. The film series was established to provide quality documentaries by and about Indigenous people of the Americas, and bring together a central gathering place where discussion and awareness of issues can be shared with the Native community and its supporters.

    The film series is held at the National Center for Preservation of Democracy located at 111 North Central Avenue, between 1st Street and Central Avenue, in downtown Los Angeles. The NCPD can be reached via train, bus, or parking in the area (pdf for directions). Doors open at 6:30pm.

    The film series is hosted by Lorin Morgan-Richards and Tahesha Knapp-Christensen and is sponsored by the following organizations:

    The Japanese American National Museum
    The National Center for Preservation of Democracy
    Hecho de Mano
    Nahui Ohlin
    InterTribal Entertainment

    For more information about the film series please visit
    or by email at

    Saturday, January 17, 2009
    11:00 AM

    WOK and ROLL Family Cooking Adventure

    events/KiddingLogo100.jpg Bring the whole family for this hands-on cooking class of easy and healthy stir fry recipes (WOK) and sushi (ROLL) recipes the whole family will love! $25 members (for one child & one adult); $35 non-members, includes Museum admission and supplies. Reservations for Wok and Roll, can be made by calling 213.625.0414 at ext.2222.

    This cooking workshop is brought to you in collaboration with Kidding Around the Kitchen. To find out more about Kidding Around the Kitchen, go to

    Sponsored in part by The California Rice Commission.

    Other Family Events at the National Museum

    February 14 – Target Family Free Saturday: Be Animated!

    March 14 – Target Family Free Saturday: Say Cheese!

    March 28: SPRING ROLLS into JANM (a family cooking workshop)

    April 11 – Target Family Free Saturday: What's Cooking?

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009
    7:00 AM—10:00 AM

    Presidential Inauguration

    events/gr57_fc_cover-finals-100.jpg Come view the presidential inauguration at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy. Share this historic moment with others in the Little Tokyo community!

    FREE! Tuesday, January 20 from 7 am to 10 am

    The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy is a non-profit, non-partisan educational institution that provides tools for living democratically in a diverse American society. Partnering with educators and community-based mentors, the National Center works to inspire youth to become active, informed participants in shaping democracy in America. For more information, go to:

    Sunday, January 25, 2009
    1:00 PM—4:00 PM

    10th Anniversary Exhibition Celebration & The Future of Little Tokyo

    events/200px-Ronald_Reagan_signing_Japanese_reparations_bill100.jpg Celebrate the January 23, 1999 opening of the National Museum’s ongoing exhibition, Common Ground, with a look at the last ten years and also the plans for its future.

    In addition, The Japanese American Citizens League in Partnership with the Japanese American Museum and UCLA NSU present:

    LT and Me: A Survey of Youth

    The goal of LT and Me is to plan for the future of Little Tokyo using dual input from youth and community leadership, while introducing students to what they can do after college to become more active in the community. Whether this is volunteering, or finding a job in the community, the program aims to help youth understand and think on their role in the community.

    This is for anyone interested in learning, and developing the role of youth in the future of Little Tokyo.

    A light reception will follow the program.
    Thursday, January 29, 2009
    5:00 PM—8:30 PM

    Remembering Michi Weglyn

    A Tribute to An Amazing Legacy of Social Justice and Peace.
    Location: Cal Poly Pomona, Bronco Student Center - Ursa Major

    Phil Nash, Esq., Writer, lawyer, professor, and close friend of Michi Weglyn
    Dr. Franklin Odo, Director of Smithsonian Asian Pacific American program
    Dr. Bob Suzuki, President emeritus Cal Poly Pomona
    Sharon Yamato, Writer, biographer, and filmmaker and
    Nancy Kapitanoff, Producer, writer, director, and creative artist

    Followed by a special evening with 3-time Grammy Award winner for Best Hawaiian Music, Daniel Ho joined by lead members of the award-winning smooth jazz band Kilauea - Randy

    Drake (drums) and Steve Billman (bass). Daniel shares his dynamic fusion of Hawaiian aesthetic, smooth jazz, and alternative folk.

    Special guest:
    Nani Edgar (hula). Cal Poly Pomona Recital Hall, 7:00 - 8:30 PM.

    For more information contact: Dr. Mary Yu Danico at 909-869-3115 or email at

    Thursday, January 29, 2009
    8:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Comedy Zen

    events/SYMBOL100.jpg ComedyTheory is very pleased to be working with JANM on the return of Comedy Zen, a showcase of the finest and funniest Asian American comedians touring today. Comedy Zen is a national TV show on the Imaginasian Cable Network. True to form, Comedy Zen always books a non Asian comedian so we can get their point of view on Asian issues alongside their day to day observations.

    The Year of the Ox is said to be a rough one….so start it off with a laugh.

    From January 6 through January 9th, 2009, JANM members will have access to $12.50 tickets. Prices go up to $15.50 on Saturday. $20 @ the door.

    For more information, go to:

    Saturday, January 31, 2009
    10:15 AM—12:15 PM

    Little Tokyo Walking Tour

    events/2007-07-28_walkingtour___________.jpg Relive history and learn about present-day Little Tokyo with National Museum docents. $8 Members; $13 non-members, includes Museum admission. Comfortable walking shoes and clothes recommended. Weather permitting.

    Saturday, January 31, 2009
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Remembering Michi Weglyn and Walter Weglyn

    events/Cal_Poly100.jpg In honor of the 10th anniversary of the passing of Michi Nishiura Weglyn, a panel of distinguished educators, friends, artists and biographers will come together to remember and share memories of both Michi and Walter Weglyn.

    Phil Nash, Esp., Writer, lawyer, professor, and close friend of Michi Weglyn
    Dr. Bob Suzuki, President emeritus Cal Poly Pomona
    Sharon Yamato, Writer, biographer, and filmmaker
    Nancy Kapitanoff, Producer, writer, director, and creative artist.

    Presented in collaboration with the Michi & Walter Weglyn Endowed Chair of Multicultural Studies at California State Pomona.

    Saturday, January 31, 2009
    7:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Studio Lab Project

    events/EWP_logo_CMYK2100.jpg East West Actor's Conservatory in association with the National Museum presents a culmination of work performed by the students of the Musical Theatre Studio Lab Project.



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