Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — January 2010

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 2, 2010
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

Exhibition Tour

events/commonground100_________________.png Tour our ongoing exhibition Common Ground: Heart of a Community with experienced docents.

In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Sunday, January 3, 2010
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

Oshogatsu Family Festival

events/new_frog_winking_100.jpg FREE ADMISSION ALL DAY!

Celebrate the new year with fun arts ‘n crafts, exciting cultural performances, and learn more about traditional Japanese New Years.

11:00 – 5:00: Craft and other fun activities for the entire family:
  • Japanese spinning tops called koma are a traditional Japanese toy. Put a fun spin on 2010 by making one of your own!

  • Make a tiger to celebrate 2010: the year of the tiger!

  • Make nengajo (postcards) to send to family and friends to wish them a Happy New Year.

  • Construct a daruma doll to bring you luck in the new year!

  • Make your own kagami mochi fukuwarai game. Kagami mochi is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration and fukuwarai is a Japanese game that is similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Make your own flapping crane!

  • Join Giant Robot artist Stella Lai as she leads an art-making workshop for kids of all ages!

  • Omikuji, or sacred lottery, will help you find out what kind of year you’ll be having!

  • 12 & 2 PM: Drum circle with Drumtime

    1 PM: Chef Andy from The Sushi Chef Institute will teach Japanese Traditional New Year Food Mochi: Cooking Zoni and mochi desserts ($15 for non members, $10 for members, Maximum 30 people)

    1 - 5 PM: Kidding Around the Kitchen will make a zaru soba (buckwheat noodles), a Japanese New Year's tradition, because soba noodles indicate longevity. It's simple to make zaru soba at home.

    2 - 4 PM: 25th Anniversary Celebration Reception (by invitation only)

    4 PM: Shishimai (or the Japanese Lion Dance) by Kinnara Taiko

    4:30 PM: Mochitsuki demonstration and performance by Kodama Taiko

    This program is sponsored in part by:
    Department of Cultural Affaris, City of Los Angeles

    About our Friends:

    Drumming is a very direct and powerful way to connect mind, body and spirit, invigorating a person with their own life force. And anyone can do it!

    The heart beats and the body reacts—we are drumming all the time. Drumming as a group gives the human spirit an opportunity to play with its two deepest desires—to express its uniqueness and to contribute to a greater whole.

    A Drumtime drum circle is guided with high energy and caring support to ensure that all its participants may access their innate vitality. And a Drumtime drum circle, no matter how large or small, literally transforms a gathering of people—most with no prior musical experience—into a percussion orchestra!

    Participants experience the power of having their personal risks transformed into the elation of group success—giving everyone hands-on shared experiences in joy, transformation and success!

    For more information, visit:

    Would you like to get the high quality education of Sushi making? Would you like to be a master Japanese cooking? We are sure to meet your expectations. Sushi Chef Institute (SCI) is a Sushi School for anyone who wants to learn Sushi making and Traditional Japanese cooking. The Instructor, Chef Andy Matsuda, is the first person who is authorized to serve as an instructor in California Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education Institution. He had appeared on famous magazines, People magazine and New York Foody magazine. And he also had appeared on Fox 11 TV show. Now, he teaches not only regular students, but also instructors of Le Cordon Bleu, French culinary school. We hope we could support your dream and see you soon in our class at SCI.

    For more information on Sushi Chef Institute go to:

    Kinnara Taiko was formed at Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles in 1969, the second such group in the America (San Francisco Taiko was founded in 1968). Kinnara was created as a way to express the group’s Buddhist beliefs through their performances. As a grassroots group, Kinnara literally built their own drums out of old wine barrels and wrote their own music which often articulated a Buddhist point of view.

    Under the direction of Rev. Masao Kodani, Kinnara also opened its practices up to interested visitors and even traveled around the country. The group was instrumental in helping other temples form their own taiko ensembles. Today, there are over 150 taiko groups in North America.

    Kinnara Taiko is known for performing the shi shi mai. Shi shi mai is the lion dance, used in olden times in Japan to scare pests away from crops or to ward off evil spirits. Regional variations use one, two or multi-person lions. As a New Year’s event, tradition states that if the shi shi bites you, you will have good luck the rest of the year.

    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:

    February – Valentine's Day!

    March – Wear This!

    May 8: Theme Children's Day
    "Kids' Day"

    June 12: Theme: Exploring your Roots
    "Uniquely You!"

    July 17: Theme Travel
    "On the Go"

    Oct 9: Theme Martial Arts:
    "Just for Kicks"

    Nov 13: Theme Fall
    "Fall into Fall”

    Dec 11: Theme: Origami
    “Fold, Crease, and Crinkle”

    January 23: Kidding Around in the Kitchen Family Cooking Adventure: Wok & Roll Cooking Workshop

    Thursday, January 14, 2010
    7:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Bringing the Circle Together: Ghost Riders

    events/colorturtlesmall.jpg Free Screening of Ghost Riders

    The Bigfoot Memorial Ride, an annual 300-mile journey on horseback, helps the Lakota Nation "wipe the tears" shed for the massacre of Lakota men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in 1896, and for more recent hardships. Participants convey the ride's spirit of sacrifice and remembrance, and the Lakota people's determination to build a better future. Guests for the night include the filmmaker. Special guest Producer and Director V. Blackhawk Aamodt will speak after the screening.

    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. Directly across from our host sponsor, the Japanese American National Museum. The film series was established to provide quality documentaries by and about Indigenous cultures 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. Screenings will begin at 7pm, and it is advisable to arrive at least 15-20 minutes prior for seating. Each film will include a raffle at the end of the screening. (pdf for directions). Doors open at 6:30pm.

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

    The Japanese American National Museum
    Department of Cultural Affairs
    American Indian Community Council
    InterTribal Entertainment
    Hecho de Mano
    Nahui Ohlin

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

    Thursday, January 21, 2010
    5:00 PM—9:00 PM

    Giant Robot Biennale 2: 15 Years Closing Party

    events/GR-logo-100px______.jpg To close out the hugely successful group art show and 15 year celebration of Giant Robot magazine, JANM will be open for extended hours on Thursday, January 21. Admission will be free, and many of the participating artists and key members of the Giant Robot family will be in attendance as part of this special gathering. Expect refreshments, a musical guest, The Binges and DJ Puffs, and other surprises.

    In conjunction with the exhibition Giant Robot Biennale 2: 15 Years
    Thursday, January 21, 2010
    7:30 PM—10:30 PM

    Excerpts from "THE GIRLS FROM AFAR"

    East West Players (EWP) in collaboration with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) is proud to present:

    Excerpts from "THE GIRLS FROM AFAR"
    By Libby Emmons
    Directed by Jeff Liu
    A Staged Reading with Dante Basco, Fran de Leon, James Kyson Lee, Camille Mana, and Tamlyn Tomita

    Slavery and human trafficking take on many forms sometimes right before our eyes. With her parents out of town, a daughter sneaks home for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend. But when they arrive, they discover two women and her parents’ secret. THE GIRLS FROM AFAR explores two worlds that coexist, yet are often invisible to each other. What happens when they finally come face to face?

    The reading will be followed by a panel discussion and reception. This reading is presented as part of a month-long campaign to raise the awareness of human trafficking and modern day slavery. To learn more on human trafficking, visit:

    RSVP on Facebook

    Or call East West Players at: 213-625-7000.

    Saturday, January 23, 2010
    11:00 AM—2:00 PM

    Wok & Roll Cooking Workshop

    events/KiddingLogo100____.jpg Bring the whole family a new version of this very popular hands on family cooking class of easy and healthy stir-fry recipes (WOK) and sushi (ROLL) NEW recipes the whole family will love!

    $25 members (for one child & one adult); $35 non-members, includes Museum admission and supplies. Reservations are strongly encouraged, contact 213-625-0414.

    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

    February – Valentine's Day!

    March – Wear This!

    May 8: Theme Children's Day
    "Kids' Day"

    June 12: Theme: Exploring your Roots
    "Uniquely You!"

    July 17: Theme Travel
    "On the Go"

    Oct 9: Theme Martial Arts:
    "Just for Kicks"

    Nov 13: Theme Fall
    "Fall into Fall”

    Dec 11: Theme: Origami
    “Fold, Crease, and Crinkle”

    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    Exhibition Closing

    events/GR-logo-100px_____.jpg Giant Robot Biennale: 15 Years closes.

    In conjunction with the exhibition Giant Robot Biennale 2: 15 Years
    Thursday, January 28, 2010
    7:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Common Ground: A Screening & Dialogue On New Muslim Cool

    events/01_newmuslimcool100.jpg FREE!

    Take a trip through urban life in the post-9/11 United States with Hamza Perez, who defies the definition of "America’s worst nightmare." This thought-provoking documentary follows Hamza's journey from the recording studio to the mosque, from single fatherhood to married life, from street life to community activism. Join him on his spiritual quest for interfaith friendships and struggles as a prison chaplain. The movie will be followed by a dialogue about religion, race and culture as well as remarks from filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor.

    RSVP’s are encourage. Please email your name and the number in your part to
    Saturday, January 30, 2010
    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.

    $9 Members; $14 non-members, includes Museum admission. Comfortable walking shoes and clothes recommended. Weather permitting.

    Saturday, January 30, 2010
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Eyewitness to History


    Eyewitness to History is an educational program where students of all ages can interact with men and women who lived through the history they learn about in their classrooms. In this 90-minute program, students will view the 20-minute documentary Remembering Manzanar, hear first-hand accounts of what life was like for Japanese Americans during World War II, and engage in an active dialogue with the speakers.

    Remember Manzanar is available on DVD >>

    Comedy Zen: Jan. 30, 2010- Jan. 31, 2010, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
    Saturday, January 30, 2010
    7:30 PM

    Comedy Zen

    events/SYMBOL100_.jpg Two Shows! 7:30 & 9:30 PM
    Show is rated R
    Tickets are $20

    Come experience a hilarious evening of multicultural comedy styling's. Selling out theaters all over Canada, we are happy to host Sugar Sammy, one of the hottest Desi comedians working in North America today. Also on the card we have Edwin Li from SF, the brashness of Danny Cho (MadTV), and Dwayne Perkins (Comedy Central, Conan O'Brien).

    To buy tickets, go to:



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