Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — January 2011

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. (RSVPs are not accepted for Family Festivals).

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.

Sunday, January 2, 2011
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

Oshogatsu Family Festival

events/new_frog_winking_100_1.jpg FREE ADMISSION ALL DAY!

Ring in the New Year and the Year of the Rabbit with fun arts ‘n crafts, cooking workshops, and exciting performances.

11:00 – 4:00 PM: Craft and other fun activities for the entire family:

  • Happy New EAR! Make yourself some unique rabbit ears to celebrate the year of the rabbit!

  • Put a whimsical spin on the new year by creating a fun pinwheel

  • Toddler Room

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Hop on over to Ruthie’s table and fold an origami rabbit!

  • 11:00 – 1:00 PM: Bunny Petting Party with Lil’ Red’s Buckaroo Ranch

    11:00 – 4:00 PM: New Years-inspired papel picado* (perforated paper) with

    11:00 – 4:00 PM: Special fukubukuro (lucky bag) store sale

    12:00 & 2:00 PM: Organic/Vegan Asian Inspired Cooking Class with Spork Foods (First come, first serve. RSVPs accepted only on January 2. 20 max for each class)

    1:00 PM: A reading of Maneki Neko: The Tale of the Beckoning Cat by author Susan Lendroth

    1:00 – 4:00 PM: Zaru soba* (buckwheat noodles) with Kidding Around the Kitchen

    2:00 & 3:30 PM: Drum circle with Drumtime

    2:30 & 4:00 PM: Mochitsuki* demonstration and performance by Kodama Taiko

    4:30 PM: Taiko Performance with TaikoProject

    ***SPECIAL*** 1 – 3:30 PM
    MOCA GEFFEN: Sunday Studio
    Please visit our neighbors and join them for a guided tour of Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space and learn about how artist from Latin America where exploring with perception and sensation. Next, all participants will meet and work with Janice Gomez, who will lead you in making a work of art that allows the everyone to experience art in new and extraordinary ways of engagement and participation.

    *Papel picado is the Mexican folk art of paper cutting into elaborate designs.

    *Zaru soba is a Japanese New Year’s tradition. Soba noodles indicate longevity.

    *Mochitsuki is a traditional rice cake pounding ceremony

    A unique, simple, and educational way to entertain children at any type of gathering. Our bunnies are gentle and friendly, as they are lovingly handled from the day they are born.

    Lil’ Red’s Buckaroo Ranch is a non-profit organization. Their proceeds go towards the care, rehabilitation and re-homing of Red’s Ranch Animal Rescue farm animals.

    For more information, visit: For more information, visit

    Students will enjoy a demonstration of authentic papel picado techniques from Educator / Demonstrator Marcelino Sifuentes. They will learn how to use tools and techniques to make their very own papel picado. This unique folk art is used for many celebrations in Mexico and here in the United States.

    For more information, visit: For more information, visit

    Spork Foods is a Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny and Heather Goldberg. Their delicious, innovative cuisine emphasizes organic, local, and seasonal ingredients. They offer cooking classes, food consultation, and catering.

    The workshop will make the following Food: (Each person will get a generous sample of each dish.)
  • Wok tossed green beans with pickled vegetables

  • Asian coleslaw with a creamy black sesame dressing

  • Crispy rice cakes with azuki beans and scallions

  • For more information, visit: For more information, visit

    Maneki Neko: The Tale of the Beckoning Cat by Susan Lendroth. Illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi The cat with raised paw beckoning guests is a symbol of good luck and good fortune in many Asian countries, but the origins of the legend of the Maneki Neko are numerous. Here is another telling of the story that involves a samurai and a monk in the legend of this famous cat. Ages 4-6. Hardbound: 32 pp.

    [Purchase a copy of Maneki Neko: The Tale of the Beckoning Cat at the Museum Store Online]

    In today’s world, it is common that families rarely get to eat together anymore.

    Kidding around the Kitchen shows that families can make and eat food together without a lot of fuss or a huge time commitment. The family food demo helps families with tips on smarter shopping, fun recipe ideas, advice on how to incorporate healthier choices when possible, and advice on how to delegate tasks in an age-appropriate way. This family food demo is a “how to” get everyone involved in the family meal.

    Kidding around the Kitchen is for families that have full plates in life as well as wanting a full plate of food to enjoy together. It’s about time well spent. You’ll see your kids get a “we did it” attitude!! This family food demo works on the “try it” premise—all while empowering the kids and family. If we can do it, so can you!!

    Kidding around the Kitchen is an adventure in fun, food and family. We are not only making food, we are making memories.

    For more information on Kidding around the kitchen visit:

    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: For more information, visit

    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 “off” 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 Year’s, 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: For more information, visit

    The TAIKOPROJECT is an ensemble of premiere taiko drummers dedicated to promoting and advancing the American art of taiko. Through public performances, education, and outreach activities, TAIKOPROJECT is committed to preserving taiko as a dynamic element of Japanese American culture and heritage. In addition to maintaining taiko as a community-based tradition, TAIKOPROJECT also incorporates unconventional and innovative concepts to expand artistic boundaries. Through these values, TAIKOPROJECT seeks not only to entertain audiences, but also to inform them about the history and integrity of taiko as an evolving art form.

    For more information, visit .

    January 29: Kidding Around the Kitchen Family Cooking Workshop. It’s Winter: Hurry, Let’s Make Some Curry!

    March 26: Kidding Around the Kitchen Family Cooking Workshop: Spring Rolls into JANM!

    May 28: Kidding Around the Kitchen Family Cooking Workshop: WOK and ROLL Family Cooking Adventure

    February 12:Candy Land

    March 12: Construction Zone

    May 14 Wild Things

    June 11: Take It to the Street

    July 09: Once Upon A Time

    October 08: Up in the Air

    November 12: Planet Power

    December 10: That’s a Wrap

    Thursday, January 6, 2011
    3:30 PM—7:00 PM

    Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution: Forum for Educators

    California Assemblymembers Warren Furutani and Marty Block authored Assembly Bill 1775, which establishes January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution to encourage schools across the state to teach students about Fred Korematsu’s story and its relevance in today’s post-9/11 environment. The first Fred Korematsu Day will be celebrated on January 30, 2011, on Fred Korematsu’s birthday.

    Karen Korematsu, Peter Irons, and Mohammed Choudhury will discuss the historic and contemporary significance of the U.S. Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States. The Forum is open to the public; educator resources will be distributed to teachers.

    Registration fee: $25; Museum Members: Free. Deadline to register is December 30, 2010. To register, download the Registration Form.


    3:30 - 4:15 PM Reception (light refreshments)

    4:15 - 7:00 PM Panel discussion featuring:

  • Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred and Kathryn Korematsu and co-founder of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education
  • Peter Irons, Professor of Political Science Emeritus, UC San Diego
  • Mohammed Choudhury, Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Educator Resources for students to learn Fred Korematsu’s story and its relevance in today’s increasingly hostile environment for Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian American communities. Build students’ civic competence as responsible citizens with resources from:

  • Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education
  • Facing History and Ourselves
  • California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools
  • Japanese American National Museum
  • National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
  • 7 - 8 PM: Free admission to the Japanese American National Museum

    For more information, contact Michelle Herczog, Los Angeles County Office of Education at or 562.922.6908.

    Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the Japanese American National Museum. Support for this program has been generously provided, in part, by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

    Saturday, January 15, 2011
    10:00 AM—12:00 PM

    Fighting for Democracy Pre-visit Workshop

    Sign-up for a FREE Pre-Visit Workshop

    Saturday, January 15, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    For hundreds of years people have sought a home and future in the United States of America. They came, and still come, in pursuit of freedom and democracy. Yet, the dream of democracy is not without its struggle. Against the backdrop of World War II, a segregated America, and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, ordinary people—through the decisions they made and actions they took—extended democracy’s reach for all.

    FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY is an experiential exhibition based on the lives, actions, and decisions of a diverse group of individuals who sought equal rights for their families and communities during World War II.

    Aimed at middle and high school students, FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY offers hands-on experience in exploring about how women and minorities have expanded the meaning of "we" in "we, the people."

    When visiting FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY, teachers, and group leaders facilitate their students' experience in the exhibition space, allowing educators to custom-tailor an educational focus to meet their curricular goals and to deepen their students' understanding of democracy.

    Before bringing student groups to FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY, educators are strongly encouraged to sign up for a free professional development workshop. These workshops will provide an orientation to the exhibition, preparation on facilitating an interactive experience, and introduction to activity ideas from the FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY Educator's Resource Guide that can be done before, during and after a visit to the exhibition.

    Transportation and free admission is provided for educators who attend the pre-visit workshop on a first-come, first-serve basis. To RSVP for the workshop and book a visit, contact Lynn Yamasaki at or call 213.830.5660.

    Visits to FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY are reserved for school and youth groups, by appointment only, Tuesday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. Appointments must be made at least 3 weeks in advance by using our online reservation form or by calling 213.830.5660.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011
    2:30 PM—4:30 PM

    A Conversation with Midori

    events/Midori100.jpg PLEASE NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, this program has been moved to Sunday, January 30 at 2 pm

    Saturday, January 22, 2011
    10:00 AM—4:00 PM

    Understanding and Writing Memoir Workshop, Taught by Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker Loren Stephens

    events/loren100.jpg This one-day workshop explores the memoir genre and gives you the tools and techniques to begin writing by examining excerpts from well known memoirs including Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Frank McCourt’s ‘Tis, and Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle, among others.

    The workshop will also include an examination of the memoir format and the key elements that make up a compelling memoir: depth of feeling, dialogue, drama, and detail. We will also discuss the concepts of theme, turning points, narrative voice, and honesty as they apply to memoir.

    In addition to reading memoir excerpts and instructor lecture, participants will be encouraged to write short, five- and ten-minute pieces based upon prompts. There will be a 30 page handout that will include the contents of the lecture, as well as an annotated bibliography of memoirs, texts on the craft of writing, and the memoir genre.

    $60 members; $75 non-members, includes materials and Museum admission. A lunch break will be provided. RSVP early, 20 participants max.

    Instructor: Loren Stephens, president, Write Wisdom and Provenance Press, assists her clients in writing and publishing their memoirs and life stories. She was formerly an editor of textbooks at Houghton Mifflin Publishing, and writer/producer of award-winning documentaries including “Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist,” “Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?” and the bi-lingual documentary, “Los Pastores.” Her essays and short stories have appeared in literary journals and newspapers throughout the country including The Sun, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, MacCuffin, the Jewish Women’s Literary Annual. Loren is corrently writing a novel based on the lives of her two Japanese mothers in law.

    Visit her on her website
    Saturday, January 22, 2011
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    When the Mango Hits the Fan: A Tag Team Poetry Read-off

    events/Indivisible100.jpg Celebrating Indivisible (U. Arkansas Press 2010), the first anthology of South Asian American poets, we'll be having a unique "read-off" featuring a team of contributors from the book and a team of Japanese American poets. Join us for this lively and hilarious tag team contest, as poets from the respective teams attempt to barter metaphors, and switch off line breaks. Just how much rice and mango imagery can you sustain in one afternoon?

    The teams have just been announced...
    Team 1:
    Amy Uyematsu
    Sesshu Foster
    Karen Anhwei Lee
    Viet Le

    Team 2:
    Pireeni Sundaralingam
    Amar Ravva
    Vandana Khanna
    Bhargavi Mandava

    For more information about Indivisible, visit:
    Saturday, January 29, 2011
    10:15 AM—12:15 PM

    Little Tokyo Walking Tour

    events/2007-07-28_walkingtour___1.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 29, 2011
    11:00 AM—1:00 PM

    Kidding Around the Kitchen Family Cooking Workshop. It’s Winter: Hurry, Let’s Make Some Curry!

    events/KiddingLogo100_1.jpg This hands-on class focuses on family friendly curries and side dishes from India, Japan, and beyond. This class will introduce families to all the wonderful aromas and flavors found in these dishes without the heat. We will make some homemade Paneer cheese to finish up this amazing adventure to the lands of curry.

    All workshops are $25 for members (one child & one adult); $35 for non-members (one child & one adult), an additional $20 materials fee (cash only) will be collected at the beginning of the workshop, admission is included. RSVP early, 25 participants max. In addition, families will take home a special KATK recipes pamphlet as well as the official KATK kid's kitchen utensil and safety knife set one per every.

    To find out more about Kidding Around the Kitchen, go to

    March 26: Kidding Around the Kitchen Family Cooking Workshop: Spring Rolls into JANM!

    May 28: Kidding Around the Kitchen Family Cooking Workshop: WOK and ROLL Family Cooking Adventure

    February 12:Candy Land

    March 12: Construction Zone

    May 14 Wild Things

    June 11: Take It to the Street

    July 09: Once Upon A Time

    October 08: Up in the Air

    November 12: Planet Power

    December 10: That’s a Wrap

    Saturday, January 29, 2011
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

    events/hotel-on-the-corner-of-bitter-and-sweet100.jpg In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to concentration camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

    This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the concentration camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

    Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

    Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

    Come join us as the author discusses and reads from his stunning and moving novel.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    A Conversation with Midori

    events/Midori100_1.jpg FREE!

    See violinist Midori in a question and answer session. Learn more about Midori’s history and musical journey in this rare opportunity to hear her speak.

    Midori, 38, was born in Osaka and began studying the violin at a very young age. At the invitation of conductor Zubin Mehta, she made her concert debut at the age of 11 as a surprise guest soloist for the New York Philharmonic's traditional New Year's Eve concert, on which occasion she received a standing ovation and the impetus to begin a major career. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize and the Suntory Music Award, she enjoys working with young violinists in master classes all over the world.

    Presented in partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.



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