Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar
JANM Free Family Days - Natsumatsuri Family Festival

JANM Courtyard Kaeru playing taiko



Saturday, August 19, 2017

11 a.m.–5 p.m.



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Join us for our annual summer celebration featuring Japanese and Japanese American performances, crafts, and activities.

Special perks available for JANM members! Be sure to check in at the front desk to get a member sticker so you can take advantage of the perks highlighted below.

Plus, free admission all day to see New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei and Common Ground: The Heart of Community.

Watch our Natsumatsuri video!



  • Happi Coat Photo Booth
    Take home a souvenir photo of yourself in a traditional happi coat, courtesy of Nerdbot. Express Line for members!
  • Natsumatsuri Pinwheels
    Put a colorful spin on your summer by making a JANM pinwheel.
  • Natsumatsuri Hats
    It wouldn’t be Natsumatsuri without JANM’s signature paper hats! Make one that shows off your personal style.
  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner
    Learn how to fold a jumping frog!
  • Paper Cranes for Peace
    Help us fold paper cranes for Harvest for Hope, a project that aims to collect 1.5 million cranes in memory of children who died during the Holocaust. This activity is inspired by Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who folded over 1,000 paper cranes in hopes of recovering from illness caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. One of Sadako’s original cranes is on display now in JANM’s Hirasaki National Resource Center.
  • Okinawan Treats
    Sample freshly made saataa andaagii—delicious deep-fried pastries—while supplies last. Limit one per person.
  • Museum Scavenger Hunt
    While exploring JANM’s exhibitions, find all of the items on our scavenger hunt list and win a prize.
  • Toddler Room
    Bring your toddlers here to relax and play with other toddlers. Note: all children must be supervised by an accompanying adult at all times.



11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Kaeru and Friends Petting Zoo
See several different varieties of kaeru (frogs) along with snakes, tortoises, and lizards—up close! Brought to JANM by Reptacular Animals. Express Line for members!

11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Kaeru Balloons
Watch The Balloon Guy make frog-shaped balloons for you to take home. Limit one per family. Express Line for members!

11:30 a.m.

Koshin Taiko Performance
Get the day off to a great start with Koshin Taiko, known for their rousing kumi-daiko (ensemble taiko) performances using okedou (rope-tightened) drums.
12:30 p.m. Bon Odori Community Dance
Join our group bon odori (traditional dance), led by Elaine Fukumoto.

1:30 p.m.

Yuujou Daiko Performance
Keep the energy going with San Gabriel’s Yuujou Daiko, a taiko troupe whose name means “friendship.” Reserved seating for members!

2 p.m.

Taiko Workshop with Yuujou Daiko
After an inspiring performance, you can try your own hand at taiko drumming with the help of members of Yuujou Daiko.

2 p.m.–5 p.m.

Build a Superhero with Jeff Yang and Friends
Join New Frontiers curator Jeff Yang and guest artists for this interactive comic book workshop. The audience will be asked to help the artists create an ORIGINAL superhero comic book character, who will be drawn by the artists in real time.

3 p.m.

Martial Arts Demonstration by Aikido Cultural Institute
Aikido is Japan’s nonviolent, non-competitive martial arts form. A variety of instructors from the institute will demonstrate elements of aikido, iaido (swordsmanship), and classical weapons arts. The audience will be invited to participate at the end. Reserved seating for members!

3:45 p.m.

Letters to Eve Performance
Letters to Eve is an epic World War II musical about the power of music and literature, centered on the stories of an incarcerated Japanese American family and a black jazz musician captured during Germany’s occupation of France. Join select cast members as they perform songs from their hit production. Reserved seating for members!

4:30 p.m.

Minyo Station Performance
Bring the day to a close with Minyo Station’s unique blend of traditional Japanese folk music and contemporary Western influences. Reserved seating for members!






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