Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — January 2019

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.

Saturday, January 5, 2019
10:30 AM

Members Only Exhibition Tour: Kaiju vs Heroes


In California in the 1970s, Mark Nagata was living an all-American childhood when an aunt and uncle serving on a US military base in Japan sent him a box filled with colorful kaiju and hero toys. For Nagata, those toys and the artwork of their packaging inspired him to study art, to zealously collect vintage Japanese vinyl toys, and to become a toy designer himself.

Join Mark Nagata for a gallery tour during which he’ll share more about his passion and his collection of toys. Limited to 25 participants.

RSVP by January 2 using the link below. You can also contact or 213.830.5646.

Sunday, January 6, 2019
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

2019 Oshogatsu Family Festival - Year of the Boar



Welcome the Year of the Boar with with crafts, food, cultural activities, and performances!

  • Traditional mochitsuki (Japanese rice pounding ritual) performance by Kodama Taiko

  • Conversation with Kaiju vs Heroes artist Mark Nagata about his latest special limited edition toy figure, an homage to the character portrayed by Gerald Okamura in the movie Big Trouble in Little Tokyo which is being released that day. Nagata and Okamura will sign figures and a special print release.

  • Ruki: Power of Flow live art performance by Japanese calligrapher and hip hop dancer Kuniharu Yoshida and taiko player Walter Nishinaka

  • Candy sculptures by Shan the Candyman

  • Lucky zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles) and and osechi-ryori (traditional Japanese New Year foods) tasting

  • Souvenir photos by Nerdbot Photo Booth

  • Fun Oshogatsu and Year of the Boar-inspired crafts, origami, and coloring activities

  • Fukubukuro (lucky grab bags) at the JANM Store

  • JANM Members Only reserved seating and express lines!

  • Free admission all day to see Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys, Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit, and Common Ground: The Heart of Community.

  • …and so much more!

    Visit for complete schedule.

    Sponsored by Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, and The Nissan Foundation.

    Sunday, January 6, 2019
    12:30 PM—2:00 PM

    Artist Conversation with Mark Nagata



    12:30 p.m.–1 p.m.: Artist Conversation

    1 p.m.–2 p.m.: Toy and Print Signing with Mark Nagata and Gerald Okamura

    Presented in conjunction with Oshogatsu Family Festival

    To mark the release of Kaiju vs Heroes artist Mark Nagata’s latest special edition sofubi toy figure—an homage to the character played by Gerald Okamura in the movie Big Trouble in Little China—Nagata will discuss how this project came to fruition. Reserved seating for JANM members.

    Nagata and Okamura will sign figures and a special print of the header art for the toy. The figure is hand-painted by Mark and limited to 45 pieces. Express line for members.

    Sunday, January 13, 2019
    11:30 AM

    Common Ground Exhibition Tour in Japanese




    In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
    Saturday, January 19, 2019
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    Two-Day Workshop: Indigo, Shibori, and the Making of an Offering Bag



    Saturday–Sunday, January 19–20
    11 a.m.–4 p.m.

    In a departure from the regular indigo and shibori workshop, the first day of this workshop will focus on indigo and shibori dyeing of recycled fabrics and threads. Those will then be used the following day to make a replica of a komebukuro, or offering bag. These bags, in which offerings were taken to the local temple, were originally made from either scraps of leftover and reusable household textiles or from unused family kimonos.

    As inspiration as well as for construction ideas, we will study several pieces of antique boro (tattered and mended) textiles and both antique and vintage komebukuro bags. Several contemporary pieces will also be on display. Fabrics will include hemp, silk, cotton, and linen.

    $72 members, $90 non-members, plus $40 materials fee due to instructor at beginning of class (cash only). Limited to 20 participants. Museum admission included.

    This workshop is sold out. To be placed on a waitlist, please email

    In the Koichi & Toyo Nerio Education Center

    Thursday, January 24, 2019
    7:30 PM

    ZÓCALO—How Has America Survived Two Centuries of Capitalism?


    A Zócalo/KCRW “Critical Thinking with Warren Olney” Event at JANM’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy

    Moderated by Warren Olney, Host, KCRW’s “To the Point”

    The United States is envied around the world for its unparalleled wealth. But its riches would not have been possible without what Alan Greenspan has called America’s “unique tolerance” for the messy effects of capitalism’s creative destruction.

    What is so special about our brand of capitalism that generations of Americans have been willing to endure so much wrenching change in its service? What moments in history have shaped America’s complicated relationship with capitalism? And how have Americans tried to balance our tolerance of economic inequality with our nation’s long-stated principles of fairness and justice?

    Economist political editor Adrian Wooldridge, co-author of Capitalism in America: A History, visits Zócalo to examine America’s enduring affection for an economic system that produces so much pain alongside its gains.

    In the Tateuchi Democracy Forum

    Saturday, January 26, 2019
    10:15 AM—12:15 PM

    Little Tokyo Walking Tour


    Learn about past and present-day Little Tokyo on a walking tour led by an in-the-know JANM docent. From murals to monuments, explore both the popular and lesser-known gems of this bustling neighborhood.

    $12 members, $15 non-members. Museum admission included. Comfortable walking shoes recommended. Weather permitting. Limited to 20 participants.



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