Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Natsumatsuri Family Festival on Saturday, August 10, 2019, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. FREE ALL DAY!


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

Plus, free admission all day to see At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America and Common Ground: The Heart of Community.

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.

This event is free, but RSVPs are requested using the link below. Those who RSVP and show their ticket at the JANM membership table at the Natsumatsuri Family Festival will be entered into a drawing for a one-year JANM family/dual level membership.



  • Summer Photo Booth
    Grab some fun props from Nerdbot and take a souvenir photo with friends and family.
  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner
    Learn to fold a yukata (summer kimono), popular attire during Japanese summer festivals.
  • Summertime Suncatchers
    Create a decorative shave ice suncatcher to hang in your window!
  • Paper Hats
    A JANM summer tradition! Design your own unique paper hat to keep you cool while you have fun in the sun.
  • Okinawan Treats
    Sample fresh saataa andaagii—deep-fried pastries. One per person, while supplies last. Express lane for members!
  • Scavenger Hunt
    Explore JANM’s current exhibitions, find all the items on our scavenger hunt list, and win a prize. One per participant, while supplies last.
  • Building History 3.0
    Play Minecraft and watch short videos while learning about the WWII Japanese American incarceration camps with Building History 3.0, a free, web-based project for families and educators from UCLA Center for EthnoCommunications and Visual Communications.
  • Toddler Room
    Check out this cheerful place for parents and toddlers to relax and play. Note: All children must be supervised by an accompanying adult at all times.



11:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

Taiko Demonstration
Learn taiko drumming from JANM volunteer Hal Keimi! Taiko is a traditional form of Japanese percussion using a variety of drums, some very large. Taiko playing is loud, hard, and fast, and involves choreographed movements that mirrors Japanese martial arts. Reserved seating for members!

12 p.m.–1 p.m.

Obon Lecture and Community Dance
Learn about Japan’s obon festivals, which honor and celebrate the spirits of ancestors, with Rimban William Briones of Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. A group bon odori (traditional dance) will then be led by Elaine Fukumoto.

1 p.m.–1:45 p.m.

The Little Kokeshi Doll from Fukushima Book Reading
Join author/illustrator Sunny Seki as he reads from his book and discusses the evolution of kokeshi dolls. He will demonstrate his lathe, and conclude with a presentation of his life-sized dolls in an interactive kokeshi fashion show.

1 p.m.–4 p.m.

Face Painting
Put on your best summer festival face with Party Face Magic. For children only. Express lane for members!

1:45 p.m.–2:15 p.m.

Performance by Joyce Kwon
Joyce Kwon is a singer-songwriter and gayageum player hailing from Los Angeles. She studied jazz voice in New York City as well as traditional Korean music in Seoul, and now makes folk music influenced by the diaspora. Reserved seating for members!

2 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.–4 p.m.

Performances by Voices Carry
Voices Carry will presents With Memories On Their Backs, a dance theater performance honoring the plight of refugees. The audience will follow the dancers throughout the museum, experiencing the emotions of a refugee’s journey.

2:15 p.m.–3 p.m.

Ninja Mom and the Tengonis in the Tiki Book Reading
Join author Ren Hanami and illustrator Don Schmidt for a reading of their book in which a group of monsters is accidentally unleashed on the first day of young Kimi’s ninja training. Kimi will need help from her ninja mom, inventor dad, and grandmother warrior bachan to get through her first ninja lesson! Hanami and Schmidt will also sign copies of the book purchased from the JANM Store.

4 p.m.–4:40 p.m.

Illusions by Allen
Check out Allen Roy Oshiro’s exciting magic act, which includes a live rabbit and doves! Oshiro has been performing magic since the age of five, has been featured on television, and won first-place in the Magic Corner Battle of the Magicians. Reserved seating for members!

4:40 p.m.–5 p.m.

Kishin Daiko Performance
Finish up the fun-filled day with a performance by Kishin Daiko, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational taiko group founded at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center in 1981. Reserved seating for members!


Please check back for updates.




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