Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar


OSHOGATSU FAMILY FESTIVAL - 2020 Year of the Rat. Sunday, January 5, 2020, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. FREE ALL DAY!


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

Special perks available for JANM members!
Be sure to check in at the membership table to get a member sticker so you can take advantage of the perks highlighted below. Not a current member? Join/renew now!

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


Festival Schedule


  • Year of the Rat Crafts
    Celebrate the Year of the Rat with adorable rat and cheese finger puppets! Plus, ring in the new year and set some resolutions with our 2020 vision magnets.
  • Wearable Year of the Rat Origami
    Learn how to make a cute rat origami figure that you can wear as a pin at Ruthie’s Origami Corner!
  • Mouse House and Coloring Station
    Who says rats can’t be cuddly? Surround yourself with plush rat and mice toys and color our musubi mouse coloring sheets!
  • Face Painting
    Party Face Magic will transform your kids into their favorite zodiac animal, or anything of their choosing, at our face painting booth! For children only. Express Line for members.
  • Photo Booth
    Grab some fun props and pose for a souvenir photo with friends and family at the Nerdbot Photo Booth. Express Line for members.
  • Museum Scavenger Hunt and Raffle
    Explore our exhibitions with a Year of the Rat themed scavenger hunt and win a special prize! Children who complete the scavenger hunt will also receive a chance to win a candy sculpture by Shan Ichiyanagi through a Kids’ Raffle. While supplies last. Limit one (1) raffle ticket per child. Members receive two chances to win!
  • Toddler Room
    Here’s a quieter place for toddlers to relax or play with other toddlers. We will have activities for your children and will be screening the Disney Pixar film Ratatouille all day. There will also be a private nursing space. NOTE: All children must be supervised by an accompanying adult at all times.
  • Fukubukuro Sale
    Our always popular fukubukuro (lucky grab bags) will be back and available for purchase at the JANM Store.



11 a.m.–3 p.m. Lucky Soba Noodles
Kidding Around the Kitchen will give out sample bowls of lucky zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles) to bring good health in the New Year. Kids can top the soba with their choice of tofu, vegetables, and nori (seaweed). While supplies last. Express Line for members.
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Candy Sculptures
Shan Ichiyanagi (Shan the Candyman) will demonstrate the ancient, and now rarely practiced, Asian folk art of candy sculpting. Watch as he makes candy in the shape of rats, mice, and other animals of the Asian zodiac. The finished pieces will be offered as prizes in the Kids’ Raffle; see All Day Activities above.
11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Osechi-Ryori Tasting
Sample a selection of traditional Japanese New Year foods, including various sweets and vegetables, and learn about what each food means. While supplies last. Express Line for members.

12 p.m.

Kamishibai Storytime—How the Years Got Their Names
Join the JANM volunteers for a traditional Japanese visual and interactive storytelling of how the zodiac calendar came to be. Learn how the rat outsmarted everyone and won the race to be first in the cycle. Reserved seating for members.

1:15 p.m.

Performance by TAIKOPROJECT
The award-winning group TAIKOPROJECT will perform a lively demonstration of their unique and contemporary style of taiko with audience participation encouraged.
2 p.m. Thank You Very Mochi—Storytime with the Authors
The authors of the children’s book Thank You Very Mochi will read the story of Kimi and her family’s traditional mochi-making party for the new year. Reserved seating for members.

2:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Mochitsuki Demonstration
Making fresh mochi is a beloved Japanese New Year tradition. Join Kodama Taiko for their unique mochitsuki (rice pounding) demonstration, which incorporates taiko drumming, and enjoy delicious mochi samples while supplies last.


Download the schedule.


NOTE: Though we will be celebrating the Year of the Rat, we ask that you leave your rats and mice at home. Only service animals are permitted inside the museum.




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