Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Series: Family Festivals

All programs are free for Museum members and free with general admission for non-members, unless otherwise noted. Events are subject to change.

Reservations are recommended for most programs (RSVPs not needed for Family Festivals). Some programs may have separate reservation contacts. Please check program description. Please RSVP at least 48 hours in advance by emailing or calling 213.625.0414. Please indicate the name, date, and time of the program, as well as your name and the total in your party.

For all classes, workshops, and food tours, pre-payment is required to hold your space. Please call 213.625.0414 or purchase tickets online using the links below. Cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance or no refund will be issued.


Saturday, July 11, 2015
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

JANM Free Family Days: Okinawan Traditions



In conjunction with the opening of Sugar/Islands: Finding Okinawa in Hawai‘i, join us for a day of performances, crafts, and activities celebrating Okinawan culture.



  • Okinawan Shiisaa: Resembling a cross between a dog and a lion, the shiisaa is a mythical beast believed to have the power to ward off evil. Statues of shiisaa are often seen in front of buildings, typically in pairs. Make your own shiisaa at our craft station!

  • Okinawan Lei Making: Originally created for use in a traditional dance, the Okinawan nuchibana lei has come to symbolize many things, including love, purity, hope, and remembrance. What will your nuchibana lei symbolize?

  • Okinawan Pastries: Sample saataa andaagii—delicious deep-fried pastries, while supplies last.

  • Souvenir Photo Booth: Show off the crafts you made, or just show your JANM pride, and take home a souvenir photo of you and your family, courtesy of Nerdbot.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Make a paper kariyushi shirt, the Okinawan version of a Hawaiian aloha shirt.

  • Okinawan Gifts Raffle: Stop by our survey table to claim a small prize and enter a raffle to win special gifts from Okinawa. Sponsored by the Okinawa Association of America, Inc.


    11:30 a.m.: Learn to draw a pair of shiisaa in our drawing workshop.

    1 p.m.: Listen to live sanshin-minyo (traditional folk songs accompanied by Okinawan banjo) performed by Yuna and Tida.

    1:15 p.m.: Enjoy traditional Okinawan dances performed by Tamagusukuryu Kansen-Kai, Yonamine Keiko Ryubu Dojo.

    1:30 p.m.: Take in a stimulating concert by Aloha Time Machine, featuring reggae- and blues-influenced ukulele player Jason Arimoto and Afro-Cuban percussionist Brad Ranola.

    2 p.m.: Join us for a panel discussion and reception on the occasion of the opening of our new exhibition, Sugar/Islands: Finding Okinawa in Hawai‘i. Curator Krystal Hauseur, PhD, and artists Laura Kina and Emily Hanako Momohara will talk about the ideas, histories, and inspirations behind their exhibition.

    3 p.m.: Enjoy an authentic Okinawan taiko performance by the Los Angeles branch of Ryukukoku Matsuri Daiko, founded in Okinawa in 1982.

    3:30 p.m.: Close out the day with some bluegrass-inspired pop by Okinawan musician Banjo Ai.

    3:50 p.m.: Winners of the Okinawan Gifts Raffle will be announced!


    Saturday, August 15, 2015
    11:00 AM—5:00 PM

    Natsumatsuri Family Festival



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

    Please check back for more information.


    View past events >>



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