Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Family Festivals Past Events


Saturday, May 12, 2018
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

JANM Free Family Days: Identity, My-dentity



Join us for a celebration of Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month and JANM’s exhibition, – 15 years of the hapa project. Crafts, performances, storytelling, and other activities will explore themes of identity and personal heritage.


  • Koinobori Kite: Color and put together a koinobori (carp kite), a traditional symbol of Kodomo no hi—Children’s Day in Japan.

  • Kabuto (Samurai Hat): Fold a samurai hat—another symbol of Children’s Day—out of newspaper.

  • Identity Bento: Make your own colorful bento box by drawing in foods that are part of your culture or just among your favorites.

  • Diorama: Make a tiny self-portrait diorama that is all about you.

  • Button Making: Design a small button to show off your individuality.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Fold a paper heart to share with someone.


    11:15 a.m.–12 p.m.: Storytelling Theater
    Multicultural theater troupe We Tell Stories performs Proud to Be Me, a series of interactive stories geared toward reinforcing self-esteem. Reserved seating for members.

    12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.: Poetry Writing Workshop
    Spoken word artists and community organizers Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana, together known as Steady, will help you learn to express yourself through poetry. Space is limited; please sign up at the information table.

    1 p.m.–2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Amy Tangerine Scrapbook Workshop
    Create colorful pages that save and share your memories in this scrapbooking workshop with Amy Tangerine. Bringing photos from home is optional. Mini booklets will be supplied. Space is limited; please sign up at the information table. Reserved seating for members.

    2 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: Improv with Cold Tofu
    Enjoy a performance by Cold Tofu as they improvise scenes and games based on audience suggestions. Reserved seating for members.

    3 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Infinite Flow Dance
    Infinite Flow – An Inclusive Dance Company and Infinite Flow Kids will perform and invite families to dance along with them. Reserved seating for members.

    JANM Free Family Day: Identity, My-dentity is presented in partnership with Kizuna. American Sign Language interpreters will be present for select performances.

    In conjunction with the exhibition – 15 years of the hapa project
    Sunday, January 7, 2018
    11:00 AM—5:00 PM

    2018 Oshogatsu Family Festival - Year of the Dog



    Ring in the new year and celebrate the Year of the Dog with fun arts and crafts, food, cultural activities, and exciting performances!

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

  • Drawing demonstration and book signing by Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai

  • Dog candy sculptures by Shan the Candyman

  • Foster/adopt a dog with Dogs Without Borders

  • Osechi-ryori (Japanese New Year traditional foods) tasting

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

  • JANM Members Only reserved seating and express lines

  • Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection special display (continuing through April 8, 2018, check link for hours)

  • …and so much more!

    Visit for complete schedule of activities.

    Sponsored by Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

    Saturday, November 11, 2017
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    JANM Free Family Days: We Love LA



    In conjunction with Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo, JANM presents a family-friendly day celebrating the diverse mix of cultures that make up Los Angeles.


  • Springtime in Japan
    Create your own cherry blossom mobile to hang in your home, inspired by Prunusplastus, Erica Kaminishi’s stunning homage to Japan’s famous cherry blossom season.

  • Lunchbox Style
    What pictures or designs would you put on your lunchbox? Take a look at Shizu Saldamando’s cool drawings of her friends’ lunchboxes, then decorate a box that reflects your own style!

  • Coloring Station
    Artists like Eduardo Tokeshi and Yuriko Rojas Moriyama use flags in their work as a commentary on identity. Design a flag that represents your identity while learning more about the flag of the City of Los Angeles.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner
    Learn how to fold a paper shirt and transform it into a jersey for your favorite Los Angeles sports team.

  • It’s Veterans Day!
    Pay tribute to our veterans by writing a note of appreciation, which JANM will deliver to the nearby VA Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center.


    11 a.m.–1 p.m.: Kidding Around the Kitchen
    Make healthy fusion lettuce wraps with Lisa Fontanesi of Kidding Around the Kitchen. While supplies last.

    11:15 a.m. • 12:30 p.m.: Story Time
    Listen to traditional tales from Latin America told in a dynamic mix of English and Spanish by Olga Loya. (Each story time lasts 20–25 minutes.)

    11:30 a.m. • 12 p.m. • 1 p.m. • 1:30 p.m.: Ichiro Irie Artist Workshop
    Exhibiting artist Ichiro Irie along with collaborator Aska Irie will lead a 2D mixed-media workshop in which participants will create their own collage and tempera painting. Limit 25 participants per session; first come, first served.

    2 p.m.–3 p.m.: CONTRA-TIEMPO Dance Workshop
    Join multilingual urban Latin dance theater company CONTRA-TIEMPO for one of their popular Sabor Sessions. Participants will learn Afro-Latin social dance forms such as salsa suelta and Cuban comparsa. No dance experience needed—just come with an open heart and a willingness to move!

    3:30 p.m.–4 p.m.: Musical Performance by Roger Del Norte, Lupita Infante, and MEXICAPAN
    Bring the day to a lyrical close with a mariachi jam session from Japanese singer Roger Del Norte, Downey native Lupita Infante, and the group MEXICAPAN.


    Please check back for updates.

    Supported by Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

    Saturday, August 19, 2017
    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.

  • Musical performances

  • Free souvenir photos at our happi coat photo booth

  • Free samples of saataa andaagii (Okinawan deep-fried pastries)

  • Basic taiko drumming lessons

  • Fun crafts including origami and the ever-popular Natsumatsuri paper hats

  • JANM Members Only reserved seating and express lines

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

  • …and more!

    Visit for more details.

    Supported by Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

    Saturday, April 8, 2017
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    JANM Free Family Days: Celebrate Japanese American History



    Learn about Japanese American history and actor/activist George Takei with crafts and activities inspired by our exhibitions, Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066 and New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei.

    Presented in collaboration with Kizuna.



  • Kizuna Craft Stations
    Get a head start on Kodomo no hi (Children’s Day, May 5) with our partnering organization, Kizuna. They will teach participants to make koinobori (carp streamers) and origami samurai hats.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner
    Learn to fold beautiful origami bird pins, much like the ones that were made by incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II.

  • Drawing Activity
    When Japanese Americans were sent to camps during WWII, they were allowed to take only what they could carry. What would you put into your suitcase? Draw a few of your favorite things onto our paper suitcases.

  • JANM x Kizuna Photo Booth
    What does America mean to you? Tell us by making a slogan or sign and posing with it in our photo booth, brought to you by Nerdbot.

  • Comic Book Education
    Learn about famous Japanese Americans the fun way! Assemble and take home a special mini-comic book created by the Smithsonian Institution about the lives of former US Secretary of Transportation (and current Chair of JANM’s Board of Trustees) Norman Y. Mineta and civil rights activists Fred Korematsu and Yuri Kochiyama.

  • Paper Puppets
    Make a paper puppet of your favorite notable Japanese American, or other personal hero. Templates will be available.

  • Passport Travel
    View New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei and complete the passport we give you. Show your completed passport to a volunteer at the survey table to claim a prize! Limit one prize per person, while supplies last.


    11:30 a.m. • 1:30 p.m. • 2:30 p.m. • 3:30 p.m.: Story Time
    Throughout the day, volunteers from JANM and Kizuna will read stories that share the Japanese American experience.

    Stories will include:

    1 p.m.–4 p.m.: Spam Musubi Workshop
    Volunteers from Kizuna will lead a drop-in workshop on how to create this delicious and uniquely Japanese American treat. While supplies last!


    Plus, free admission all day to see:

  • Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066

  • New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei

  • Only the Oaks Remain: The Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station

  • Common Ground: The Heart of Community

    In conjunction with the exhibition New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei
    Sunday, January 8, 2017
    11:00 AM—5:00 PM

    2017 Oshogatsu Family Festival - Year of the Rooster



    Ring in the Year of the Rooster with food, crafts, cultural activities, and performances!

  • Sample lucky zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodles) to bring good health in the New Year

  • Join author Sonoko Sakai for a hands-on onigiri (Japanese rice ball snacks) workshop. Rice

  • Watch a rainbow mochi demonstration by Brian Kito of Fugetsu-Do Confectioners

  • Get crafty at our various holiday-themed craft stations

  • See several varieties of chickens at our Live Chicken Petting Zoo

  • Watch Kodama Taiko’s unique mochitsuki (rice pounding) demonstration

  • Japanese drumming performance by TAIKOPROJECT

  • Pick up a fukubukuro (lucky grab bag) at the JANM Store

  • …and so much more!

    Check for for complete schedule.

    Sponsored by NHK World and Los Angeles County Arts Commission.




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