Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Family Festivals Past Events


Sunday, January 4, 2015
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

2015 Oshogatsu Family Festival - Year of the Sheep



Oshogatsu is one of JANM’s biggest events of the year. Celebrate the Year of the Sheep with arts and crafts, food, cultural activities, and performances!

  • Sheep balloons by Balloon Monsoon
  • Candy art demonstration and raffle with Shan Ichiyanagi
  • Exciting performances by Taikoza and UniverSoul Hip Hop
  • Petting zoo with live sheep and goats, brought to you by Jessie’s Party Animals
  • Free sample bowls of lucky zaru soba (buckwheat noodles) to bring good health in the new year, courtesy of Kidding Around the Kitchen
  • Rice pounding, taiko drumming, and mochi sampling with Kodama Taiko
  • Special appearance by Hello Kitty
  • …and so much more!

    Visit for complete schedule.

    *Free admission does not include Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty.

    Saturday, December 13, 2014
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    Target Free Family Saturdays: Holiday Cheer



    Have a jolly time with holiday-themed crafts and activities for the whole family!

    *Admission to all activities and to Common Ground: The Heart of Community is FREE ALL DAY. Admission to the special exhibition, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, requires a separate purchase. All Hello! Admissions are based on timed entry; obtaining tickets in advance is strongly recommended.



  • Make a tiny lantern to brighten up your winter nights.

  • Ruthie’ Origami Corner: JANM volunteer Ruthie Kitagawa shows you how to create a unique holiday ornament to hang on your tree or give to a loved one.

  • Bring a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to the Union Rescue Mission for our holiday toy drive.


    12 p.m.–3 p.m.: Have your picture taken with Asian American Santa Claus, a JANM tradition!

    11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.:: Bring the kids to JANM’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum for a sing-along screening of Frozen and get ready to “let it go!”

    1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: The Other Reindeer, a caroling quartet, will perform traditional and contemporary holiday songs on the JANM courtyard.

    3 p.m.–4 p.m.: Musician and storyteller Claire Mills will perform interactive vignettes looking at diverse traditions celebrated during winter, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.


    Sponsored by

    Saturday, November 8, 2014
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    Target Free Family Saturdays: Giving Thanks



    Bring the whole family to JANM for a celebration of Veterans Day weekend and Thanksgiving season! Our kid-friendly activities will revolve around giving thanks to veterans, family, and friends.

    *Admission to all activities and to Common Ground: The Heart of Community is FREE ALL DAY. Admission to the special exhibition, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, requires a separate purchase. All Hello! admissions are based on timed entry; obtaining tickets in advance is strongly recommended.



  • Design your own hanging autumn leaf decoration.

  • Write a letter of thanks to one of the brave men and women serving in our armed forces. All letters will be collected and sent to Operation Gratitude.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: JANM volunteer Ruthie Kitagawa shows you how to make your own fluttering paper peace dove.

  • Get a taste of Thanksgiving by sampling a mini caramel apple or pumpkin pie from Claremont’s I Like Pie Bakeshop. For children only. One pie per child, while supplies last.

  • Our friends from the Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) will have fun coloring activities and a scavenger hunt.


    11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Just added! The public is invited to help paint a new mural in Little Tokyo. Click here for details.

    11 a.m./2 p.m.: JANM sponsor Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. presents a double feature of documentaries celebrating notable Japanese Americans and their unique stories:

    • 11 a.m.: Journey to Washington: On the Trail of Senator Daniel Inouye
    • 2 p.m.: Scott Fujita: The Man Behind the Name

    12:30–2:30 p.m.: Have your portrait drawn by caricaturist Dominic Arneson, courtesy of GFBNEC.

    1 p.m.: Enjoy a lively World War II USO-style performance by Swing Dames.

    3 p.m.–4 p.m.: Say “Hello!” and share a hug with Hello Kitty herself, the star of JANM’s exhibition Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty.


    Sponsored by

    Saturday, August 9, 2014
    11:00 AM—5:00 PM

    Natsumatsuri Family Festival



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

    Check for schedule >>

    Saturday, July 12, 2014
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    Target Free Family Saturdays: Print-astic!



    Celebrate JANM’s groundbreaking exhibition Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World with tattoo and printmaking-inspired activities for the whole family!



  • Kids’ Print Shop: Etch fun designs into plastic foam and make prints out of them.

  • Kids’ Tattoo Parlor: Use our special paper to create temporary press-on tattoos.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Learn how to make an origami fish!

  • Kids’ Coloring Lounge: Ukiyo-e Heroes, created by artists Jed Henry and David Bull, are ukiyo-e-style prints inspired by Japanese comics and video games. Make your own ukiyo-e heroes with our coloring pages, and enter your work in a contest to win a $10 JANM Store gift certificate! See below for contest rules. For inspiration, videos of Bull demonstrating his woodblock printing process will be on display.


    11:30 a.m./1 p.m.: Mark Langill, Los Angeles Dodgers Team Historian and Publications Editor, and Koji Steven Sakai, JANM Programs Manager, will lead a family-friendly gallery tour of Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game. The two curators will share the inside story of how the exhibition was put together.

    12 p.m.–2 p.m.: Watch a live screen printing demonstration by Grow Your Own Media, Atwater Village’s community print shop, as they print special JANM-designed posters for you to take home. Posters available while supplies last.

    12 p.m.–2 p.m.: Get a fun temporary henna tattoo! (For children only, line will end at 1:30 p.m. Please note henna tattoos generally last 1–4 weeks.)

    2 p.m.–4 p.m.: Go deluxe with a realistic temporary airbrush tattoo! (For children only, line will end at 3:30 p.m. Please note airbrush tattoos generally last 2–7 days.)

    3 p.m.: Samurai warrior imagery, which plays a significant role in the Perseverance exhibition, comes to life in a demonstration of Shinkendo, the Japanese art of swordsmanship. This exciting live display is presented by Honbu Dojo, the world headquarters of Shinkendo instruction.



  • There will be two age groups for the coloring contest (ages 0-11 and ages 12-18)

  • Contestants should fill out a contest form with their name, age, and contact information, which will be taped to the back of their page.

  • Entries will be taped to a wall where the public can view and vote for their favorites from each age group. One vote per person.

  • Voting closes at 3 p.m., with winners announced at 3:30 p.m.

  • Winners will receive a $10 gift certificate to the Museum Store.

    Sponsored by Target.


    Saturday, June 14, 2014
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    Target Free Family Saturdays: Imagination Storytime



    Transport yourself into magical and faraway worlds through storybook readings and exciting performances!

    Come dressed as your favorite storybook character and receive a prize! (see below for rules)



  • If you could build an imaginary place to live, what would it look like? Get creative with our construction materials and create your own dream home!

  • Make and decorate a secret “book” to hide your treasures.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Make a Father’s Day card with Ruthie!

  • Help us write a silly and unique tale at our community storytelling corner.

  • Book Swap: Bring a book to donate and take one of ours with you.

  • Relax in the Book Lounge and read from a selection of children’s books.



    12 p.m.: JANM staff members read from Marissa Moss’s Barbed Wire Baseball.

    12:15 p.m.: Brian Won reads from his book, Hooray for Hat!

    12:30 p.m.: Interactive reading of the classic Japanese tale Under the Cherry Blossom Tree, with JANM volunteer Rodney Kageyama.

    1 p.m.–2 p.m.: Live storybook characters will be on-hand for mingling and picture taking.

    1 p.m.–3 p.m.: Have your picture taken (while film supplies last) and share a story about your name. Submissions will be published on the Discover Nikkei website in conjunction with the Nikkei Names stories project. For more details, please visit:

    2 p.m.: Katie Yamasaki reads from her book, Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family’s Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp.

    2:30 p.m./3:30 p.m.: Join Claire Mills for two unique performances that blend classic folk tales, popular songs, and interactive costumes.

    3 p.m.: Loriene Honda reads from her book, The Cat Who Chose to Dream.


    *Prizes will be given while supplies last. Costumes with masks, sharp objects, toy guns, or other weapons are not allowed.


    Sponsored by Target.

    Check out our other fun and free Family Festivals!




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