On-site programs are free for Members and included with admission for visitors, unless otherwise noted. To see a complete listing of the Museum’s programs, visit

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Saturday, March 10, 2012
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Target Free Family Saturday: Folding Paper!

events/Target_05__75__PMS186_9.JPG FREE ALL DAY!

Help us celebrate our new exhibition Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami with a day of origami for the whole family.

Generously sponsored by Target, these special Saturdays are filled with fun activities giving families unique ways to learn, play, and grow together.

  • Origami crease patterns can be exciting too! See what unique designs emerge when you color in a sheet of crease pattern shapes.
  • Stop by our drop-in origami table to fold something fantastic and fun.
  • Help us make the longest paper chain ever made at JANM. Learn how to fold a link and watch the chain grow as visitors contribute throughout the day!
  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Sail on over to Ruthie’s corner to learn how to make an origami boat.

    11AM – Doors open

    1 - 4 PM - Kidding Around the Kitchen is going to help our little friends learn how to make their own lunch time wraps.

    1 – 4 PM – Be amazed by a wandering “dollar bill” origami expert

    1 PM – Take a guided gallery tour of Folding Papers with curator Meher McArthur

    2 PM – Author Takayuki Ishii will talk about his book One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sadako and the Children's Peace Statue, an inspirational story of the Japanese national campaign to build the Children's Peace Statue honoring Sadako and hundreds of other children who died as a result of the bombing of Hiroshima.
    Purchase the book from the Museum Store >>

    *Special! Help contribute to our 1000 Cranes for world peace by folding a crane

    4PM – Doors close

    Kidding Around The Kitchen
    Kidding Around the Kitchen (KATK) brings a “hands on” cooking experience and lesson in which the kids actively participate in the preparation of recipes. The result of their cutting, measuring, cooking, and then eating their creations is more than simply a lesson in health. They get to see, touch, smell, and taste the fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheeses, eggs, meats, and other ingredients that they may never have previously seen in their raw form.

    For more information on Kidding Around the Kitchen,

    One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sadako and the Children's Peace Statue written by Pastor Takayuki Ishii
    Ten years after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Sadako Sasaki died as a result of atomic bomb disease. Sadako's determination to fold one thousand paper cranes and her courageous struggle with her illness inspired her classmates. After her death, they started a national campaign to build the Children's Peace Statue to remember Sadako and the many other children who were victims of the Hiroshima bombing. On top of the statue is a girl holding a large crane in her outstretched arms. Today in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, this statue of Sadako is beautifully decorated with thousands of paper cranes given by people throughout the world.

    April 14: Monster Mash!

    May 12: Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage
    July 14: Faces + Places

    14th Annual Summer Festival on the Courtyard: Japanese American Olympics

    Folding Paper Exhibition Tour: April 14, 2012- April 14, 2012, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
    Saturday, April 14, 2012
    1:00 PM—2:00 PM

    Folding Paper Exhibition Tour

    Walkthrough of Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami with curator Meher McArthur.

    Saturday, May 26, 2012
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern Science of Origami. A Lecture by Robert Lang

    events/Robert_Lang100.jpg This program is FREE!

    The last decade of this past century has been witness to a revolution in the development and application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper-folding. The techniques used in mathematical origami design range from the abstruse to the highly approachable. In this talk, I will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems – specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps, and along the way, enabled origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism, some of which you’ll see, too. As often happens in mathematics, theory originally developed for its own sake has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems. I will discuss examples of how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

    Co-sponsor: Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

    Special: Robert Lang will lead an informal gallery talk after his lecture.

    Robert J. Lang is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding. With a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech, he has, during the course of work at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Spectra Diode Laboratories, and JDS Uniphase, authored or co-authored over 80 papers and 45 patents in lasers and optoelectronics as well as authoring, co-authoring, or editing 12 books and a CD-ROM on origami. He is a full-time artist and consultant on origami and its applications to engineering problems but keeps his toes in the world of lasers, most recently as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics from 2007–2010. He received Caltech’s highest honor, the Distiguished Alumni Award, in 2009.

    Saturday, June 2, 2012
    1:00 PM—2:00 PM

    Folding Paper Exhibition Tour

    Walkthrough of Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami with curator Meher McArthur.

    PLEASE NOTE We are limiting this tour to 25 people total. If you are interested in joining the tour, please RSVP. When making a reservation, e-mail or call 213.625.0414 at least 48 hours prior to the event. Include the name, date, and time of the program, as well as your name and the total in your party.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    1:00 PM—2:00 PM

    Craft Class with Ruthie Kitagawa: Kusudama

    Make kusudama (paper balls) inspired crafts for your friends and family. $9 members; $14 non-members, includes admission and supplies.

    Saturday, August 11, 2012
    11:00 AM—5:00 PM

    14th Annual Summer Festival on the Courtyard: Japanese American Olympics



    London will host the Summer Olympics but JANM will host the JA Olympics. Join us for fun Japanese American games for the whole family.


  • Japanese Americans and basketball are like two peas in a pod! Make two out of three free throws and win a prize! 1 prize per person, while supplies last. (11 – 5 PM)

  • Calling all origami artists of all ages! Enter our origami design competition and leave your mark on the world of origami! (11 – 4 PM)

  • Think you know a lot of Japanese American trivia? Match your knowledge against others in JANM’s first ever JA trivia competition! FREE (1 PM).

  • Do you think you can win the 1st annual JANM Jan Ken Po (rock-papers-scissors) tournament? Find out if you can beat the best of the best! Youth and adult divisions, $5.00 entrance fee. (2-4 PM) (For more information: Please scroll down.)

  • Watch the first JA Olympics Medals ceremony (given to the winners of the Origami design contest, the Jan Ken Po Tournament and the JA Trivia Competition (4:30 PM)

  • Come enjoy our fun and cool Toddler Room (All Day)

  • Let HoopItUp teach you how to hula hoop your way to good health (All Day)

  • Are you brave enough to take on the origami scavenger hunt? Complete it and you’ll win a prize! (All Day)

  • Make some gold metal fruit kebabs with the Kidding Around the Kitchen (11 AM – 2 PM)

  • Smile! Be part of JANM’s first JA Olympics with a picture souvenir! (11AM-5 PM)

  • Build a fun trophy for yourself or for a friend using an assortment of materials. Try to make it as unique as possible!

  • Decorate an award “medal” and wear it to show off your creativity

  • Hip, hip, hooray! You’ll need a megaphone to project your cheers so come decorate one at the Museum

  • Make a summer festival hat to show your style. Our paper hats are becoming a summer time tradition here at JANM because we always have so much fun seeing the hats fashioned by our visitors!

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Make an origami sports ball of your own
  • Saturday, August 25, 2012
    1:00 PM—2:00 PM

    Folding Paper Exhibition Tour

    Walkthrough of Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami with curator Meher McArthur.

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Exhibition Closing

    Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami closes.