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3rd Los Angeles Tanabata Festival Set for Museum Courtyard August 12-15

Los Angeles

The Japanese American National Museum celebrates its 13th Annual Summer Festival on the Courtyard with the Los Angeles Tea Festival by Chado Tea Room, free hands-on arts and crafts activities for families, a ticketed concert featuring traditional Japanese folk songs, and fun features related to its latest exhibition, Year of the Rabbit: Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, on Saturday, August 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Traditionally, the National Museum holds its annual event at the beginning of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, which is being organized for the 71st time from August 13 to August 21 this year. Part of the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Tanabata Festival will take place within the Museum’s Plaza on August 12 through 15 as well. For more information, go to,

The Los Angeles Tea Festival by Chado Tea Room will be held on August 13 and 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day within the Museum’s Pavilion. Chado Tea Room, which makes over 300 different types of tea available through its retail outlets including at the National Museum, has organized this ticketed event by bringing together different exhibitors and tea lovers. For $15 per person ($10 for National Museum members), participants will access different teas through the exhibitors and take part in workshops with tea experts, including author/storyteller/historian James Norwood Pratt (James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary). Tickets can be purchased at any Chado Tea Room or online at

Summer Festival activities include Ruthie’s Origami Corner, where visitors will learn how to make a rabbit by folding paper; a special Usagi Yojimbo cutout display so anyone can take a photo with the iconic rabbit samurai; picture frame decorating; hat-making out of paper; and a toddler room.

Another ticketed event will be the "Ayagoromo—Mindful Transitions" concert featuring Japanese singer Yoko Fujimoto (Kodo) and composer Derek Nakamoto. They will perform traditional Japanese folk songs blended with Modern World Music sensibilities in the Museum’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 13. Guest artists include Kaoru Watanabe on Japanese woodwinds and percussion, Abe Lagrimas Jr. on ukelele, vibes and percussion and Cameron Stone on cello. Tickets are $10 for National Museum members and $15 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased at This concert was made possible in part by Kodo Arts Sphere America (KASA).

Besides Year of the Rabbit, the Museum has several different displays available, including the "Year of the Labbit Custom Show" featuring "Labbit" toys that have been customized by artists, including Stan Sakai, Mike Shinoda and Kip Fulbeck. This display is available through September 11. Also, the "The California Hotel: Hawai‘i’s Home Away from Home" display is on view, featuring the story of the relationship between a Las Vegas casino and patrons from Hawai`i, especially Japanese Americans. In support of this show, which closes August 28, co-authors John Blink and Dennis Ogawa will appear on Sunday, August 14, at 1 p.m. to discuss their book, California Hotel and Casino. The book tells the story from the point of view of the casino of the amazing relationship of the casino and the people of Hawai`i. The book is available through the Museum store.

The Japanese American National Museum is dedicated to fostering greater understanding and appreciation for America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by preserving and telling the stories of Americans of Japanese ancestry. Since its incorporation in 1985, the National Museum has grown into an internationally recognized institution, presenting award-winning exhibitions, groundbreaking traveling exhibits, educational public programs, innovative video documentaries and cutting-edge curriculum guides.



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