Japanese American National Museum
Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 1, 2016

Leslie Unger - - 213-830-5690


Los Angeles

The Japanese American National Museum will hold its annual Oshogatsu Family Festival on Sunday, January 8, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The New Year celebration will include free crafts, performances, and cultural activities for people of all ages to help ring in the Year of the Rooster.

Highlights of the day will include demonstrations of the ancient art of candy sculpting, sample bowls of lucky zaru soba for kids, a performance by Los Angeles-based TAIKOPROJECT, and a mochitsuki (rice pounding) demonstration.

In addition, kawaii artist Sebastian Masuda will lead a workshop in conjunction with his Time After Time Capsule project. His Hello Kitty Time Capsule has been on view at JANM since early November. His Domo Time Capsule will arrive and be on view in December. On the day of Oshogatsu Family Festival at the museum, Masuda will be on hand for a workshop in which the public can contribute to the capsules’ contents.

NHK is the Major Sponsor of JANM’s 2017 Oshogatsu Family Festival; the Los Angeles County Arts Commission is Sponsor. Time After Time Capsule is presented in collaboration with The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.

The full schedule of activities for January 8 follows.

All Day Activities

Visitors can learn to fold an origami rooster as well as cut and decorate paper roosters.

Clay and beads will be available for making replica kagami mochi, a decorative rice cake arrangement traditionally used to commemorate the New Year in Japan.

Coloring pages will help visitors learn about qualities of people born in the Year of the Rooster as well as the 11 other signs of the Asian zodiac.

Guests can explore JANM’s Common Ground: The Heart of Community exhibition and receive a prize for photographing an artifact that was of particular interest.

A Nerdbot photo booth will provide souvenir photos for guests to take home.

Toddlers can have fun or relax with an adult who brought them in the JANM toddler room. The animated Disney film Chicken Little will be screening there throughout the day.

Fukubukuro (lucky grab bags) will be available for purchase at the JANM Store.


Scheduled Activities:

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Several different varieties of chicken, including miniature Seramas, Silkie Bantams, Polish Bantams, and Giant Cochins, will be on view. Courtesy of Farm Friendz.

11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Kidding Around the Kitchen will offer free sample bowls of lucky zaru soba (buckwheat noodles) to bring good health in the new year (while supplies last). Kids can top the soba with their choice of tofu, vegetables, and nori.

11:30 a.m.: Story time will feature a reading of Thank You Very Mochi, a children’s book written by Paul Matsushima, Sophie Wang, and Craig Ishii and published by Kizuna, a Japanese American youth organization. Matsushima and Wang will do the reading and sign books afterward.

12 p.m.–5 p.m.: Shan Ichiyanagi (Shan the Candyman) will demonstrate the ancient, and now rarely practiced, Asian folk art of candy sculpting. Finished pieces, including some shaped liked roosters, will be raffled off throughout the day.

1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.: Kodama Taiko will present its unique mochitsuki (rice pounding) demonstration, which incorporates taiko drumming. Mochi samples will be available while supplies last.

1 p.m.: JANM members can participate in a workshop to learn how to make a variety of onigiri (Japanese rice ball snacks) with Sonoko Sakai, author of the new cookbook Rice Craft (available for purchase at the JANM Store). Rice for the workshop is generously donated by Koda Farms, California’s oldest family-owned and operated rice farm and mill.

1:30 p.m.: Brian Kito of renowned Fugetsu-Do Confectioners will demonstrate the fine art of making rainbow mochi.

2 p.m.–5 p.m.: Author Sonoko Sakai will conduct a drop-in onigiri-making workshop for Oshogatsu attendees. Rice for the workshop is generously donated by Koda Farms.

4:15 p.m.: Oshogatsu Family Festival will be brought to a rousing close with a performance by Los Angeles-based TAIKOPROJECT.

In addition to the 1 p.m. onigiri workshop, JANM members enjoy special benefits at Oshogatsu Family Festival. These include priority lines at some activities and reserved seating at some performances.

Admission to all exhibitions and displays are free during Oshogatsu Family Festival. These include Common Ground: The Heart of Community, Tatau: Marks of Polynesia, Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II, and Only the Oaks Remain: The Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station. For more information about JANM’s 2017 Oshogatsu Family Festival, visit

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Tatau: Marks of Polynesia
Through January 8, 2017
Tatau: Marks of Polynesia explores Samoan tattoo practice through photographs that showcase the work of traditional tatau masters alongside more contemporary manifestations of the art form. Curated by author and master tattoo artist Takahiro “Ryudaibori” Kitamura with photography by John Agcaoili, Tatau highlights the beauty of the Samoan tattoo tradition as well as its key role in the preservation and propagation of Samoan culture.

Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II
Through January 8, 2017
Between 1942 and 1944, thousands of incarcerated Japanese Americans were moved from concentration camps to farm labor camps as a way to mitigate the wartime labor shortage. In the summer of 1942, Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographer Russell Lee documented four such camps in Oregon and Idaho, capturing the laborers’ day-to-day lives in evocative detail. Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II presents a selection of those images, many of which have never before been exhibited.

Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Incorporating hundreds of objects, documents, and photographs collected by JANM, this exhibition chronicles 130 years of Japanese American history, from the early days of the Issei pioneers through the World War II incarceration to the present.

Special Display—Only the Oaks Remain: The Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station
December 10, 2016 – April 9, 2017
This special display tells the true stories of those targeted as dangerous enemy aliens and imprisoned in the Tuna Canyon Detention Station, located in the Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles, by the US Department of Justice during World War II. Photographs, letters, and diaries bring the experiences of imprisoned Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and Japanese Peruvians to life. This project was organized by the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition; funded, in part, by a grant from the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program; and sponsored by the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center.

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About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, the Japanese American National Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite and traveled 17 of its exhibitions to locations around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America.

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. General admission is $10 adults, $6 students and seniors, free for members and children under age five. Admission is free to everyone on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8 p.m. General admission prices and free admission times may not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Closed Monday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information visit or call 213.625.0414.



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