‘JA Olympics’ Theme for 14th JANM Summer Festival

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The Japanese American National Museum is organizing its 14th annual Summer Festival under the theme “Japanese American Olympics” on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival, which coincides with the first day of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo, is free and open to the public. It will be held in the museum’s courtyard on First and Central in Little Tokyo.

With the London Summer Olympic Games about to conclude that weekend, JANM will organize competitions in activities familiar to the Japanese American community. Highlighting the Japanese American Olympics will be the inaugural Jan Ken Po Tournament (known to the general public as rock-paper-scissors). The tournament, set for 2 to 4 p.m., will include youth and adult divisions and there is a $5 entry fee.

Highlighting JANM’s popular “Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami” exhibition, which closes on Aug. 26, JANM will host an Origami Design Contest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants in the youth and adult divisions will be able to submit their own creative designs as part of the competition.

From 1 to 2 p.m., JANM will host the Japanese American Trivia Contest, a test of participants’ knowledge about JA sports and games. To learn more about how to enter as a contestant, go to www.janm.org/summerfest2012. All three of these events will be part of the JA Olympics Medal Ceremony set for 4:30 p.m.

Other all-day activities include the Basketball Free Throw Contest (prizes will be given while they last); hula hoop lessons with HoopItUp, and an Origami Scavenger Hunt. Families and friends can pose for a photo in front of the museum’s special JA Olympics backdrop. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Kidding Around the Kitchen will help participants create Gold Medal Fruit Kebabs.

Also available are arts and crafts activities throughout the day. Families can build their own unique trophy, decorate an award medal, and customize a megaphone. Visitors can design their own paper hats for summer and learn to make an origami sports ball at Ruthie’s Origami Corner.

Along with the Nisei Week Festival activities, the Summer Festival will take place alongside the fourth annual Tanabata Festival, which will be held on Aug. 11 and 12 with opening ceremonies set for Friday, Aug. 10, at 5 p.m. This festival includes decorated kazari by community organizations and individuals, which are hung in front of the Geffen Contemporary, just north of JANM.

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