The Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo, will hold its annual Oshogatsu Family Festival on Sunday, Jan. 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The New Year’s 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 the festival. Masuda will be on hand for a workshop in which the public can contribute to the capsules’ contents.
NHK is the major sponsor of this year’s 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 follows.
– 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.
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 afterwards.
12–5 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 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.
2–5 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 the festival. These include “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, visit http://janm.org/oshogatsufest2017.