Oshogatsu: New Year’s Celebration
Celebrate the New Year Japanese-style with traditional activities like rice pounding, calligraphy, lion dancing, and more!
Taiko Drumming & Lion Dancing
1:30 & 2:30 PM
A dynamic, vibrant taiko drumming performance by Taiko Masala with accompanying lion dancing. Following the show, audience members are invited to practice and perform on stage with the troupe of drummers. Before each performance in the theater, there will be a shishimai lion dance procession throughout all of Japan Society. A lucky bite on the noggin will give you luck throughout the whole year!
Begin the New Year by learning to write Japanese words and phrases associated with the holiday, using the time-honored classics of brush and sumi ink.
Rice Pounding & Decorative Mochi-Making
Guests pound rice dough in a large mortar (usu) with a wooden mallet (kine) and enjoy this traditional cultural experience first-hand! Then, participants are invited to make decorative mochi called Kagami-mochi from the pounded dough. (Edible mochi, prepared by a local Japanese vendor are available for purchase.
New Year’s Toys & Games
Try your hand at top spinning (koma-mawashi). Play Fukuwarai, which roughly translates to “Lucky Laugh,” by assembling a face by placing paper cutouts of wacky facial features on a blank face while blindfolded. You can also create your own set of original Karuta cards to play and take home!
Create your own Daruma to take home—a wishing doll and talisman of good luck. As you color the first eye, make a wish. When the wish comes true, color in the other eye!
Kite (Tako) Making
Design your own traditional Japanese kite! Assemble the frame from bamboo and decorate it with any number of festive designs to add a personal touch.
Enjoy this traditional form of Japanese storytelling as you listen to popular New Year’s folktales such as “Hats for the Jizos” and “How the Years Were Named”. Stories are performed in English and Japanese.
Nengajo Year of the Mouse
Celebrate this year’s zodiac animal with fun and adorable crafts! Learn how to make a little origami mouse with bright and patterned papers. Afterwards, create a set of mouse ears you can wear all year long.
Healthy Japanese light meals, snacks and festival-related refreshments available for purchase. .