The ritual shooting of an arrow is a Japanese New Year’s tradition.

To celebrate the new year, JACCC presents its annual Oshogatsu festivities with its signature New Year’s program, Kotohajime (the first performance of the new year) on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 at the Aratani Japan America Theatre at the JACCC, along with the 15th annual Shikishi Exhibition from Jan. 6 to Feb. 24 in the George J. Doizaki Gallery.

Every January, Little Tokyo becomes the center for celebrating the Japanese New Year in Southern California, with the JACCC providing programs that invigorate the spirit and imagination. Literally meaning “the beginning of things,” Kotohajime will celebrate the Year of the Snake with the theme “Hatsu Mato” or “First Target.”

Curated by Artistic Director Hirokazu Kosaka, Kotohajime is a visual delight and artistic achievement, with dazzling performances and live music, accompanied by an award-winning set design.

The lineup also includes the Kwan Gyu Lim Dance Company, the Professional Training Program students of the Colburn School’s Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, Majikina Honryu (Okinawan dance), George Tetsuro Abe (komuso/shakuhachi flute), and Buddhist chanting.

The ritual shooting of an arrow, a purification ceremony, will be performed by IKKYU of the Los Angeles Kyudo Archery Group.

The Shikishi Exhibition, which encourages public participation, creates a rich display of the collective voice of the diverse community.

Shikishi are Japanese congratulatory cards of standard size, which has been used in Japan since the 12th century for painting and writing poetry. Today, they are given as gifts to make a memorable or special occasion, and the use of this format is the requirement for participation in the exhibit.

The JACCC is located at 244 S. San Pedro St. (between Second and Third streets) in Los Angeles. For more information, call (213) 628-2725 or visit

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