“Year of the Horse” was the theme of the Oshogatsu Family Festival held Sunday at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo with nearly 3,400 people attending. Above: With their parents’ help, kids made stick horses with heads made of paper bags.
At Ruthie’s Origami Corner, visitors learned how to fold a prancing horse.
Samples of osechi-ryori, Japanese New Year’s food, were served.
Above and below: Common Grains sponsored the Onigiri Design Contest, in which participants used a variety of ingredients to create unique rice balls. Winners in the children’s division included: Personality — Janice Yasuda, Skye Myoshi; Kawaii — Nicole Curd, Maya Gaffani, Bryan Sochiratna; Artistic — Madoka Steinke, Eber Lein. Adult winners included: Original — Chris Jorge; Humorous — Christian Lam.
Takafumi Ichiyanagi, an expert at ame-zaiku (candy sculpting), made horses and other animals. He was accompanied by his uncle and mentor, Shan Ichiyanagi.
In keeping with the horse theme, there were pony rides for children.
At the Kidding Around the Kitchen tables, visitors added ingredients to soba noodles, which are eaten for good luck in the new year.
Kodama Taiko gave a demonstration of mochitsuki and invited kids to take a whack at it. Samples of fresh mochi were handed out.
Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo