The Japanese American National Museum (JANM), 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 all ages to help ring in the Year of the Rabbit. Visit to RSVP.

New Year’s, or Oshogatsu, is one of Japan’s longest and most important holidays. Although Oshogatsu originally referred to the whole month of January, most people associate it with the first three days (sanga nichi) of the month.

All-day activities at the 2023 Oshogatsu Family Festival include:

• Learning how to fold a cute origami rabbit face at Ruthie’s Origami Corner

• Hopping into the new year with a rabbit headband and matching carrot

• Fun props for souvenir photos by Cre8tive Outlets

• Exploring JANM’s exhibitions with a Year of the Rabbit-themed scavenger hunt

Participants will have a chance to win a candy sculpture by Shan Ichiyanagi through a Kids’ Raffle while supplies last. Limit one raffle ticket per child (two for JANM members).

Scheduled activities throughout the day include:

Kodama Taiko will give a mochitsuki demonstration.

11 a.m.–5 p.m.: Shan Ichiyanagi will demonstrate the ancient and now rarely practiced Asian folk art of candy sculpting. Watch as he makes candy in the shape of rabbits and other animals of the Asian zodiac. The finished pieces will be offered as prizes in the Kids’ Raffle noted above.

11:30 a.m.–12 p.m.: Los Angeles-based musician Yuki Yasuda will play the koto. Reserved seating for JANM members.

12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.: Author Mina Harada Eimon will read from her children’s book “Why Cats Chase Mice: A Story of the Twelve Zodiac Signs.” This retelling of a Japanese version of the Asian folktale explains the origins of the animals chosen for the zodiac. Harada will also sign copies of the book, available in the JANM Store.

12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.: Making fresh mochi is a beloved Japanese New Year’s tradition. Join Kodama Taiko for their unique mochitsuki demonstration, which incorporates taiko drumming.

2–3 p.m.: Enjoy a performance by the nation’s longest-running Asian American improv and sketch comedy group, Cold Tofu, as they improvise scenes and games based on audience suggestions. Reserved seating for JANM members.

2:30–3 p.m.: Join friends from the Los Angeles Public Library for a fun-filled storytime session.

JANM members enjoy special benefits including express lines and reserved seating. All performances will be livestreamed on JANM’s YouTube channel (@janmdotorg) and Instagram (@jamuseum) throughout the day.

Admission to all exhibitions is free all day during the festival too:

• “BeHere/1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration” (closing Jan. 8)

• “Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration”

• “Common Ground: The Heart of Community”

• “The Interactive StoryFile of Lawson Iichiro Sakai”

Check for the full schedule of events.

JANM’s 2023 Oshogatsu Family Festival is sponsored by the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, The Nissan Foundation, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. Media Sponsor: The Rafu Shimpo.

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