The Los Angeles Tanabata Festival’s kazari are displayed in JANM’s Aratani Central Hall.

The Japanese American National Museum held its 2023 Natsumatsuri (Summer Festival) on Aug. 12, featuring a day of family-friendly activities.

A kendo demonstration was given in the plaza.

Events in JANM Plaza included:

• High-energy drumming by TaikoProject

• Demonstration by Sho Tokyo Kendo Dojo

Above: Young drummers take part in a taiko workshop led by JANM volunteer Hal Keimi (below).

• Comedy by the Asian American improv group Cold Tofu

• Printmaking workshop with David Horvitz in collaboration with Printed Matter’s L.A. Art Book Fair

• Jazz by Yu-Ki Project, featuring Yu Ooka on shamisen and guitar and Kimo Cornwell of Hiroshima on keyboards

Members of Cold Tofu improvised comedy skits based on audience suggestions.

Indoor events included:

• Reading by Disney animator Benson Shum of his book “Anzu the Great Listener”

• Taiko workshop led by JANM volunteer Hal Keimi

Visitors are treated to traditional Japanese picture storytelling, known as kamishibai.

• Obon lecture and community dance

• Photo booth with a variety of props and backgrounds to choose from

The Minamida family ­— mom and two sisters — and friend Pat (second from right) show off their summery paper hats.

• Ruthie’s Origami Corner, where visitors learned how to fold paper frogs and yukata

• Scavenger hunt that involved exploring the museum’s exhibitions

Benson Shum read and showed illustrations from his book “Anzu the Great Listener.”

• Craft area for making paper hats and summer-themed patches

• Los Angeles Public Library craft table

• JANM’s CMA (Collections Management and Access) book sale

Masako Miki served free bottles of Yakult.

Visitors also had an opportunity to view the Los Angeles Tanabata Festival’s kazari (decorations) and visit LATF’s outdoor craft booth.

Ruthie’s Origami Corner is named in honor of the late JANM volunteer Ruthie Kitagawa.

Rafu Shimpo photos by TOMOKO NAGAI  and J.K. YAMAMOTO

Yu-Ki Project featured Yu Ooka on guitar and Kimo Cornwell on keyboards.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *