Natsumatsuri: Yukata

800px-Girls_in_kimonos
Photo: Chris Gladis

What better way to get into the spirit of summer festivals than with some new duds? Try on a yukata with the help of Suehiro Kimono Agency and get your photo taken at our Natsumatsuri Family Festival this weekend on Saturday, August 10!

Yukata are traditional Japanese garments for both men and women. Unlike kimono, they are worn for casual occasions, especially during the summer for special events such as obon or firework displays. They are unlined and made of cotton—making them nice and cool for those long, hot days.

In Heian-era Japan, court nobles wore linen yukata after bathing, a practice later adopted by the public with the popularization of public baths. Today, they are often brightly colored with fun patterns such as florals or geometric designs. Many young women coordinate their yukata color with that of their obi, or sash—some even wearing a more transparent obi on top for decoration. Some go all out and also wear geta, or traditional wooden clogs, and a kanzashi, a cute hair ornament.

2013 Natsumatsuri Family Festival
FREE ALL DAY!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
11AM – 5PM

2PM – 5PM: Try on a yukata and have your picture taken!
Suehiro Kimono Agency will dress you in a yukata so you can have a special picture to take home! Yukata are traditional light Japanese garments worn during the summer to keep cool.

For full schedule of activities: janm.org/natsumatsuri2013

Special Courtyard Kids Lunch during Natsumatsuri, Saturday, 8/10

Courtyard Kaeru playing taikoDid you honor a special child (or children) in your life this year? If you did it with the gift of a permanent engraving in the Plaza of the Japanese American National Museum, then your invitation has already been sent for our Saturday, August 10, 2013 Courtyard Kids luncheon.

This luncheon is invitation-only and will be a fun and refreshing time to celebrate some of our youngest supporters.

RSVP’s are due by Thursday, August 1. Please contact Gina Nieto (gnieto@janm.org or 213.830.5669) so that we may prepare food, goodie bags, and reserved tote bags (to be screen printed by your child later that day).

Even if your family can’t make the lunch but would like to attend Natsumatsuri—and take advantage of the member fast pass lines and reserved seating—please let Gina know and we will set aside a goodie bag and tote bag.

Check out the Natsumatsuri Family Festival schedule >>

For more information about the Children’s Courtyard >>

Natsumatsuri: Taiko

While the Museum prepares for Natsumatsuri on Saturday, August 10th, we thought we’d get everyone pumped by putting a spotlight on some of the upcoming activities! Look forward to more of these posts explaining several Natsumatsuri traditions.

Hal Keimi is a long-time JANM volunteer who leads interactive taiko demonstrations for school tours throughout the year. He led 2 taiko sessions at Oshogatsu Family Festival
Hal Keimi is a long-time JANM volunteer who leads interactive taiko demonstrations for school tours and family festival events throughout the year

Anyone who’s been a regular visitor to Little Tokyo has likely seen—or heard—a taiko group perform. If you haven’t, there will be several chances to at this year’s Natsumatsuri! Museum docent Hal Keimi will be teaching taiko, followed by a performance to cap off the day by the L.A. Matsuri Taiko group.

Taiko, or Japanese drums, have grown into a variety of percussion instruments. Taiko can also refer to the art of Japanese ensemble drumming with many different instruments and performers—specifically known as kumi-daiko. Performances can last from five to 25 minutes.

Taiko in America really began in the 1960s, when the first kumi-daiko group was formed in San Francisco. That first group soon lead to two more, one in San Jose and the other right here in Los Angeles. These three original groups built their own drums, created their own costumes, and wrote their own music.

The ranks swelled and diversified to over 250 groups in North America today, who perform not just at festivals but also in colleges, auditoriums, and movie soundtracks.

Check out this video of LA Matsuri Taiko performing at the Valley Japanese Community Center Obon Festival!

 

(Video: odorigirl)

2013 Natsumatsuri Family Festival
FREE ALL DAY!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
11AM – 5PM

11:30AM & 12:30PM: Taiko Demonstrations
Taiko is a Japanese American tradition! Learn how to play taiko drums with JANM docent Hal Keimi

4:30PM: Taiko Performance
Enjoy a fun taiko performance by L.A. Matsuri Taiko!

For full schedule of activities: janm.org/natsumatsuri2013

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The Watase Media Arts Center produced a DVD about taiko in the United States in conjunction with the 2005 Big Drum exhibition. Purchase it from the Museum Store >>

Fun for the whole family at Natsumatsuri!

JANM-2013-NatsumatsuriWe are cutting the origami paper, ordering the bounce house, and lining up the entertainment…and you know what that means! JANM is gearing up for our annual Natsumatsuri family festival! On Saturday, August 10th, from 11 AM to 5PM, join us to celebrate summer with crafts, cultural performances, and activities—all for free.

This year, we’re going retro with lots of traditional summer festival activities. Get your blood pumping with a taiko lesson from JANM docent Hal Kiemi before learning what obon is all about. As always, there will be tons of fun activities and crafts all day, from screenprinting tote bags to making wacky paper hats.

It’s not all old school—we’re making new traditions this year too! Japanese mariachi singer Roger del Norte will perform with MEXICAPAN and singer Lupita Infante for the first ever mariachi concert at JANM.

Also, if you haven’t already, walk through our exhibits Visible & Invisible (closing on August 25th) and Portraiture Now!

Check out the schedule for the full list of awesome activities.

See you soon!