On Sunday, January 5th, JANM rang in the New Year and the Year of the Horse with fun arts ‘n crafts, food, exciting cultural activities, and performances!
Oshogatsu Family Festival is one of JANM’s biggest events of the year, and we were glad to see so many guests come to join in on the fun. From folding a prancing horse origami, to jumping around in a horse bounce house, all of the activities celebrated the New Year and the Year of the Horse.
Thank you to all the JANM staff, volunteers, and friends who helped out at Oshogatsu Family Festival, and of course, thank you to all the guests for helping JANM kick off the New Year with a fun and exciting day!
Check out these photos from the 2014 Oshogatsu Family Festival (click on the thumbnails to see the full pictures):
Photo Credits: Richard Murakami, Caroline Jung, Russell Kitagawa, Richard Watanabe, and Tsuneo Takasugi
JANM’s annual Oshogatsu Family Festival tomorrow is free and open to the public, however, JANM would like to show our members how special they are to us. From a gourmet food tasting to Member Express Lanes, JANM members will receive special perks this Sunday at the festival.
From 12pm to 2pmCommon Grains is sponsoring an Onigiri Design Contest where guests can learn how to make onigiri rice balls and enter the design contest. For this event JANM members can enter a Member Express Lane, to skip a longer wait in line.
This year JANM will have free pony rides for children in celebration of the Year of the Horse from 1pm to 5pm, and members can get in a Member Express Lane.
In addition to member express lanes JANM members will receive special perks throughout the day. From 1pm to 2pm there will be a gourmet osechi-ryori tasting for members only, where JANM members can sample traditional Japanese New Year foods.
From 12pm to 5pm world-renowned candy artistShan Ichiyanagi will make his specialty horse candy sculptures where JANM members can double their chances in a raffle for a candy sculpture after completing an Oshogatsu event survey.
There will also be Member Reserved Seating for the 2:30pm and 4pm Kodama Taiko demonstrations of mochitsuki, a traditional rice cake pounding ceremony where free samples of mochi will be given out.
The Oshogatsu Family Festival will take place on Sunday, January 5th at the Japanese American National Museum from 11am to 5pm. For a full itinerary and for more information, please visit janm.org/oshogatsufest2014
Candy Sculpting is an ancient Asian folk art that originated in China and has been known in Japan for over 1,000 years. As a dying art, only a few performers exist in the world today.
Utilizing old Japanese scissors, Shan Ichiyanagi, a world-renowned candy artist, can magically transform a block of molten corn syrup into a beautiful sculpture of almost any shape and size, in just 4-5 minutes!
Visit Oshogatsu Family Festival on Sunday, January 5th to watch Shan Ichiyanagi make his amazing candy sculptures from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In celebration of the festival’s theme, “Year of the Horse”, Shan Ichiyanagi will make his special horse candy sculptures. The candies will be for children only and will be raffled off throughout the day.
The festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The day will be filled with fun arts & crafts, food, exciting cultural activities, and more! For more information, please visit: janm.org/oshogatsufest2014
Be sure to check our blog for more posts on specific activities scheduled for Oshogatsu Family Festival!
Read our interview with Shan Ichiyanagi on our Discover Nikkei website:
On Sunday, January 5th, celebrate the New Year and the Year of the Horse at our Oshogatsu Family Festival from 11AM to 5PM.
Ring in the New Year with a fun-filled day of arts ‘n crafts, food, exciting cultural activities, and performances! FREE ALL DAY!
One of the traditional Japanese customs that JANM will be celebrating is mochitsuki—the pounding of mochi or rice cakes, which is essential to the “Oshogatsu” or New Year’s celebration.
Mochitsuki is an annual custom kept by many Japanese American households and communities. It is traditionally an all-day event which requires many hands, long hours, and physical labor, but is also a time of fellowship and socializing with friends and family.
Mochitsuki usually begins the day before, with the washing of the mochigome(sweet glutinous rice) and is left to soak overnight in large kettles or tubs. Early the next morning the mochigome is ready to be steamed in theseiro—wooden steaming frames. Three or four seiro are stacked one on top of the other and placed over a kettle of boiling water.
After the rice is cooked, it is dumped into the usu, or mortar, made from a wood stump, stone or concrete form. The hot cooked rice in the usu is pounded with a kine or wooden mallet. With enthusiasm and force, the mochi is pounded until the mass of rice is smooth and shiny, with no discernible individual grains of rice. An essential participant in the pounding is the person assisting who quickly darts his or her hand into the usu and turns the rice before the next rhythmic pound.
The smooth, consistent mass of mochi is turned onto a cloth or paper covered table, already spread with a thin layer of mochiko (sweet rice flour). This makes the sticky mass easier to handle. An adept person pinches off small portions of the steaming hot mochi for others, who quickly form them into flattened bun shapes with their hands. The formed mochi is then set aside to cool and is ready to eat.
Be sure to visit JANM on Sunday, January 5th 2014 to watch Kodama Taiko perform their unique Mochitsuki performance at 2:30PM or 4PM. Watch as Kodama Taiko combine the age-old tradition of pounding mochi (sweet rice) with the sounds of taiko. This energetic performance is customary during the Japanese New Year’s Oshogatsu. Then stick around to sample the delicious mochi afterwards!
VIDEO: Mochitsuki at Heart Mountain (Wyoming)
B&W home movie footage of mochitsuki taken at the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming during WWII. From the Naokichi Hashizume Collection at JANM.
Photos by Daryl Kobayashi, Richard Murakami, Russell Kitagawa, Tsuneo Takasugi, and Caronline Jung.
Celebrate the New Year and the Year of the Horse at JANM! Ring in 2014 with a FREE fun-filled day of exciting cultural performances, special foods, and fun crafts!
FREE admission all day on Sunday, January 5, 2014 from 11AM – 5PM.
Here are a few highlights to look forward to at Oshogatsu Family Festival:
From12PM – 5PM, world-renowned candy artistShan Ichiyanagi returns JANM! Watch as he makes horse & other special candy sculptures! These sculptures will be for children on, and candies will be raflled off throughout the day.
From 12PM – 2PM, learn how to make onigiri rice balls and participate in our Onigiri Design Contest, presented by Common Grains!
From1PM – 5PM be sure to try some lucky zaru soba (buckwheat noodles) with Kidding Around the Kitchen. From 1PM – 5PM you can also meet and ride some real live ponies in celebration of the Year of the Horse!
Don’t miss Kodama Taiko at 2:30PM & 4PM as they perform a demonstration of mochitsuki, a traditional rice cake pounding ceremony. Mochi samples will be passed out at the end of the performance!
For JANM members, there will be a special gourmet osechi-ryori tasting from 12PM – 1PM where members can sample traditional Japanese New Year foods, while supplies last!
The day will also include all-day activities such as a horse bounce house, a toddler room where our youngest guests can hang out, Fukubukuro (lucky bag) sale at the Museum Store, and fun horse crafts.