Family Program

New Year's Celebration: Oshogatsu

New Year's Celebration: Oshogatsu

Sunday, January 28, 1 PM

Photos © George Hirose

Sunday, January 28, 1–4 PM

Celebrate the New Year Japanese-style with our Oshogatsu event filled with the traditional activities of rice pounding, calligraphy, lion dancing and more! After trying your hand at different crafts and activities, watch a taiko drumming performance at 1:30 or 2:30 pm, then join a brief post-performance audience practice session. With activities for the whole family, you are sure to ring in the New Year with great joy!

Healthy Japanese light meals, snacks and festival-related refreshments available for purchase by BentOn.

Tickets: $18/$10 Japan Society & corporate members; ages 2 & under free (price includes festival and one taiko drumming session at 1:30 or 2:30 PM)


Taiko Drumming
1:30 & 2:30 PM
Enjoy a dynamic, vibrant taiko drumming performance by Taiko Masala with accompanying lion dancing. Following the show, audience members are invited to practice and perform on stage with the troupe of drummers.


Begin the New Year by learning to write Japanese words and phrases associated with the holiday. Children and parents of all ages will experience the time-honored classics of brush and sumi ink calligraphy art.

Rice Pounding & Decorative Mochi-Making

Guests pound rice dough in a large mortar (usu) with a wooden mallet (kine) and enjoy this traditional cultural experience first-hand! Then, participants are invited to make decorative mochi called Kagami-mochi from the pounded dough. (Edible mochi, prepared by a local Japanese vendor will also be available for purchase.)

Fukuwarai Funny-Face Game

Play Fukuwarai, which roughly translates to “Lucky Laugh,” by assembling a face by placing paper cutouts of wacky facial features on a blank face while blindfolded. Observer and players alike get a rise out of this traditional children’s game.

Karuta Card Making and Game

Ready-Set-Go! Race to create a pair of phrases read by a third player before the other participants beat you to it. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins! Try your hand…and ears…as the game is played in Japanese and English. You can also create your own set of original Karuta cards to take home and play with family, friends, and schoolmates!

Kite (tako) Making

Design your own traditional Japanese kite! Assemble the frame from bamboo and decorate it with any number of festive designs to add a personal touch.

Kamishibai Storytelling

Is it just a story? How are myths and folktales told through Kamishibai (paper-theater)? Listen here to popular New Year’s folktales such as “Hats for the Jizos” and “How the Years Were Named” as your perspectives and viewpoints are built up and encouraged through the power of story. Put your listening ears on as each story will be performed in English and Japanese.

Oshogatsu is a part of CelebrASIA NYC: New Year's Festivities for Families, a series of programs offered by Japan Society, Museum of Chinese in America, The Korea Society, Asia Society, China Institute, Flushing Town Hall and the Rubin Museum of Art introducing children to New Year's traditions through food, performances and hands-on workshops.

This event will be photographed.

Family Programs are generously supported by the Nissan Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Kumon Centers of Manhattan, and the Wendy Obernauer Foundation.


Student and Family Programs are supported in part by the New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Education and Family Programs are made possible by Chris A. Wachenheim and The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc.

Additional support is provided by James Read Levy and Hiroko Onoyama.

Healthy Japanese light meals, snacks and festival-related refreshments available for purchase by .

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