Saturday, April 14, 11 AM–11 PM

The Society-wide series Sakura—Spring Renews, Beauty Blooms culminates in Japan Society’s annual all-day j-CATION culture fest. Guests are transported to a cherry blossom-filled springtime haven, with activities including a Japanese-style game show (grand prize: one roundtrip ticket to Japan), live bands, art, cinema, workshops, origami, printmaking, karaoke, language lessons, family activities, a hana-mi (cherry blossom viewing) lounge with drinks and snacks, and more.

$10 / $5 Japan Society members and children under 12 / FREE children 2 and under. Tickets are available at the door day of the event only. Further ticketing details below.

Taiko Kick-Off
11–11:15 AM

j-CATION begins with a bang as New York taiko drumming consortium New York Suwa Taiko Association performs at the entrance to welcome festival crowds.

You're on Standby!
A Japanese Game Show
1–2 PM

One lucky audience member will walk away with a free roundtrip ticket to Japan (courtesy of United Airlines) in this live on-stage game show. Hosted by Kenji America, contestants submit to grueling mental and physical challenges that test their stamina and amuse everyone else. Appropriate for ages 18+.

Sakura Cinema
3–5 PM

j-CATIONers are transported to the vivid land of geishas, samurai and cherry blossoms in Tomu Uchida’s 1960 masterpiece Killing in Yoshiwara following the sumptuous, fleeting love affair between a disfigured merchant and a beautiful courtesan. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Hana-mi Lounge
11 AM–11 PM

Grab a seasonally inspired beverages (beer, sake, plum wine, cold tea, juices and sodas) and snacks available for purchase in this veritable cherry blossom viewing park. Japanese instrumentalists and participatory karaoke are featured in the afternoon and a DJ dance party takes place at night. Throughout the day mainstage events are shown via live video feed. Local vendors sell food in the Foyer and wagashi (Japanese sweets) are available on the 2nd floor for sample and sale.

Wall*Flowers Installation
11 AM–8 PM

Help make a magnificent cherry tree reach peak bloom on the walls of Japan Society! Craft a paper cherry blossom with a few simple origami folds and cuts. After writing your wish, haiku or message to Japan, add your flower to the growing sakura tree.

Deco Japan in the Gallery
11 AM–8 PM

Immerse yourself in bold lines, splashy colors, and stylistic verve in Deco Japan: Shaping Art & Culture, 1920-1945, the first U.S. exhibition of Japanese Art Deco. j-CATIONers are encouraged to study the 200+ artworks while following cryptic questions listed on the day’s program. A small prize will be awarded to the first 300 people to complete the “Decoration Exploration.” Contest ends at 5 pm.

Things We Should Never Forget
11 AM–11 PM

Visitors can pay tribute to those affected by Japan’s March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami at this special exhibition comprised of 47 “then and now" photos taken by The Nikkei newspaper.

Simply Stunning Shodo
11:30 AM–5:30 PM

Master calligrapher Masako Inkyo teaches basic strokes of this traditional art form with an emphasis on spring themes. Sakura-inspired calligraphy works by Inkyo sensei and her students will be on display in the language center. Thirty-minute sessions are at 11:30 am, 12:15 pm, 1:00, 1:45, 2:45, 3:30, 4:15, 5:30.

Cherry Blossom Block Printing Demonstration
3-5 PM

Graphic Designer Adrienne Wong demonstrates block printing on stationery and tea towels using seasonal motifs. Observers learn how to carve a linoleum block, select colors, papers, print and make patterns as a sneak preview of her May 9 workshop.

Kamishibai Storytelling
11:20 AM – 1:40 PM

This traditional storytelling technique transports children to a springtime world filled with cherry blossoms. Recommended for children ages 3-10 accompanied by an adult. Twenty-minute sessions are at 11:20 am, 12:00 pm, 12:40 and 1:20.

Japanese for Beginners
3:15–6 PM

The school year in Japan begins in the spring. Start off your Japanese studies with introductory language workshops taught by instructors from the Society’s highly regarded Toyota Language Center. Thirty-minute sessions are at 3:15 pm, 4:00, 4:45, 5:30.

Origami in Full Bloom
11 AM – 6 PM

Learn how to transform ordinary paper into beautiful springtime images, including a variety of flowers. Volunteers from OrigamiUSA are on-hand to offer tips, techniques and inspiration.

Hana + Haiku

Aspiring poets around the world are invited to share their sakura-infused haiku. Selected poems will be projected during j-CATION. Prizes for best haiku range from decorative dishware to delicious tea or sake. Email submission in English to haiku(at)japansociety.org by April 9.

Yozakura* Nights
Concert with Alex York and The Suzan
8-10 PM

Yozakura is the word for evening cherry blossoms, and in the final festival mainstage events, j-CATIONers can rock the night away to the beats of acclaimed pop-rocker Alex York, singing in Japanese and English, and New York City’s beloved riot-grrl, garage punk band from Tokyo, The Suzan.

DJ Aki
10-11 PM

The festival ends with the mixing melodies of DJ Aki in the Hanami Lounge.


$10 / $5 Japan Society members and children under 12 / FREE children 2 and under. Tickets are available at the door day of the event only.

Workshop Registration
Due to limited capacities, calligraphy, language and kamishibai programs are ticketed and require registration. Tickets will be released at Japan Society on Saturday, April 14th beginning at 11 AM for sessions between 11:20 AM-2:15 PM and at 2 PM for sessions scheduled between 2:45-6 PM. All tickets are included in the j-CATION admission fee. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Ticket pick-up is limited to one (1) ticket per person per event. Space is limited.

All other non-ticketed events will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be included in the j-CATION admission fee.

For more information please contact the box office at (212) 715-1258.

Photo credits:
DECO JAPAN: K. Kotani (dates unknown); Modan bushi (The Modern Song); songbook cover; color lithograph, inks on paper, 1930; hotograph courtesy of The Levenson Collection. MEMORY: Nikkei, Inc. KILLING IN YOSHIWARA: 1960 Toei Co. ALEX YORK: Ash Fox. THE SUZAN: MamikoMiyakoshi. TAIKO, STANDBY, SHODO, KAMISHIBAI, JAPANESE, ORIGAMI: George Hirose.

Part of Sakura—Spring Renews, Beauty Blooms.

j-CATION is generously supported by Kikkoman Corporation, Mitsubishi International Corporation, and Sir Howard Stringer.


Additional support is provided by Toyota Motor North America, Inc., Chartis, Alan S. MacDonald, Megu, Jun Makihara and Megumi Oka, Satoru and Hiroko Murase, Nippon Steel U.S.A., Inc., Motoatsu and Nobuko Sakurai, and Jonathan B. Kindred.


Game show grand prize is courtesy of United Airlines.

Gifts are provided by DAIKIN and Miya Company.

Sweets for the free tasting are provided by Minamoto Kitchoan Co., Inc.

Special thanks to volunteers from OrigamiUSA and volunteer Kamishibai storytellers Ai Nakajima and Fumiko Nishino.

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Previous Years

Saturday, April 9, 2011

J-CATION - Taste Japan
Saturday, April 10, 2010
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