Full Schedule (PDF)


Single-Serving Language Classes
1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:15 pm, 5:15 pm
Order like a pro in a Japanese restaurant after taking our 45-minute Restaurant Japanese workshop. Practice practical phrases before trying out basic restaurant and food etiquette in real world situations. Then stick around for Crash Course Japanese to learn self-introductions and other simple phrases to communicate in Japanese. Be sure to budget time later in the day to reward yourself and test your newfound knowledge at a local Japanese restaurant! Both classes are taught by teachers from Japan Society’s highly regarded Toyota Language Center.  Registration starts at 12:30 PM.

Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo) Classes
2 pm, 2:25 pm, 3:15 pm, 3:40 pm, 4:30 pm, 4:55 pm
Learn from master calligrapher Masako Inkyo how to use a brush and ink to write tasty words in Japanese. At the end of the 25-minute workshop, you will have a visually pleasing kanji representing edible treats to take home and display. Ms. Inkyo will give a 10-minute demonstration in each class.  Registration starts at 12:30 PM.

Furoshiki Workshops
1:30 pm, 2 pm, 2:30 pm, 3 pm, 3:30 pm
The elegant and earth-friendly furoshiki (wrapping cloth) uses techniques similar to origami to wrap almost anything. Keiko Iida, President and Designer at Kiteya SoHo, leads practical, hands-on workshops designed to teach furoshiki basics. Be inspired by her more elaborate designs before learning how to gift-wrap wine, bag groceries, and even carry watermelons.
Each workshop lasts 20 minutes.  Registration starts at 12:30 PM.

Japanese Tea & Sweets 101
1 pm, 1:30 pm, 2 pm, 2:30 pm, 3 pm, 3:30 pm, 4 pm, 4:30 pm
Soak up knowledge of Japanese delicacies before treating your taste buds to an authentic sumptuary experience. In a participatory workshop, traditional Japanese sweet treats, wagashi, will be paired with loose-leaf brewed tea. First learn about the preparation of each before sampling from the Japanese vendors on site.

Manga Artist Hiroki Otsuka
11 am-5 pm
Meet Japan Society Gallery's Mangaka-in-Residence Hiroki Otsuka. Bring in your own drawings for him to critique or watch as he creates a new work of art inspired by a print from GRAPHIC HEROES, MAGIC MONSTERS: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection.


Nippon Eiga Series at j-CATION
Flavor of Happiness
(Shiawase no Kaori)
1:30-3:40 pm
Feast your eyes on Edible Cinema! j-CATION presents the NYC premiere of Flavor of Happiness, a heart-warming, mouth-watering drama.

A heart-warming, mouth-watering drama that ranks among the best of foodie cinema (Babette's Feast, Chocolat, Tampopo), The Flavor of Happiness stars veteran actor Tatsuya Fuji (from Oshima's classic  In the Realm of the Senses) and award-winning actress Miki Nakatani (Memories of Matsuko). The film focuses on the mentor-apprentice relationship between an aging Chinese chef who can no longer run his beloved little restaurant and a single mother struggling to find a direction in life.  Tickets are released at 12:30 PM.

2008, 124 min 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Mitsuhiro Mihara. With Miki Nakatani, Tatsuya Fuji. © 2008 FLAVOR OF HAPPINESS Film Partners.

Live Game Show
4:30-5:20 pm

Colorful teams of showbiz stars, wrestlers and food experts across the city, featuring cabaret superstars Kenny Mellman (aka Herb of Kiki & Herb), Bridget Everett, and Neal Medlyn of Our Hit Parade, pro wrestler extraordinaire Queen of Squeeze Amazon Annie & Her Lobos Locas and daring bloggers squad The Taste Buds with James The Eaten Path, Yvo the Feisty Foodie Paystyle the Umamimart master cocktailier, and Mary Ann the Puff & Choux gather to compete in a live game show that will challenge all five senses. It'll take stamina, lightning-fast reflexes and a connoisseur’s palate to emerge victorious!  Hosted by culture clash comedian, Kenji America. Tickets are released at 12:30 PM.

Table Talk
6-6:45 pm
Featuring competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest fame.

Known in the U.S. as "The Tsunami" and winner 6 years in a row (2001-06) of the Nathan's Famous July Fourth International Eating Contest at Coney Island, Takeru Kobayashi is a multiple-world-record-holding major-league eater.  In addition to a personal best of eating 64.5 hot dogs in 10 minutes in 2009, Kobayashi set a new Guinness World Record by eating 29 meatballs in one minute. Born 1978 in Nagano, Japan, Kobayashi founded the United Food Fighter Organization (UFFO) in 2004.  Interviewed by Time Out New York Associate Food Editor Jordana Rothman and Food Writer Daniel Gritzer. Tickets are released at 12:30 PM.

Asobi Seksu
9:30-11:30 pm
The delicious sounds of the Brooklyn-based dream-pop band, with opening act Me & Mars.

A concert by Brooklyn-based dream-pop band Asobi Seksu (colloquial Japanese for "playful sex"), with an opening set by Me & Mars. Asobi Seksu released its self-titled debut album in 2004 to critical acclaim, winning raves from The New York Times, Nylon and Under the Radar. Their live shows quickly became a favorite in the New York scene. Since the band’s second album in 2006, Citrus, received worldwide praise.  Asobi Seksu has extended its fan base not only all over the United States, but also into Europe, Japan, Australia, Korea and Mexico.  Tickets are released at 8:00 PM.

Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters:
Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection
Japan Society Gallery, until 9 pm
Utagawa Kuniyoshi's wildly popular prints helped lay the groundwork for the modern manga revolution, starting 150 years ago--they're still fresh today!

Utagawa Kuniyoshi's vivid scenes from history and legend, wildly popular 150 years ago, are a major influence on the work of today's manga and anime artists. Visit the exhibition to experience over 100 dramatic depictions of giant spiders, skeletons, and toads, Chinese ruffians, women warriors, haggard ghosts and desperate samurai combat.

This exhibition has been organized by the Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with Arthur R. Miller and The British Museum. Prints from the Miller Collection have been generously loaned to Japan Society by the American Friends of The British Museum.


1 pm-1 am
Chill out with authentic and unusual drinks at the cash bar.

By day, j-LOUNGE will be a comfortable place for guests to relax, congregate and sample one of the many varieties of Japanese soft drinks, bottled teas, canned coffees, sakes and beers for sale at the bar.

1-9 pm
Snacks and Treats will be available for purchase.

Throughout the day, a variety of scrumptious snacks and tasty treats will be available for purchase in Japan Society’s main foyer. Vendors from a selection of local restaurants and retailers will offer authentic tastes of Japan that run the gamut from junk-food to decidedly more esoteric cuisine.

Calling all amateur chefs, food artists, and bento enthusiasts! We invite you to show off your most clever and kawaii bento box creations in a virtual bento box battle. Entries will be displayed at j-CATION on April 10, 2010, and may be posted on the Japan Society website for the world to admire. Special guest judge Christopher D Salyers, bento expert and author of Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes, will help select the winners, who will receive some amazing prizes to further your bento creativity!


Although there is no strict theme to this bento box battle, special consideration may be given to entries incorporating any of these topics:
• The mission of Japan Society: “…to bring the people of the United States and Japan closer together in their appreciation and understanding of each other…”
• Imagery from the Japan Society Gallery exhibition Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection
• Representations of iconic Japanese foods, landmarks, customs, or public figures.

Deadline extended:  Monday, April 5

View our current entries on Flickr!

1st Prize: Panasonic Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker (SR-DG182) and Electric Thermal Pot (NC-EH40PC) (1 awarded)
2nd Prize: Canon Selphy CP780 Compact Photo Printer (2 awarded)
3rd Prize: MUJI Bento Box & Chopsticks Set (3 awarded)

Winners will be contacted after April 12, 2010.

How to enter:
Send an email by March 31 to bentobattle@japansociety.org with the following information.
Attach 1) a JPEG of your bento design and 2) a JPEG of you holding your bento (for verification only, not for display). Photos should be less than 20 MB combined.


Afterparty with DJ AKI
11:30 PM-1 AM

At night, j-LOUNGE pulses
with the sweet beats of DJ AKI.

Ticketing Information

Due to limited capacities, programs held in our onsite theater and classrooms require tickets. Edible Cinema: Flavor of Happiness, Clash of the Foodies!: Live Game Show, Luscious Lecture: Table Talk and language, calligraphy and furoshiki class tickets will be released at Japan Society on Saturday, April 10th starting at 12:30 pm. Tickets for Sonic Sensation: Asobi Seksu will be released starting at 8:00 pm. All event admission is included in the $5.00 suggested donation. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Ticket pick-up is limited to one (1) ticket per person per event. Seating is general and space is limited.

For more information, contact jcation@japansociety.org.

Photo credits: Language class © Satoru Ishikawa.  Utagawa Kuniyoshi, , 1851. Color woodblock print, 14 3/8 x 29 5/8 in. The British Museum, JA 1906.12-20.01339. Photo © Trustees of The British Museum.  Takeru Kobayashi © Koji Takanashi.

Corporate Leadership Support provided by Mitsubishi International Corporation and
Kikkoman Corporation.


Additional corporate support is provided by Deloitte, Nippon Steel U.S.A., Inc. and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Additional funding is provided by generous individual supporters.

The screening of Flavor of Happiness (Shiawase no Kaori) is made possible through the generous support of All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.

Japan Society would like to thank the following for their generous in-kind contribution of time and products.

Canon U.S.A., Inc.
ITO EN (North America) INC.
Kiteya Soho New York
Minamoto Kitchoan
Panasonic Corporation of North America

The Society would also like to acknowledge all the volunteers who helped to make j-cation possible.

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