Oshogatsu: New Year’s Celebration

January 26, 2020
past event image
Family past event

Sunday, January 26, 1–4 PM
Taiko Drumming Sessions: 1:30 & 2:30 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 taiko mini workshop. 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  .

Tickets: $18/$10 individual & corporate members; ages 2 & under free. Free for Cool Culture members. Price includes festival and one taiko drumming session.


Taiko Drumming & Lion Dancing
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. Before each performance in the theater, there will be a shishimai lion dance procession throughout all of Japan Society. A lucky bite on the noggin will give you luck throughout the whole year!


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.

New Year’s Toys & Games

Try your hand at top spinning (koma-mawashi). 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. You can also create your own set of original Karuta cards to play and take home!

Daruma Making

Create your own Daruma to take home—a wishing doll and talisman of good luck. As you color the first eye, make a wish. When the wish comes true, color in the other eye!

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

Enjoy this traditional form of Japanese storytelling as you listen to popular New Year’s folktales such as “Hats for the Jizos” and “How the Years Were Named”. Stories will be performed in English and Japanese.

Year of the Mouse

Celebrate this year’s zodiac animal with fun and adorable crafts! Learn how to make a little origami mouse with bright and patterned papers. Afterwards, create a set of mouse ears you can wear all year long!

Education and Family Programs receive generous support from an anonymous donor, The Norinchukin Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Council Member Keith Powers through the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the Japan-United States Friendship Commission as part of the institution-wide Passing the Torch series, and The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.


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.

Images: © George Hirose

  • Sunday, January 26, 2020
  • 1:00 pm