Saturday, February 25, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Celebrate Omocha Matsuri, the Japanese Festival of Toys, with toy rocket-making, Origami, Kendama, chopstick races, Onigiri snack-making, Kamishibai storytelling, and more.
See below for a full run-down of activities.
Geta are Japanese wooden sandals that resemble a cross between clogs and flip-flops. Traditionally, Geta can be used in any season, just add socks in winter! Make your own Geta using jigsaws, drills, and electric sanders. *Participants must have completed Level 1 Woodshop Maker Studio.* Ages 8 and up
$12 members; $14 nonmembers (+$8 admission)
Free with Admission
Kamishibai Story Presentation
Enjoy Kamishibai, Japanese street theater where stories are depicted on a set of beautifully-illustrated cards. The cards are presented one after another inside a wooden cabinet that serves as a miniature stage. Hear the famous stories of “Momotaro, The Peach Boy” and “Omusubi Kororin, The Rolling Rice Ball”. Presentation times: 12:00 and 2:00
Explore Japan Quiz
Join Embassy staff for a Japan themed quiz after each Kamishibai presentation. Test your knowledge and learn about Japan as you win fun and unique prizes. Presentation times: 12:30 and 2:30
Learn to make onigiri, a Japanese rice ball wrapped in seaweed and filled with fish, plum or other mouthwatering fillings. In Japan, onigiri is a popular and healthy snack stocked by practically every convenience store in the country. Our onigiri making is provided by the Embassy of Japan and TABLE FOR TWO USA (TFT), a non-profit organization that promotes healthy eating and helps hungry children around the world through a unique meal-sharing program. TFT holds a “Change the World with Onigiri” social action annually each fall. Take a selfie with your hand-made onigiri, post it to social media with the hashtag #OnigiriAction and TFT’s partner organizations will donate five school meals to children in need. Starts at 1:00 and 3:00
Join JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) to build cool rockets out of plastic, paper, and tape. Make your own design and see how your rocket can fly in many different ways. Then bring your rockets home and launch them on your own.
Origami is the world-famous Japanese paper folding art invented hundred of years ago. The word Origami derives from Ori (folding) and Kami (paper). Join our origami sessions and learn how to fold Kabuto helmets, Origami hearts, and Kami Deppou (a Japanese noise-maker).
Discover the thrill of Kendama, a Japanese game involving a wooden handle with shallow cups and a spike and ball. The ball is attached by a string and it has a hole in one end. The object is to swing the ball into the air and impale it on the spike or balance it on one of the wooden cups.
Enjoy playing Daruma Otoshi, a traditional Japanese toy composed of five stacked wooden cylinders and a hammer. The goal of the game is to knock the bottom pieces away without toppling the rest of the stack, until only the top piece remains.
Clay Daruma Doll
Paint your own Daruma doll, a Japanese good luck charm that depicts the legend of Bodhidharma, the father of the Zen sect of Buddhism. Daruma dolls symbolize perseverance. Traditionally, Japanese paint Daruma dolls after they make a wish but only one of the two eyes is colored. They will paint the other eye when the wish comes true.
Chopsticks races are a common game played by Japanese children. Use your chopsticks to move beans from bowl to bowl as fast as you can as you compete against others for prizes.