Communal Zen Garden
Zen gardens (karensansui) are dry landscapes made of rocks, gravel, and sand. Help us build our communal zen garden by placing rocks on a bed of sand to symbolize islands and mountains, and rake the sand to suggest flowing water. To create different patterns of flowing water and to style the garden, make your own rakes and traditional Torii gates.
Discover Kendama, a Japanese game involving a wooden handle, shallow cups, a spike, and a ball. Swing the ball into the air and impale it on the spike or balance it on one of the wooden cups. Make your own Kendama while you learn how to use a power drill.
Explore the ancient art of folding paper – origami! Literally meaning “to fold paper,” origami has been around for over a thousand years. Fold your own ume or plum flower origami as part of ume blossom festival to take home or decorate our tree
Sumi-e is the art of drawing beautiful scenes of nature using a brush and Sumi ink. Try your hand at this traditional art and see how these simple tools can be used to create a variety of pictures.
Nagashi Bina or floating doll is made during Hina Matsuri, Girl’s Day, in Kyoto. The dolls that represent the emperor and empress are made of paper then they will be put in a reed basket. People float the dolls to wish good health and protection for a girl or a woman in the family. Create your own Nagashi Bina and learn how to weave a basket using an embroidery thread.
Inspired by Obon, a Japanese festival that honors departed spirits of one’s ancestors, create your own rectangular paper lantern and write a wish or greeting for loved ones. If you want to light up your lantern, there is a $1 materials fee to purchase an LED and a coin cell battery.
As part of welcoming the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, make your own Kamizumo, a paper sumo match, out of cardboard or code one in Scratch.
Dress up in yukata, a cotton summer kimono, or colorful happi coats worn during festivals for a fun photo opportunity in front of our green screen!