Oshogatsu: New Year’s Celebration at Japan Society

Oshogatsu: New Year’s Celebration

Sunday, January 26 from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m.

Japan Society – 333 E. 47th Street (between First and Second Avenues)

Tickets: $18/$10 Japan Society individual and corporate members/Free children ages 2 and under and Cool Culture members. Admission includes the festival and one taiko drumming session.

Continue to celebrate the New Year Japanese-style with Japan Society’s Oshogatsu event filled with the traditional activities for the entire family!


Enjoy a dynamic, vibrant taiko drumming performance by Taiko Masala with accompanying shishimai, or lion dance. In shishimai, a masked dancer with a flowing white mane weaves in and out of the crowd accompanied by taiko and traditional flute (fue). Follow the procession throughout Japan Society’s landmark building. After the show, audience members can practice and perform on stage with the drummers. Performances are at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.


Learn auspicious Japanese words and phrases with New Year’s calligraphy (kakizome), try your hand at traditional rice pounding (mochitsuki), and create your own Daruma to take home. A Daruma is 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!

Everyone will enjoy games such as top spinning (koma-mawashi), and fukuwarai, which roughly translates to “Lucky Laugh.” With fukuwarai, assemble a face by placing paper cutouts of wacky facial features on a blank face while blindfolded. Take your blindfold off to design your own traditional Japanese kite! Assemble the frame from bamboo and decorate it with festive designs. You can also create your own set of original Karuta cards to play and take home!

There will also be Kamishibai, a traditional form of storytelling that uses illustrated boards. You can enjoy popular New Year’s folktales such as “Hats for the Jizos” and “How the Years Were Named.” Storytellers will perform in English and Japanese.

It’s the Year of the Rat, so celebrate this year’s zodiac animal with fun and adorable crafts! Learn how to make a little origami mouse with bright and patterned papers. Afterward, create a set of mouse ears you can wear all year long!

BentOn will provide healthy Japanese light meals, snacks, and festival-related refreshments available for purchase.

For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, please visit Japan Society’s website.

JapanCultureNYC is the English-language website dedicated to all things Japanese in New York City. Discover your next favorite Japanese anything at JapanCulture-NYC.com.