The halls have been de-decked, the nog noshed, and auld lang syne sung. If you find yourself needing more, however, we’ve got plenty of stimuli for the soul, from some elegant pounding on the black and whites to some good ol’ fashioned pounding with a mallet.
Mochitsuki! Japanese Mochi Pounding Party
When: Saturday, January 8, 2011
Where: Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco,
How: Free with museum admission (children 12 and under always admitted free)
Info: 415-581-3500, or click here.
Kick off the New Year right. Pound on some mochi (sticky rick dumpling) in a traditional mochitsuki at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. After taking turns pounding the glutinous rice in an usu (large mortar) with a kine (wooden mallet), decorate your chewy rice cake with a New Year’s greeting to take home to friends or family. Meanwhile, enjoy the music and dance of Kagami Kai, a San Francisco-based group started nearly 20 years ago by Tetsu Takatani, dedicated to maintaining the Japanese tradition of mochi pounding. Afterwords, listen to Japanese New Year stories, draw written fortunes, make a rabbit netsuke (tiny sculpture that serves as a fastener for a carrying couch), shop in the museum store, refresh at Cafe Asia, stroll the museum’s collection galleries, and view the special exhibition Beyond Golden Clouds (closing January 16).
2011 Miss LA Chinatown Fashion Show
When: January 8, 2011 from 11:30-2pm
Liuli Gongfang Gallery Opening
When: Friday, January 14, 2011
Where: Brea Mall, Brea, Calif.
Liuli Gongfang, a world renowned name in glass art sculptures and jewelry, will celebrate its Southern California gallery grand opening at the Brea Mall. Often described as the Steuben of China, Liuli Gongfang works are collected worldwide. The Chinese glass studio was founded by Loretta Hui-shan Yang, celebrated as one of Taiwan’s greatest film stars, and Chang Yi, one its most luminary cinematic directors. The Southern California gallery is the glass studio’s second in the U.S.
Macho Like Me
When: January 14 – February 13, 2011
Where: The Coast Playhouse, 8325 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA
Author, filmmaker and performer Helie Lee will be performing Macho Like Me, the provocative one-woman performance piece about Lee’s six-month journey living life as man. Cutting off her hair, donning men’s clothes and moving out of her home to begin life anew as Harry, Lee sets out to prove a point: that men have it so much better than women. But Lee’s assumptions are quickly dashed, resulting in a new world-view that ends up surprising many, especially herself. Now adapted into a full-length documentary, Macho Like Me weaves Lee’s monologue with interactive documentary footage, exploring the dynamics of how society treats men and women differently. Lee is the author of the bestseller Still Life With Rice (Scribner 1996), and In The Absence of Sun (Harmony Books 2002), memoirs in which she chronicles her family’s experience in war-torn Korea from the 1930s to 1997.
The Green Hornet
Where: A theater near you
How: An action comedy film with Seth Rogan and Jay Chou based off of the TV series in the 1960s. The Green Hornet, Britt Reid, played by Seth Rogan is the son of a well known media magnate and has to take over the company when his father dies. Reid becomes friends with his father’s most trusted employee, Kato, played by Jay Chou. They decide to change the direction of where their life was leading, and change it to fight crime. Reid and Kato pretend to be criminals in order to get closer to the real criminals and take them down.
Pianist Harumi Hanafusa Recital at Carnegie Hall
When: Saturday, January 15, 2011, 8:30PM
Where: Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (154 West 57th Street), New York, NY
How: $40/$20 Students + Seniors, CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800, Carnegiehall.org
The celebrated Japanese pianist, Harumi Hanafusa, will make her long-awaited American debut at Carnegie Hall for a one-night only concert featuring the world premiere of a major new work for piano by the leading Japanese composer, Toshi Ichiyanagi (Yoko Ono’s first husband!). Hanafusa, widely recognized as one of the best performers of French music, will also be performing works by French composers, including Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and La Valse, and Debussy’s Images I and II.
Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company at The 10th Avenue Theatre
When: Starting January 17, 2011
Where: The 10th Avenue Theatre, San Diego, CA
How: www.moolelo.net, 619-342-7395
The socially conscious performing arts company Mo`olelo (its name means “story” in Hawaiian) will begin its 2011 season at its new residence at The 10th Avenue Theatre in downtown San Diego with the wonderfully named Seven Days of Awesome, a week of comedic dance and acrobatic skills featuring the amazing Platt Brothers along with special guests from the world of magic, dance and comedy, from January 17 to January 23. Other shows for the 2011 year include Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Speak to the First Lady, Stick Fly by Lydia R. Diamond, and The High School ImprovFest.
The theater organization is dedicated to broadening the scope of San Diego’s cultural environment by telling powerful stories that are as diverse as the islands of Hawaii, by paying equity wages to local actors and developing environmentally-friendly theatre practices. A recipient of the Patté, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, McDonald Playwriting and the Anti-Discrimination Awards, Mo’olelo’s mission is to create new works based on research within various communities, produce lesser-known works by master and contemporary playwrights, and educate youth. For the theater company’s complete schedule, visit www.10thavenuetheatre.com.
In 2009, an estimated 80,000 visitors gathered to peruse the goods of 30 vendors. More than 10,000 product samples and 450 food samples were sold within four to six hours. Approximately 200,000 people partook in the shopping and food eating festivities. What was going on?
JapanTown was happening.
Due to the enormous success it had witnessed the previous year as the NYC Japan Street Fair, it was brought back under the new name JapanTown in hopes of continuing to give New York City a taste of true Japanese culture.
Bad luck comes in threes, but this summer, that isn’t the case.
To celebrate, in the next three months, three festivals will be held in the East Village, Midtown and Upper East Side, each focusing on a different aspect of Japanese culture: Japanese “cool” culture, Japanese healthy food, and Japanese soul food, respectively. JapanTown will bring together local businesses and common household brands, so that the people of NYC can truly experience and gain a better appreciation of the New York Japanese community.
The first of the three is the Cool Japan festival, which starts on July 17th in the East Village. NYC’s unofficial Japan Town, it will showcase the various aspects of Japanese culture that make it “cool.” Here, visitors can find anything from Japanese robots to antiques to yummy tidbits to eat while participating in the Japanese street fashion contest. Winners will receive a prize from a JapanTown sponsor.
Following that is the Healthy Food & Green festival on August 22nd in Midtown. A variety of wholesome dishes and organic produce can be sampled, which will be provided for by Souen Noodle restaurant, Suzuki Farm, Marukome, and Kikkoman.
Lastly, in the Upper East Side on September 26th, experience Japanese soul food. Authentic foods representing various parts of Japan will be presented. They range from Kyushu grilled tonton pork to Japanese curry to konjac. Regional produce from agricultural government Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, will also be available for taste.
Food to eat, stuff to buy, New York City. What more could you ask for?
For more information, please visit www.nyjapantown.org.
Cool Japan Festival
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Fourth Avenue between 8th and 10th Streets
Healthy Food & Green Festival
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Madison Avenue between 43rd and 45th Streets
Soul Food Festival
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Lexington Avenue between 93rd and 96th Streets