The Japanese American Museum of San Jose will hold a docent training from 1 to 4 p.m. at 535 North Fifth St. in San Jose’s Japantown. Aggie Idemoto and Joe Yasutake will facilitate the workshops, and train volunteers on how to enhance the visitor experience by interpreting exhibits, facilitating interaction among individuals, and posing critical questions to extend thinking. Submit an online volunteer application form, available at Info: Contact Aggie Idemoto at (408) 268-4440 or


The Buddhist Temple of Alameda, 2325 Pacific Ave., Alameda, Calif., will hold its “Japanese Story Time” program on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. The program, which will run through Thurs., June 2, will be focused toward children ages 3-5, however, all are welcome to attend. The program will be conducted primarily in Japanese.  Info: (510) 384-7699.


The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco will hold its New Year Mochitsuki ceremony from noon to 4 p.m. at 200 Larkin St. in SF. The museum will present a colorful and exciting New Year’s tradition of mochi pounding with Kagami-Kai. There will be music and costumes. After the mochi pounding, the festivities will include story tellings, omikuji (fortunes) and crafts. Info: (415) 581-3500 or

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California will hold its 2011 New Year’s Party beginning at 6 p.m. with no host cocktails, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the Ryoko Moriyama show at 8 p.m. at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, 335 Powell St. in SF. Tickets: $150/person for Grizzly Level, $220/person for Redwood Level. Door prizes will be raffled off during the evening. Info: (650) 522-8500, or

The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California will sponsor the 40th annual Oshogatsu matsuri from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the JCCCNC building, 1840 Sutter St. in SF’s Japantown. This community celebration will welcome in the new year. The event is free to the public. There wil be arts and crafts, mochitsuki, entertainment, food, screen painting and a children’s art contest. Bring a plain, light colored T-shirt if you would like J-town Arts to silk screen it for free. Info: (415) 567-5505.

Kabuki Cabaret will premier with “Legend of Morning Glory” at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center (PJCC), 800 Foster City Blvd. in Foster City, Calif., continuing the “Up Close” concert series. Kabuki Cabaret is a blend of theater and music that entwines Japanese traditions, storytelling and jazz. Among the performers are artist Brenda Wong Aoki, bassist Mark Izu, pianist Wayne Wallace and jazz vocalist Moy Eng. Tickets: $20 members or $25 non-members. Admission includes access to a “Meet the Artist” dessert reception. Info: (650) 212-PJCC (7522) or

Hokka Kumamoto Kenjin Kai will hold its annual New Year’s Party and Toshi Iwai Celebration at the Holiday Villa Restaurant, 7007 South Land Park Drive in Sacramento, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Entertainment for the evening will include karaoke talent from members and guests present at the evenings festivities. Dinner reservations begin at $25. Special guests will include all members 80 years of age and over and new members who joined in 2010. Dues are $5 for individuals or $10 per couple. Reservations and membership fees should be sent to George Morita, 1437 Joel Court, Sacramento, CA 95822. Checks should be made payable to Hokka Kumamoto Kenjin Kai.


Moving Beyond Golden Clouds: Butoh Dance Performance, an acclaimed dance and music duo,will be presented by Michael Sakamoto and Amy Knoles beginning at 2 p.m. Their signature brand of butoh-based contemplative movement and electro-acoustic compositions is designed to inspire reflection. They will be joined by Thai dancer Waewdao Sirisook, who has performed worldwide as cultural representative of the Thai government. This event is free with admision to the Asian Art Museum. Info: (415) 581-3500 or

As part of its New Year’s tradition, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i will ring in 2011 with its New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival at Mō‘ili‘ili Field in Honolulu. This event will feature food, crafts, entertainment and cultural demonstrations of the people who make up this island state. Children can also enjoy games and make-and-take activities throughout the day and is set to take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is free. Parking is available at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa parking structure on Dole Street. A complimentary shuttle will run between the UH parking structure and the Cultural Center. Info: (808) 945-7633 or


Artist Ayako Harashima will exhibit oil paintings from her “Portraits of Nature” series in the Berkeley Public Library Central Catalog Lobby, 2090 Kittredge St. in Berkeley, Calif. Access to the exhibit is available during the library’s open hours: Monday, noon to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and  Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Harashima will be available to dicuss her work during a free reception on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. Info: (510) 981-6100 or


The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., in SF, presents two recent films by 27-year-old director Yuya Ishii, a filmmaker from Japan. The two-film series includes the U.S. premiere of absurdist tragicomedy “To Walk Beside You” (Fri. at 7:30 p.m. and Sun. at 4 p.m.) and “Sawako Decides,” (Thurs. at 7:30 p.m. and Sun. at 1 p.m.) and Best Feature Film award recipient at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. The films tell variations on coming-of-age in a declining Japan, in which melancholy youth must take small, yet meaningful, steps forward. Admission is $8 for general admission and $6 for students, seniors, teachers, and YBCA members and Info: (415) 978-2787 or


The National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) will present “Nuchi du Takara: Lessons from the Battle of Okinawa at their Peace Gallery, 1684 Post St, in SF Japantown. The exhibit presents the story of the Battle of Okinawa from and Okinawan point of view and honors the resilient spirit of the survivors who went on to rebuild their lives and create a legacy for peace. There will be an opening reception from 2 to 4 p.m. on the first day of the exhibit. Info: Contact Yuko Morita at (415) 921-5007 or


The Wesley United Methodist Church, 566 North Fifth St. in San Jose’s Japantown, will be holding its annual New Year’s Party where all its 80 year-old senior congregation members will be honored. Everyone is invited to attend this potluck celebration. Those younger than 80 are asked to bring a potluck dish. Info: Rev. Michiko Nishinosono (408) 295-0367, or e-mail at


The Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church, 32975 Alvarado-Niles Road in Union City, Calif., will hold its annual crab feast. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Menu: cracked crab, salad, pasta, French bread, rice, cake, complimentary wine, beer and soda. Tickets:  $40 per person. Tickets or info: (510) 471-2581.


The Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL will host the Tri-JACL Chapters’ Installation of Officers in celebration of California’s first Fred Korematsu Day. This luncheon, which will include the Gilroy, San Benito County and Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapters, will be at the Seascape Golf Course, 610 Clubhouse Dr. in Aptos, Calif. Check in will begin at 11 a.m. Lunch and the program of events will run from noon through 3:30 p.m. Guests include the Keiro Kai as well as Kathryn Korematsu and Karen Korematsu. The keynote speaker of the event will be Dale Minami. Cost: $35 per person, and $20 for children age 12 and under. Info:

The Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) will hold its Refresh Silent Auction and Fundraiser from 1 – 5 p.m. at their studio at 1890 Bryant St., SF. There will be tasty treats and beverages and demonstrations on giving massages, makeup, and art activities. Try out new things, make new friends, and renew old ties in a comfortable setting. There will also be a silent auction with something for everyone. The proceeds will support “A Place of Her Own,” a project for Asian American women artists to find their creative drive. Admitance $5-$10 sliding scale; does not include services. Info:


The Japantown BNP Organizing Committee, a coalition of local community members and leaders, holds subcommittee meetings at the following times:

•  Community Heritage: second Tues. of each month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the JCCCNC, 1840 Sutter St., in SF’s Japantown;

• Community and Economic Development/Japan Center: first and third Wed. of each month from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Union Bank Community Room;

•  Land Use and Built Form: Usually first and third Thurs. of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Union Bank Community Room;

• Transportation and Public Realm: every Wed. from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Union Bank Community Room.

For info or a copy of the Japantown BNP, visit the San Francisco Planning Department’s Website,, or purchase a print copy for $40 by contacting the Planning Department at (415) 558-6307 or Bob Hamaguchi at Japantown Task Force at (415) 346-1239. Free CDs are also available. Info:

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