Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Brooklyn Japanese new year celebration

         Today the Brooklyn Japanese American family association, or BJAFA, hosted their annual Japanese new year celebration in Downtown Brooklyn. Much like how there are Chinese new year celebrations held in Chinatowns across NYC, now other Asian cultures are trying their hand at educating others.

         The event was held at 509 Atlantic Avenue on Monday, January 21st, 2019 from 12 to 4 pm and although it was open to all, for a modest donation of only $15, it was still geared towards kids. There were five main events and several little booths on two floors of the theater. The small booths consisted of a "red carpet" photo ops area, a mask painting station, a place where you can get your name written in calligraphy and a food purchasing station. Food for the event was produced by BentOn Japanese healthy food catering company.

          There was a main stage where various performances were occurring every 45 minutes or so. When we arrived a little after 12pm, the first act had already started. They were the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center was performing on various taiko drum sets, flutes and other instruments. After the taiko drummers, we got to see actual mocchi being pounded and softened.  Mochi is a short grained japonica glutinous rice. It's often very hard but gets softened in a traditional pounding ceremony called "mochitsuki".

                The last two stage events were a live giant calligraphy drawing by artist, Tanaka Taisan, and a grand finale sword boot camp / fight performance by Samurai Sword Soul! I had a blast at the event but going with out a child,  did feel a little weird to me, but it was still a very fun event!

For more info on the artists,  please check out their websites below:


Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center

Tanaka Taisan

Samurai Sword Soul

BentOn Catering and restaurant


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