2015 Oshogatsu Family Festival
Written by Verena Kwan

APWC had the pleasure of being a part of the annual Oshogatsu (New Year) Family Festival held by the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) on the first Sunday of 2015! There were many fun and traditional Japanese activities at the festival.

2015 is the Year of the Sheep so JANM had a sheep craft booth, sheep origami workshop, sheep balloons, sheep candy sculptures, and a petting zoo for the children. Kidding Around the Kitchen gave out samples of lucky zabu soba noodles to bring good health in the New Year. Hello Kitty even made an appearance to take pictures with everyone! There was also a mochitsuki (rice pounding) demonstration, taiko drumming, and mochi sampling by Kodama Taiko, all a part of a Japanese New Year tradition. Lastly, Taikoza performed using traditional Japanese instruments, such as the koto (zither) and shakuhachi (flute).

As part of the festivities, APWC hosted a New Year Activity Booth. At the booth, we had fukuwarai ("lucky laugh"), a traditional Japanese New Year’s game similar to pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. APWC’s booth also had a Make a Wish for 2015 activity where people can write or draw their wish for the New Year on a sheep cut out and paste it on our poster. APWC staff, interns and volunteers had a lot of fun hosting the activities and using the opportunity to providing information on domestic violence and APWC’s services.