Special Programs

Updated Health & Safety Guidelines

Due to the ongoing public health threat of COVID-19, programs are subject to change and/or cancellation.  By participating, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

Morikami provides informative and unique experiences for all ages through its Special Programs. Here you will find educational and cultural programming related to our current exhibitions and all things Japan—lectures, films, performances, special events, and more!

All programs are open for registration on August 1st of each year for the upcoming season. Each season runs from October through the summer of the next year.

Explore each special programs page or browse the full list.

Films Gala Morikami Book Club Mori Stories Speaker Series Stroll for Well-Being

Craft activity for kids of all ages.
Family Fun Day: Setsubun (Virtual)
Held every February, Setsubun welcomes the arrival of spring and brings good luck for the New Year. Families in Japan throw roasted soybeans outside of their house or at someone dressed up like an oni, a naughty ogre-like creature. Make your own oni to chase away and bring in good luck to your life!
12:00PM, Saturday, February 5, 2022
Virtual
Morikami Book Club
Open to all Morikami Members

Join Wisdom Ring member Christine Carton and fellow Morikami members as they start their new season of exciting book reading! For more information please email Christine Carton at christinec@gate.net. Morikami Book Club 2021-2022 Selection October 13 - Memoirs of a Kamikaze: By Kazuo Odashi Written by a member of the very first group of Kamikaze “volunteer’s WWII Tells his …

12:00PM, Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
12:00PM, Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
12:00PM, Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
12:00PM, Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
12:00PM, Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
Talk by author Naomi Hirahara
Leaving Manzanar for the Great Unknown: Book Talk on Clark and Division
Sponsored by JM Family Enterprises
To mark the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, mystery author and social historian Naomi Hirahara will present the backdrop of her first historical novel, Clark and Division. The mystery novel follows the Ito family from an agricultural community in Los Angeles to Manzanar to finally Chicago, where the older sister, Rose, has been released early in 1943. When the younger sister, Aki, and the parents arrive in 1944, they discover a tragedy has befallen Rose. It’s up to Aki to discover the truth of what happened while carrying her parents during this chaotic transition from a wartime camp.
7:00PM, Friday, February 18, 2022
Morikami Theater
Join us for a live virtual lecture in our theater!
Craft activity for kids of all ages.
Family Fun Day: Kumihimo (Virtual)
Kumihimo is the traditional technique of making braids and cords in Japan. Join us in making a kumihimo bracelet for yourself or a loved one.
12:00PM, Saturday, March 5, 2022
Virtual
Discussion led by Filmmaker Akira Boch
Speaker Series: The Underground Scene in LA and Tokyo: Art + Music - Documentary Short Film Screenings
Sponsored by JM Family Enterprises
Delve into the underground scene of LA and Tokyo through three documentary short films - Atomic Cafe: The Noisiest Corner in J-Town, Our Man in Tokyo: The Ballad of Shin Miyata, and Giant Robot: Kind of Like Home by award-winning filmmaker Akira Boch. How did a family-owned restaurant in LA’s Japan Town come to be the popular hang-out for the punk rock scene in the late 1970s?
1:00PM, Sunday, March 13, 2022
Morikami Theater
All programs are VIRTUAL, unless stated otherwise. No reservations needed.
Mori Stories: Kamishibai Folktales
Bring the whole family and delve into the world of Japanese folklore or stories through kamishibai, Paper Theater. Join us for a reading of these classic stories. Reading starts on the hour with a short related activity to follow.
1:00PM, Thursday, April 7, 2022
Virtual
Sponsored by JM Family Enterprises Inc.
Beyond the Wall: Artist Symposium
Discussion with the artists from the Beyond the Wall Exhibit. Moderated by Dr. Mitzi Carter.

Asian immigrants have played an integral role in the building of this nation in all facets of life, including agriculture, business, medicine, technology, and the arts. Yet, these communities are often still viewed through a lens of stereotype, cliche, and myth. Beyond the Wall features the work of five dynamic contemporary artists of Japanese and …

1:00PM, Friday, May 6, 2022
Morikami Theater
Free with paid museum admission

Tickets available the day of the event on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited seating available.

Talk by Alan Scott Pate
Speaker Series: Tango-no-Sekku: Japan’s Forgotten Festival
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities
Japan is justifiably famous for its many festivals; each one is reflective of a time and a spirit of community. They serve many functions, but most have a religious or spiritual origin and purpose. Purification. Protection. Gratitude. Commemoration. However, even these sacred rituals and celebrations are not immune to shifts in times, politics and, optics. Today, the 5th month of the 5th day is celebrated as Kodomo-no-hi, or Children’s Day. It is a time for parents to gather with their children, make excursions, and celebrate family, particularly the children. But in times past, it had a very different character. As part of the Go-Sekku or Five Festivals, it was celebrated as Tango-no-sekku--a time for the ritual driving away of evil spirits and malevolent forces that affected the health of the family, community, and nation.
1:00PM, Saturday, May 7, 2022
Morikami Theater
Free with paid museum admission

No reservations. Tickets will be given out the day of the event, on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited tickets are available.
Craft activity for kids of all ages.
Family Fun Day: Mother’s Day Origami Flower Pot Card (Virtual)
Join us and make your own origami tulip in a flower pot card, just in time to celebrate a blooming woman in your life!
12:00PM, Sunday, May 8, 2022
Virtual
Take a cinematic journey through Japan with the Morikami Film Series
Film: On-Gaku - Our Sound
Sponsored by JM Family Enterprises
When you’re a bored teenager looking for thrills, sometimes the only thing you can turn to is rock ‘n roll. Having no skill, money, or even a full set of drums, a feared trio of high school delinquents nevertheless decide they are destined for musical glory in a quest to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang, and – most importantly – jam out.
11:00AM, Saturday, June 11, 2022
Morikami Theater
2:00PM, Saturday, June 11, 2022
Morikami Theater
Craft activity for kids of all ages.
Family Fun Day: Father’s Day Tie Card (Virtual)
Join us and learn how to make an original card in the shape of a shirt with an origami tie for an inspirational man in your life.
12:00PM, Sunday, June 19, 2022
Virtual
Craft activity for kids of all ages.
Family Fun Day: Tanabata (Virtual)
Make a wish for the Star Festival, Tanabata! Write your wish on a strip of colored paper, or tanzaku, and tie it to a branch of our Tanabata bamboo to celebrate.
10:00AM, Friday, July 1, 2022
Virtual
Craft templates & instructions posted the day of the event.
10:00AM, Saturday, July 2, 2022
Virtual
10:00AM, Sunday, July 3, 2022
Virtual
10:00AM, Monday, July 4, 2022
Virtual
10:00AM, Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Off-site
10:00AM, Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Virtual
10:00AM, Thursday, July 7, 2022
Virtual
Take a cinematic journey through Japan with the Morikami Film Series
Film: Children of the Sea
Sponsored by JM Family Enterprises
CHILDREN OF THE SEA is the latest feature from Japan’s STUDIO4°C (known for Tekkonkinkreet, MFKZ, Mind Game, Animatrix, Batman: Gotham Knight, and others), and is directed by Ayumu Watanabe, with a score by award-winning composer and longtime Studio Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro). CHILDREN OF THE SEA is adapted from the manga of the same name by author Daisuke Igarashi, which won the Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival.
11:00AM, Sunday, July 17, 2022
Morikami Theater
11:00am (Dubbed in English)
2:00PM, Sunday, July 17, 2022
Morikami Theater
2:00pm (In Japanese, subtitled in English)
Educational Programming
Registration Opens for the NEW Season Today
All programs open for Registration and Ticket purchase(s).

Please go here, "Upcoming Events" to view all upcoming programming. For a specific program follow the links below: Class Workshop Cultural demonstration Lecture Film Special program The 2021-2022 season runs from October 2021 through the summer of 2022.  

10:00AM, Monday, August 1, 2022
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
Craft activity for kids of all ages.
Family Fun Day: Mountain Day Chigiri-e (Virtual)
Chigiri-e is when torn paper is used to make an image. Celebrate Mountain Day, a Japanese holiday to remind us of the importance of the mountains, by making a mountain out of chigiri-e.
12:00PM, Saturday, August 20, 2022
Virtual
Craft templates & instructions posted the day of the event.
Craft activity for kids of all ages.
Family Fun Day: Tsukimi
Tsukimi literally means moon-viewing. Learn about the different elements involved in Tsukimi Festivals by making your own hanging decoration.
12:00PM, Saturday, September 10, 2022
Kamiya Room (Classroom A)
Craft templates & instructions posted the day of the event.
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