Japanese New Year

Presented by

Yoko Tanaka


While Japan recognizes January 1 as the official new year, many Japanese still enjoy the customs and festivities of the Lunar New Year. In addition to celebrating with food, fancy dresses, elaborate decorations, games, and poetry, the new year is commemorated by paying special attention to the first time something is done in the new year.

CultureALL Ambassador Yoko Tanaka, Executive Director of Japan America Society of Iowa, supplies participants with rice paper, ink, and calligraphy brushes to write their first Japanese characters. Traditional words written are inspirational ones, such as “Sunrise” (start of a great year), “Mt. Fuji” (symbol of Japan’s natural beauty), “Health,” and “Perseverance.”

Workshop Details




Visual Art, Social Studies


25 max

Standard Length

45 min

Room Setup

Classroom style seating at desks/tables with chairs; room with sink is helpful

Supplies/Equipment Needed:

Whiteboard and markers

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