Upcoming Japanese Cultural Programs Across the United States

Arts Japan is an online celebration of Japan-related cultural programs across the United States. This preview features a representative example of upcoming Japan-related cultural programs across the United States. To recommend other programs for Arts Japan 2020 to feature, click here. For a directory of organizations that create, present and support Japan-related programs in the United States, click here.

Kennedy Center Japanese Connections.jpg

Japanese Connections, 
featuring Kazunori Kumagai and Yumi Kurosawa


Oct. 18, 2017 at 7:30 P.M. 
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Tap dancer Kazunori Kumagai and koto player Yumi Kurosawa 黒澤有美 celebrate Japanese culture at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with an October 18th concert that pays tribute to the connection forged between the Kennedy Center and the government and people of Japan. Tickets range from $29–$49. Check out full program info here.


Fantasy in Japan Blue

Through Nov. 12, 2017
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

A renowned leader in textile design and production, Reiko Sudo brings her textiles to the Hall of States at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her six-week exhibit features fabric mounted on open fans, which symbolize good fortune. The fans, which are dyed in the 46 shades of Japanese indigo, honor John F. Kennedy’s 46 years of life. More information is available here.

Hanjo at Japan Society.jpg


Dec. 7–9, 2017 at 7:30 P.M.
Japan Society, New York

Anne Bogart's internationally-acclaimed ensemble SITI Company will present Yukio Mishima’s play HANJO — a tale of love, loneliness and betrayal, which follows a young woman who waits endlessly for her lover. HANJO was inspired by a 14th-century Noh drama written by Motohiko Zeami. The play will be performed at Japan Society on December 7–9; tickets are $35, or $30 for Society members. For more info, click here.


Living Proof: Drawing in 19th-Century Japan

Nov. 3, 2017–March 3, 2018
Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis

This upcoming exhibition explores numerous approaches to draftsmanship practiced by Japanese artists in the 19th century. Living Proof features 80 works by artists, including Hokusai, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi, who were known for their woodblock printmaking, but whose drawings have rarely been seen by the public. Additional details about the exhibit can be found here.

Hiromi fire.jpeg

Jazz pioneer Hiromi Uehara
brings fiery performances to the United States


Dates from Nov. 5–19, 2017
at Victoria Theater, Newark, NJJazz Alley, Seattle; Broadstage, Santa Monica, CA; and SF Jazz, San Francisco

Hiromi Uehara’s alchemy of melodic jazz, gritty rock, propulsive electronic music and virtuosic classical piano has helped her to become a global phenomenon. This November, Hiromi brings her music to four cities across the U.S. for a run of shows with virtuosic Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda. For more info, click here.


Ubiquitous: Enrico Isamu Ōyama

Now through Dec. 23, 2017
Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas

Artist and essayist Enrico Isamu Ōyama uses an expressive form called Quick Turn Structure (QTS) to channel his interests in the street cultures of Toyko and America, Western abstract art and Japanese calligraphy. Ōyama's work incorporates a range of platforms and genres, including painting, digital media, sound and fashion. For details, click here.

Sadako statue and crane screen shot.png


Sadako’s Crane

Japanese American National Museum
Los Angeles

The Children’s Peace Monument at Hiroshima was inspired by Sadako Sasaki, who folded over 1,000 origami cranes in the name of peace after she contracted leukemia.

Thanks to Sadako and the children of Japan, the practice of folding cranes as a gesture of peace has become commonplace, and the Children’s Peace Monument is constantly surrounded by arrangements of origami cranes sent as tributes by people from all over the world.

In 2016, an original origami crane folded by Sadako Sasaki in 1955 was donated to the Japanese American National Museum by members of her family. The crane is currently on display in JANM’s Hirasaki National Resource Center and can be viewed with admission to the museum.

For more details, click here.


This is a representative sample of upcoming programs.
Don’t see your favorite program on the list? Tell us about it here.

Arts Japan 2020 is a program of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and is proposed by the Arts Dialogue Committee of the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON). Learn more about us and the events we feature at artsjapan.us.

Daniel Gallant