Japanese Cultural Programs in NYC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington and San Francisco

Arts Japan 2020 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.

Bach Collegium Japan

Bach Collegium Japan USA Tour 2017

Various dates from Dec. 4–10, 2017
New Haven, New York City, Ann Arbor, San Francisco and Costa Mesa

Bach Collegium Japan, an orchestra and chorus formed in 1990 to introduce European Baroque music to Japanese audiences, tours the United States in December, with performances at Yale University (12/4), Alice Tully Hall in NYC (12/6), University of Michigan (12/8), Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco (12/9) and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa (12/10). For specific performances locations and times, please click here

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Gift Wrapping with Tenugui,

the Essential Japanese Cloth

Dec. 5, 2017, 6:30 P.M. 
Japan Society, New York

The multi-purpose Japanese cloth tenugui was originally created for ceremonies and religious rituals, but these fabrics have since been used as headwear, belts, wallets and decorative wrapping. On 12/5, Japan Society and Wuhao New York present a workshop about tenugui gift wrapping (click here for tickets). Learn more about tenugui via this article from Tofugu

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Japan Day Art Contest

Contest Deadline is Dec. 6, 2017; Japan Day happens in May 2018

Japan Day at Central Park is an annual New York City event that encourages deeper understanding of Japanese culture. Highlights include a 4-mile run, tastings of traditional Japanese cuisine and musical performances. Each winter, a Japan Day Art Contest is held, and the winner's artwork becomes the official image of Japan Day at Central Park the following spring. The winner also receives a free trip to Japan. The contest deadline is Wednesday, December 6 at 11:59PM; for details, click here.

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Mizusashi: Japanese Water Jars

from the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz Collection

Dec. 23, 2017–May 13, 2018
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis

A mizusashi is an earthenware or stoneware jar, intended for use in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. The first utensil to enter the room and the last to leave, the mizusashi is an anchor for the tea ceremony. The collection of 20th and 21st century mizusashi featured in this exhibit showcase two important trends — the perpetuation of longstanding tea traditions alongside the artistry and technical excellence that define modern Japanese ceramics. Find more information on the exhibit here.

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City and Country:

Prints from Early 20th Century Japan

Now through Dec. 31, 2017
The Art Institute, Chicago

During the early 20th Century, Japan's growing cities were a popular subject for visual artists, whose works often portrayed crowded streets and nighttime entertainment. However, rapid urbanization also produced sentimental feelings for the countryside. This evocative exhibition juxtaposes busy cityscapes with idealized visions of rural Japan. For more information on the exhibit, click here.

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Dancer of Japan: Grand Master Onoe Kikunojyo

Jan. 14, 2018, 2 P.M.
The Terrace Theater at The Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.

Renowned dance and choreographer Onoe Kikunojyo III infuses classical forms of Japanese theater — including Noh and Kabuki — with discipline, power and creativity. His Tokyo-based dance ensemble visits the Kennedy Center for a tour-de-force performance that pays homage to cultural icons Benkei, Dojoji, Sukeroku and Kaga-manzai. Find more information here.

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Japanese Bamboo Art:

The Abbey Collection

Now through Feb. 4, 2018
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This exhibition showcases more than 80 bamboo baskets and sculptures created by accomplished Japanese artists, including six masters who have received the designation of "Living National Treasure." Highlighting key stages in the modern history of Japanese bamboo art, the exhibition is drawn from the Abbey Collection, one of the finest private collections of Japanese baskets and bamboo sculpture; most of the works have never before been presented in public. For more info, click here.

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The Beginning of Buddhism:
Buddhist Art in Japan

The Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

The objects in this exhibit epitomize the birth of Buddhism in Japan. Early adopters of Buddhism in the Japanese court, impressed by images and stories of Buddhist deities, created temples and sponsored ceremonies, lectures, and the copying of sacred texts, also known as sutras. This exhibit includes sutras and a gilt bronze statue that was sent to the Japanese court around the year 550. For more info, click here.

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The Kyoto Prize

The Kyoto Prize, Japan's highest private award for global achievement, was awarded recently to American musicologist Richard Taruskin, Japanese researcher Takashi Mimura and Australian Physiologist Graham Farquhar. The annual award honors those who have significantly contributed to the scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind. For more information about the Kyoto Prize, 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.