Sat, Jan 13 Brooklyn Japanese New Year Festival 2018

Photo by Moto Ishibashi


Come ring in The Year of the Dog, Japanese style in Downtown Brooklyn!

The sound of Taiko Drum and Samurai Sword Battle will shake your body+soul awake and our mouth-watering selection of Japanese fried chicken, savory soups, rice balls, donburi and gourmet Japanese treats by Cafe Zaiya will nourish you inside out!

Family crafts, Origami, Shogi(Japanese Chess) and New Year’s games will be available for all. The Roulette bar will be open for those 21+ looking to add a little buzz to their afternoon.

1:30PM  Taiko drums by Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center
2:20PM  Giant Live Calligraphy by Tanaka Taisan
2:45PM  Sword fight show & Samurai boot camp for kids by Samurai Sword Soul
3:30PM  Mochi-Pounding
4:15PM  Japanese Folk Dance by Minbuza

One entry ticket gets you all the shows, mochi-pounding, arts+crafts activities. Come celebrate with us!

  • Date: January 13th, Saturday
  • Time: 1pm – 5pm
  • Venue: Roulette (
  • Address: 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
  • Ticket Price: Free for children 2 and under

Advance: Adults (21+) $15 /kids $8

– Limited Stroller and Coat Check available (self check). Venue is not responsible for lost items. No parking lot but street parking is available.
– Admission will be limited this year to avoid any large crowds. Make sure to get advance tickets.

Online Tickets are SOLD OUT.
Limited tickets are available at door

Japanese page


Performances & Activities

Samurai Sword Soul

Samurai Sword Soul (SSS) was founded by Yoshi Amao in 2003 to expand the Bushido, the samurai spirit. Since then, SSS’s numerous performances, an engaging mix of comedy routines, humanistic- theme drama, and thrilling sword fighting, have been attracting a wide range of audiences in New York. Their sword technique is based on centuries-old traditional sword fighting from Japan, Waki ryu style, and the essence of kendo, iaido, karate and kabuki dance. Now imbuing traditional Japanese sword fighting arts with more contemporary essence and their own artistry, they have established unique “Samurai Sword Soul Style.” Performed by Yoshi Amao, Koji Nishiyama, Masaya Okubo.

Giant Calligraphy Performance

A big brush calligraphy performance by Taisan TANAKA, NYC based Japanese calligrapher. Traditionally, calligraphy is written in a quiet room while calming the mind. However recently, calligraphy performances are gaining popularity to observe this fascinating art.

Japanese Traditional Dance Performances

Through the medium of Japanese folk dance, MINBUZA aka Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York introduces audiences to the culture and history of Japan and the spirit of the Japanese people! Enjoy the New Year Japanese traditional dances, Shishimai – Lion Dance and more!

Mochi Pounding

Try your hand at mochi-tsuki, a New Year tradition that has been around for over 800 years. Pound freshly steamed mochi rice with our gigantic wooden mallet and traditional stone mortar and watch the rice turn into sweet mochi cake. * smash! smash! *

Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center

Taiko has roots both as a living folk art and in classical traditions; and the music and associated choreography has evolved to be used in many forms ranging from grassroots community celebrations to sophisticated jazz compositions. In Japan, there are many local festivals which for generation after generation have featured taiko. These can serve as a profound means for building energy, unifying groups of people, and inspiring individuals to push their own limits in creating something greater for a community.
Kaoru Watanabe is a Brooklyn based composer and musician who was a performer and artistic director for the iconic Japanese taiko ensemble Kodo for close to a decade.


There will be plenty of activities for everyone, including traditional New Years games, Shogi(Japanese Chess), Origami, etc. Happy New Years!

Shishimai (the Lion Dance) brings you good health and happiness!

Shishimai is an expression of Japanese traditional culture. This year, Shishimai (performed by the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York – Minbuza) is coming back to the Brooklyn Japanese New Year Festival!

What is the Lion Dance?

The Lion Dance is often seen during New Year’s events, as it is said to bring good fortune for the entire year.

According to tradition, the Shishi (lion protector) “eats” the misfortunes of the people. It pretends to bite their heads, consuming their troubles, thus allowing us to enjoy good health and happiness throughout the year.


Buy event tickets in advance

Download Event Flyer



Presented by


Activity booths by BJAFA.

Japanese New Year Arts & Crafts.

Food by

Experience tasty Japanese food from Cafe Zaiya. Japan is not only known for their sushi, but have some of the best bakers creating the exquisite bread. Enjoy fresh the hand-made menu, such as Onigiri (Rice ball), Seafood Miso Soup, Japanese Bento-box, Japanese sweet buns & savories, sweet red-bean soup and more! Mmmmmm good!

Brooklyn Ball Factory is a unique Japanese cafe in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We use the best ingredients and provide a great atmosphere.

Alcoholic Beverage by

rouletteEnjoy the alcoholic beverage of your choice to celebrate Japanese New Year!