Emi & Katsu’s Hatsume Top Five

For those of you in the mood for a countdown, Hatsume is just two weeks away! We’re excited to share this uniquely spring celebration with you all, and our Hatsume mascots, Emi and Katsu, can’t wait to tell you about what we’ve got in store. We’ll hand over the reins to lovely Emi now as she presents:

Emi & Katsu’s Hatsume Top 5!

#5: Spring Morikami Style

Katsu and I love to stroll through Roji-en on a festival day! The gardens are buzzing with excitement, especially when Roji-en is in full spring bloom. Enjoy an open-air tea ceremony or picnic under hand-crafted cherry blossoms. Oh, and make sure to pick up a Morikami picnic blanket!

#4: Treats & Eats

Katsu and I disagree on what’s the absolute best thing to eat at Hatsume (he likes the Japanese snacks at the Museum Store’s Sweet Shop, while I like the Cornell Café’s special Chirashizushi), but we can agree that there are LOTS of great things to try. From the Sweet Shop in the Museum Store, to Japanese and American favorites throughout the grounds, there’s plenty of good eats to be had. You can get an idea of what to try by checking out the menu ahead of time (Pro tip: it’s also a good idea to see how many tickets you’ll need for festival food or the Cornell Café while you mull over the menu.)

Once you’ve purchased your piping hot Spring Rolls, you’ll want a nice chilled beverage to go with them. Visit the Kirin Beer Garden or the ever-popular Sake Station – staffed by Stacole Fine Wines, and a very special guest directly from Japan: Richard Priest of the Kikusui Brewery! Richard will pour some delicious selections from his brewery AND squeeze in some Sake 101 talks.

#3: Shop & Play

Once we’ve had our fill of delicious food and drinks, Katsu and I like to meander through the avenues of craft, plant and tea vendors. There are so many wonderful vendors to see that we need both days to scout out what we want to purchase (That’s why we’re so excited about the new weekend pass!) Whether you like handmade jewelry, bonsai trees, authentic Japanese teas, or locally designed apparel, there’s something for everyone in the Hatsume Marketplace.

After we’ve closed the deal on some fantastic finds, Katsu can’t wait to head to the kids’ activities. This year he’s especially excited about making onigiri, or Japanese rice balls, with the education staff. Katsu is also looking forward to playing with ribbon kites and making his own origami planter with matching origami butterfly!

#2: Anime @ Hatsume

Anime has been one of mine and Katsu’s favorite parts of Hatsume since it was added in 2009. We can’t wait to see all the exciting things Tate’s and the other anime vendors will bring! Katsu loves to watch the Fine Print Shoppe live screen print t-shirts, and this year yours truly are featured on the shirts (designed by local artist TeslaCake)! You can get your Emi or Katsu shirt printed for FREE when you bring your own shirt, or buy one for $10.

As if the anime vendors weren’t enough to keep you busy all day, this year – for the first time ever- there will be a Hatsume Arcade featuring classic Japanese video games like Pacman, Dance Dance Revolution, and Galanga. When you’ve danced your heart out in the theater, head over to the Morikami Caricature station in the lobby, and take home your very own hand-drawn caricature to commemorate your day at Hatsume.

Last but certainly not least, bee-line to the Pikachu stage on Saturday for the Costume Contest, and on Sunday for the 2nd Annual Fashion Show (just one more reason we think you should try out a weekend pass). The colorful and creative outfits are sure to wow in the last few hours of the festival, and the competition is fierce!

#1: Action-Packed Entertainment

That brings us to the number one thing we love about Hatsume Fair – the entertainment!

We’ll hear Richard Priest of Kikusui Brewery give us the sake lowdown on the Pikachu Stage, before it transforms into a runway for the hottest costume and fashion contests this side of Palm Beach. Come strut your stuff or play paparazzi!

Over at the Osaka Stage you’ll witness the stamina and dedication of the very best of local martial artists. Hatsume is the only time of year you can see all these athletes in one place, so don’t miss out!

And, finally, on the Tokyo Stage: take in the rumbling of the taiko drums! You might have guessed that this is Katsu’s favorite part of the day, and he can’t wait to take part in the interactive kids’ taiko show at noon on both days. The Tokyo stage plays host to Ronin Taiko & the Wadaiko Academy on Saturday, and Fushu Daiko on Sunday. So, if you want to pick your favorite, you’ll have to get that weekend pass!

Thanks to Emi & Katsu for helping us pick out the best parts of Hatsume, and please feel free to add to the list in the comments below – we love hearing from you! See you all in a couple of weeks!

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Valentine’s Day and White Day in Japan

For those of you counting down, there are only seven shopping days left before the much anticipated (or dreaded) Valentine’s Day! In preparation, we talked with Education Director, Shigeko Honda, about an interesting tradition called White Day that sprang up around Valentine’s Day in Japan. Here’s what we learned:

 Valentine’s Day first became popular in Japan in the 1960s. Women would buy a number of boxes of giri-choco (義理チョ コ), “courtesy chocolate,” and tomo-choco (友 チョコ), chocolate for her female friends, and distribute them around the office to friends or acquaintances.  She would purchase an expensive box of honmei-choco (本命チョ コ) chocolate of love, and another gift, such as a necktie, for her special someone.

As the holiday became more and more widely celebrated, the confectionery industry started to sell white sweets as return Valentine gifts, since in Japan, henrei (返礼), “returning the favor,” is considered important etiquette.  The Japan National Confectionery Association eventually designated March 14 as White Day in 1980, giving men an official day to return the favor. Traditionally popular White Day gifts include cookies, jewelry, white chocolate, white lingerie, and marshmallows.

Stores in Japan take advantage of the Japanese feelings of obligation and promote White Day by giving men plenty of reminders and incentives in the form of White Day sales and special White Day markets. Here are a few examples:

While White Day hasn’t officially taken off here in the states, we think it’s a great way to say thank you!

P.S. If you’re still looking for some sweets for your sweetie, or even your best friends (Gal-entine’s Day anyone?) may we suggest something from the Museum Store? We’re stocked with Japanese snacks and sweets, as well an array of jewelry, clothing, accessories, and more! Stop by or visit us online and check out our selection. We’re sure you’ll find something for everyone on your Valentine’s/White Day list.

Check-In to Check Us Out

We all know that Morikami Membership has its benefits, but what if we told you that you could get those benefits at 25% off for the entire month of August?  You read that right – from August 1 -31, 2013 we’re offering a 25% discount on Dual and Netsuke level memberships just for checking in to Morikami on Facebook or Yelp.

It’s pretty simple: visit Morikami this August, bring your smart phone and log onto the Facebook or Yelp app. Then, check in and show your confirmation to the friendly staff at the membership desk. Soon you’ll be breezing through festival lines (because you get FREE admission to Hatsume, Oshogatsu and Sushi & Stroll), and enjoying discounts in the Cornell Café and the Museum Store.

To sum it up, why become a member?

The Fine Print:

In-person ONLY, no online orders. You must show your check-in page at the membership desk to receive discount. This deal cannot be combined with any other offers. Discount applies to Dual and Netsuke membership levels (new or renewal) ONLY. Please note that the Yelp and Facebook apps are the easiest way to check-in. If you are checking in with a tablet you MUST have the yelp or facebook app, as the browser does not give the option to check-in.

*Members who join on or before Lantern Festival 2013 (coming up Saturday, October 19) will enjoy free admission to the festival. Beginning in 2014, free Lantern Festival admission will no longer be included in Morikami’s membership package, but members will be able to take advantage of significantly discounted Lantern Festival admission and additional members-only festival benefits.

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Get More Morikami – Join the Membership Family!

Though summer’s considered “slow season” at Morikami, with the kids out of school and vacations on the horizon, we know this is one of the best times for our guests to visit. So, why not join the Morikami family and get more out of each visit? Not only do members enjoy free admission every day, each membership level offers exclusive benefits that allow you to curate your own Morikami experience. And, as we barrel toward our season kick-off, there are even more reasons to join! Visit our membership page for full details, or read on for some of our favorite membership perks.

Annual memberships range from $40 for students all the way up to $1500 for our most exclusive Wisdom Ring level. No matter your level of membership, enjoy special invitations to members-only events, discounts in the Cornell Café, Museum Store and at nearby Way Beyond Bagels, as well as free daily admission and free and fast track entrance to festivals (including Lantern Festival 2013 as well as Oshogatsu and Hatsume 2014) and Sushi & Stroll Summer Walks. Beginning at our Dual membership level, you can double your Morikami fun with matching benefits for a second adult in addition to children or grandchildren.  All members also receive discounts on our educational programs like lectures, classes and workshops.

If you’re looking for the most Morikami has to offer, we suggest exploring our Samurai and Wisdom Ring levels. Here’s an overview of their exclusive benefits:

Samurai ($550)

At our second highest level of membership, Samurai members enjoy free daily admission for four guests, as well as 10% off museum facility rentals and exclusive access to the Morikami Book Club that meets monthly at the museum to discuss Japanese themed or Japanese authored works.

Wisdom Ring ($1500)

The Wisdom Ring is our highest level membership, and offers the unique opportunity to be intimately involved in the museum’s art acquisition. A third of each member’s annual subscription dollars directly support purchases for Morikami’s permanent collection, and once a year, Wisdom Ring members are invited to vote on which pieces they’d like to see the museum acquire. Morikami curators reveal these newly purchased pieces at the annual Wisdom Ring Recognition dinner.

Above and beyond any other membership level, Wisdom Ring members enjoy free daily admission for up to 10 guests, invitations to Wisdom Ring members-only events, lectures and previews. Past events include dinners at South Florida’s best Japanese restaurants, a “Girls’ Night Out” cooking class, and special Shabu Shabu dinner with Miami-based celebrity chef Makoto Okuwa. Along with the Samurai level membership, Wisdom Ring members are also invited to participate in the Morikami Book Club.

There’s a membership level for everyone; whether you’re a student, an educator or invested community member, we invite you to find your place in the Morikami family.

The Galleries Are All Dolled Up! Morikami Introduces Kokeshi & Tanabata Exhibits for Summer

We know you’re looking for great summer activities that’ll let you enjoy the great out doors, but give you an indoor option for the unpredictable South Florida weather, and we think we’ve got just what you’re looking for.

This summer Morikami is debuting two new exhibits, so you can come for the gardens and stay for the galleries. Both exhibits, “Wood Be Kindred Spirits: The Kokeshi Dolls of Bob Brokop,” and “Tanabata: Japan’s Star Festival – Views of Tanabata in São Paulo, Brazil by Jade Matarazzo” will be featured in our main gallery from June 4 until September 15. Here’s what you can expect:

Wood Be Kindred Spirits

Featuring one of the largest, never-before-seen collections of kokeshi in the United States, you’ll be delighted by these ingenious wooden dolls. Traditional kokeshi are simple, cylinder-shaped forms with round heads that originated in the mid-19th century. This collection includes a mix of traditional and more modern, or artistic, interpretations of the popular dolls. Whatever their style, these whimsical pieces are not to be missed.

If you like what you see in the galleries, head over to the Museum Store, and take home an adorable kokeshi of your own or any of our kokeshi-themed items.

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Tanabata

Tanabata (“Evening of the 7th”) celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair, respectively), star-crossed lovers separated by the Milky Way and brought together only once a year – on the seventh day of the seventh month. In honor of Tanabata, this exhibit features a selection of photographs by Jade Matarazzo, who captured the Tanabata festival in São Paulo, Brazil, home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan.

In addition to seeing how Tanabata is celebrated in São Paulo, you’ll also have the opportunity to take part in the celebration yourself! From July 5 through the 11 we invite you to write a wish on a tanzaku slip, and tie it onto our Wish Tree in the lobby.

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So, when you’re ready to come take a peaceful stroll through Roji-en, and then retreat from the heat, these two exhibits are the perfect escape.

Make It The Best Mother’s Day Yet!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and we know you are looking for the perfect way to shower your mom with the appreciation she deserves. That’s why we’ve put together a very special Mother’s Day outing that will transport your mom from Delray to Japan with neither airfare nor passport required. In addition you could win FREE mimosas at the Cornell Cafe by following the instructions below. Scroll down for contest rules, or continue reading to see what you can expect this weekend!

Cornell Café:  A delicious Pan-Asian brunch overlooking the beautiful Morikami gardens. Enjoy a prix-fixe menu, as well as a passion fruit mimosa drink special (an additional $3.95). Reservations are being accepted between 10:30am – 11:45am only. Otherwise, seating is first come, first served.

Morikami Museum Store: Say thanks with a special item from the Museum Store, and enjoy a free gift with a purchase of $30 or more – this beautiful floating heart candle!

Roji-En: A serene walk through Roji-en encompassing six distinct gardens, a koi feeding area, Japan Through the Eyes of a Child (an interactive children’s exhibit) and our world-class bonsai display will be the perfect way to surround your mom with the beauty of nature.

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Kids’ Craft: Handmade gifts are always mom-approved, and the perfect gift for kids to make!  Visit our craft table in the lobby where our education department will be on hand to help kids make a special origami bookmark for mom on her special day. Write mom a special message in a one-of-a-kind creation.

Give the Gift of Membership: Join our Morikami family and give your mom the gift of membership! On Mother’s Day only, moms get 10% off new memberships or renewals and a free gift.

Don’t miss out on all that Morikami has to offer! Find more details on Mother’s Day happenings here.

Mother’s Day Contest

Raise a glass for mom! Leave us a comment below (you’ll need to leave us your name and email in the comment form) by Friday (5/10/13) at noon, and tell us why your mom is the best. The lucky winner will get a coupon for FREE mimosas at the Cornell Cafe on Mother’s Day! What a great way to toast your mom and show her how much you appreciate her.

Mimosa

Fold, Post, Win!

To kick off the first Sushi & Stroll of the season (which is bonsai themed) we’re giving away a beautiful grow-your-own-bonsai kit and 2 tickets to Sushi & Stroll. All you have to do is fold one of these cute origami bonsai trees, and post your photo to our Facebook wall!

Step 1: Make your origami bonsai

Here’s a pretty simple origami tree we made. You can fold this one, or one of your choosing. Make sure to use a square piece of paper. It can be any size or type of paper as long as it is a square and not a rectangle. This is how we did it:

tree origami

Click here to see the full-size diagram.

Step 2: Show us how you did

Now that you’ve folded, take a photo of you and your tree and post it to our Facebook wall. If you haven’t already liked our page, you’ll have to like us first!

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Some of our trees

Step 3: Check back to see if you won

We’ll be choosing our favorite tree tomorrow (Friday, May 3rd) at noon, and we’ll tag the winner on facebook. If you win we’ll send your digital tickets by facebook or email (or hold them at the door), and you can pick up your gardenia bonsai kit at the museum.

Good luck, fans! Now get folding!

The winner will receive this grow-able gardenia bonsai kit from the Museum Store!

The winner will receive this grow-able gardenia bonsai kit from the Museum Store!

 

Update 5/3/13

Congrats to our winners Montgomery, Crysilin, Claudia, Katie, Kaylie, Alynn, and Courtney! Each of you have won 2 tickets to Sushi & Stroll 2013, and Alynn will be taking home the lovely gardenia bonsai kit. Thanks for participating!

Bunny Origami

Since the Museum is closed this Sunday for Easter we thought it would be great to show you how to make an origami rabbit. But we couldn’t pick just one, so here are some of our favorite origami bunnies (and a carrot!) to brighten your day in lieu of being able to enjoy the gardens.

We’ll start with the simplest project – the carrot:

carrot origami

And here’s ours

carrot

The carrot should be simple enough for younger children (though they may need some help when it comes time to fold the stem). We suggest some orange printed paper.

Next there’s a fairly simple balloon-style bunny:

balloonrabbit-origami-club

 

baloon bunny

This one is great for kids a little older, and you can add some real spunk by using stick-on eyes (like we did) and giving your bunny a nose (ours is a push pin).

The next bunny is a little more involved, but still adorable:

 

bunnies

Lastly we made this mini-basket bunny, which is great for holding candy. We put some delicious Hello Kitty Strawberry Marshmallows inside (they’re not in the online Museum Store just yet, but these treats should tide you over till then). This bunny takes more time – and patience – but the video below will guide you to an Easter treat-ready finished product.

 

bunny basket

We hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll see you on Tuesday!

P.S. If you’d like to see some other wonderful origami animals, and learn about some of the techniques used to make them, head over to our website and check out our online Florigami exhibit. And make sure to join us for our annual Origami Family Fun Day, coming up Saturday, May 18!

Chocolate and Kimono

If you haven’t gotten your sweets fix after this weekend’s festivities, check out the world’s first chocolate kimono.  New York-based chocolatier MarieBelle will reveal the kimono at its Kyoto store later this month.  While not an edible or even cocoa-scented garment in its final form, the kimono is painted with a dye rich in white chocolate.  “A sweet chocolate scent filled the air in the process of dying” said the wife of kimono designer Nobuaki Tomita.  The kimono’s pattern features a brown and blue cherry blossom display on a beige background. 

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Chocolate-dyed silk kimono fabric

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The final product

Hungry for more?  We don’t carry chocolate kimono at our Museum Store, but we offer the best of both.  Pick up the classic sweet and salty Japanese treat, pocky, in chocolate, chocolate almond, and strawberry and get a peek at our stunning kimono collection.