19 things to do at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens this January

Practice calligraphy, enjoy a tea ceremony, and perfect your haiku skills this January at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida!

Photo: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Thursday, January 2
Mori Stories: How the Years Were Named
Time: 1pm
Cost: FREE for members or with paid museum admission. No Reservation Required.

In Japan, each year belongs to one of 12 different animals in a cycle. Listen to the tale of how this beloved tradition came to be.


Saturdays, January 4, 25
Nihongo Intensive I – B (Workshop)
Time: 12pm – 4pm
Cost: $100. Advance Registration Required.

This workshop is an introduction to the Japanese language. It covers the basics, an introduction to hiragana, and Unit 1 of the required text. There are no prerequisites for this workshop. Students who take workshop 1-B must continue to Nihongo Intensive Workshop II, as it overlaps with the Nihongo Level I Session 2 class. For required materials or to register, visit morikami.org.


Sundays, January 5, 19, 26; February 2, 9
The Art of Bonsai (Class)
Time: Beginners – 1pm – 4pm
Intermediate – 9am – 12pm
Cost: $91 (Morikami Members $81). Advance Registration Required.

Bonsai means “a tree in a tray.” The art of bonsai creates the illusion of age and maturity of a tree, which has developed and sustained the effects of nature for many years. Students of bonsai learn to artfully trim and train a tree in a container. For a list of required materials or to register, visit morikami.org.


Sundays, January 5, 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23
Nihongo: Introduction to Japanese (Class)
Time: Level I – 10:15am – 11:25am
Level II – 11:25am – 12:35pm
Level III – 12:40am – 1: 50pm
Level IV – 1:50pm – 3:00pm
Cost: $110 (Morikami Members $100). Advance Registration Required.

Nihongo: Introduction to Japanese is a beginner and lower intermediate program teaching Japanese speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students are introduced to Japanese culture and lifestyles through lessons and conversation. Levels I and II use Japanese for Busy People I (JBP I) and levels III and IV use Japanese for Busy People II (JBP II). Fall, winter, and spring sessions of each level should be taken sequentially as a series. For more information, required textbooks or to register, visit morikami.org.


Dates vary
Sado: Tea Ceremony (Class)
Time: Beginners – Jan 5, 26 or Jan 9, 23, 10:15am – 12:15pm
Intermediate – Jan 5, 26, 1pm – 4pm
Cost: $55 (Morikami Members $50). Advance Registration Required.

Expand upon your knowledge of Japanese tea ceremony in this hands-on class. Perform traditional Japanese tea ceremony, with its ever-evolving seasonal subtleties, in the authentic Seishin-an Tea House under the guidance of instructor Yoshiko Hardick. The tea ceremony changes from month to month and from season to season. Intermediate course requires approval by the instructor before registering. To register, visit morikami.org.


Tuesdays, January 7, 14, 21, 28
Ikebana Flower Arrangement: Ikenobo School (Class)
Time: Beginners – 11am – 1pm
Intermediate – 1pm – 3pm*
Cost: $80 (Morikami Members $70). Advance Registration Required.
*Intermediate courses are for students with prior experience or have taken at least three sessions of Ikebana classes.

Flower arranging, ikebana, is a traditional Japanese art form spanning centuries. Ikebana has various different schools of study, each with unique philosophies and aesthetics. Dating back to the 15th century, the Ikenobo School is the oldest and most traditional. Students in this course learn the basic principles and style of Ikenobo, creating fresh flower arrangements each week to take home and enjoy. For required materials or to register, visit morikami.org.


Wednesdays, January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5
Japanese Traditional Music: Koto (Intermediate) (Class)
Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Cost: $155 (Morikami Members $150). Advance Registration Required.

The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument first introduced to Japan from China in the 7th-8th centuries. Learn about the history, culture and techniques in how to play this exquisite instrument in this five-week course. Instruments will be provided for participants to use in the class. This class is for students with experience in koto. To register, visit morikami.org.


Wednesdays, January 8, 15, 22, 29
Ikebana Flower Arrangement: Sogetsu School (Class)
Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Cost: $80 (Members $70). Advance Registration Required.

Flower arranging, ikebana, is a traditional Japanese art form spanning centuries. Ikebana has various different schools of study, each with unique philosophies and aesthetics. The Sogetsu School is a contemporary school, which focuses on the creativity and individuality of ikebana. The idea is that ikebana can be done by anyone, anywhere, with almost anything. Students will learn the basics of Sogetsu and create pieces each week to take home and enjoy. For required materials or to register, visit morikami.org.


Thursday, January 9
Senryu: Haiku’s Cousin Workshop (13th Annual Collaboration with the Palm Beach Poetry Festival) (Workshop)
Time: 11am – 1pm
Cost: FREE with paid museum admission.

In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of the Japanese literary form of senryu, the lighthearted cousin of the haikuConsisting of three lines of approximately 17 syllables, the senryu is often called “the human haiku.” Unlike the haiku, which focuses on the natural world, the senryu approaches humans and human emotions, the good and the bad, from a humorous perspective. Workshop participants will learn about the history of the senryu and haiku, examine and discuss various examples, past and present, and then head to Morikami’s beautiful gardens to generate their own senryu. This workshop is provided in collaboration with the Palm Beach Poetry Festival palmbeachpoetryfestival.orgIndividual reservations are not necessary. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more. For group reservations and additional information, please call (561) 233-1367.


Thursdays, January 9, 16, 23, 30
Sumi-e Ink Painting (Floral style for Beginners) (Class)
Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm
Cost: $60 (Morikami Members $55). Advance Registration Required.

Sumi-e is a form of Japanese ink painting brought from China in the 12th century. Primarily done in black ink, the name literally means “charcoal drawing” in Japanese. Students grind their own ink using an ink stick and a grinding stone and learn to hold and utilize brushes to create the primary sumi-e brushstrokes. Floral and landscape classes will start with a review of the basic techniques before moving on to the main subject. For required materials or to register, visit morikami.org.


Fridays, January 10, 17, 24, 31
Sumi-e Ink Painting (Class)
Time: Floral – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Landscape – 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Cost: $60 (Morikami Members $55). Advance Registration Required.

Sumi-e is a form of Japanese ink painting brought from China in the 12th century. Primarily done in black ink, the name literally means “charcoal drawing” in Japanese. Students grind their own ink using an ink stick and a grinding stone and learn to hold and utilize brushes to create the primary sumi-e brushstrokes. Floral and landscape classes will start with a review of the basic techniques before moving on to the main subject. For required materials or to register, visit morikami.org.


Saturdays, January 11, 18, 25; February 1, 22
Japanese Traditional Music: Koto (Beginner) (Class)
Time: Beginner Level I – 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Beginner Level II – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Cost: $155 (Morikami Members $150). Advance Registration Required.

The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument first introduced to Japan from China in the 7th-8th centuries. Learn about the history, culture and techniques in how to play this exquisite instrument in this five-week course. Instruments will be provided for participants to use in the class. To register, visit morikami.org.


Sunday, January 12
Oshogatsu: A New Year’s Celebration
Time: 10am – 5pm
Cost: Adults $20 (ages 11+), Children $10 (ages 4-10), and free for museum members and children ages 3 & under.

2020 marks the Year of the Rat, and the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will ring in the New Year with its 42nd annual Oshogatsu celebration! Oshogatsu is Japan’s most important yearly observance and a time of renewal. The Japanese make special efforts in the final days of December to clear away debts and obligations to start the New Year afresh. Experience some of Japan’s customary traditions including a sado tea ceremony, taiko drumming and koto performances, learn about mochi making and the significance of kite flying. Sightings of shishimai, the lion dancer, are believed to bring good luck for the New Year!


Wednesdays, January 15, February 19, March 18 or Saturdays, January 18, February 22, March 21
Stroll for Well-Being
Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm or 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Cost: Free to qualified applicants.

Immerse yourself in Morikami’s natural beauty, peace and serenity through our therapeutic garden walking program. During three sessions, a qualified facilitator will lead participants through themed walks and journal writing to encourage reflection, and ultimately, personal well-being. To learn about the program, participation requirements and to register, visit morikami.org.


Saturday, January 18
Calligraphy: Adults (Workshop)
Time: 11:30am – 1pm or 2pm – 3:30pm
Cost: $30 (Cost does not include museum admission). Advance Registration Required.

Learn brush strokes using sumi ink and a brush to write Japanese characters. After practicing on paper you will create a final calligraphy on shikishi board to take home. For more information or to register, visit morikami.org.


Saturday, January 18
Tea Ceremony (Workshop)
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Cost: $40. Advance Registration Required.

The workshop teaches the basics of sadō – The Way of Tea – necessary to understand the aesthetics of sadō and to fully enjoy the tea ceremony itself. Participants become familiar with how to be a guest, how to make a bowl of tea, and serve it. To register, visit morikami.org.


Saturday, January 25
Film Screening: Kusama: Infinity with discussion led by Director Heather Lenz
Sponsored by JM Family Enterprises
Time: 7pm, museum doors open at 6pm
Cost: $10 (Morikami Members $7).

Kusama: Infinity explores the obstacles that artist Yayoi Kusama had to overcome (including sexism, racism, and mental illness) on her path to become the world’s top selling, contemporary female artist. Kusama: Infinity explores her conservative upbringing in Japan, brush with fame in America during the 1960s (where she rivaled Andy Warhol for press attention) and concludes with the international fame she has finally achieved within the art world. Now in her 80s, Kusama has spent the last 30 years living in a mental institution in Japan. Born into a conservative family in rural Japan, she made her way to America on the heels of WWII. There, without connections and speaking only broken English, she devoted herself to her one true love: making art. On her first day in New York, Kusama stated that she climbed to the top of the Empire State Building, looked down upon the city below, and made a decision to stand out from everyone and become a star. Director/Writer/Producer Heather Lenz is passionate about documentaries, particularly to stories about people with creative minds who have not walked the beaten path. Her first short documentary, about a bicycle inventor, Back to Back, was nominated for a student Academy Award and screened in film festivals worldwide. Her first feature film, Kusama: Infinity premiered at Sundance in January 2018, and she was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award for best first time director. Lenz earned her MFA in Cinema and Television Production from USC. She also has undergraduate degrees in Art History and Fine Arts and completed a certificate program in sustainable agriculture at The Ecology Center. Recently, Lenz began programming documentary films by women for The Secret Movie Club and will moderate Q&As with the directors after the screenings.


Saturday, January 25
Kimono Culture (Demonstration)
Time: 11am, 1:30pm or 3pm
Cost: $5 with paid admission to the museum.

Not all kimonos are created equal! Learn about the traditional iconic kimono, with its rich culture, seasonal subtleties, symbolic nuances, and more. Participants will observe a demonstration on how to properly put on and wear a kimono. Individual reservations are not necessary. Reservations are required for groups of ten or more. For more information, call (561) 233-1367.


 Sunday, January 26
The Way of Taiko – The Heartbeat of Japan (Workshop)
Time: 11am – 1pm or 2pm – 4pm
Cost: $50. Advance Registration Required.

This workshop introduces participants to the history and practice of taiko drumming. Participants are taught how to understand sounds and movements, i.e., how to connect nature and the meaning of body movement. They will become familiar with the way of taiko and its drumming techniques. Top performers from South Florida’s Fushu Daiko will conduct the workshop. The group is recognized by Seiichi Tanaka, the master of San Francisco Taiko Dojo, who brought taiko to the United States and who trained senior members of the Fushu Daiko group. For more information or to register, visit morikami.org.


Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens is located at 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach. For more information, call (561) 495-0233 or visit morikami.org.