After an unusually chilly spring, it’s finally starting to feel like summer. Enjoy some seasonal events this month that celebrate the best of both fine art and pop art.
This month’s highlights include:
June 5-6, 6:30 p.m.
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
$12, $10 seniors/students, $8 members
Highlighting some of the most exciting new voices in cinema, New York Japan CineFest is an annual event that features works by emerging Japanese and Japanese American filmmakers. This two-day program of short live action and animated films includes Formal Warrior Suit Ranger, about a team of men and women who properly dress for both their occupations and their fight with evil; Minidoka, about a yonsei Seattle-based activist who sees parallels between his own family’s history and the Trump administration’s immigration policies; and Mountain Monks, about the Yamabushi in northern Japan, who practice a once-forbidden ancient religion. The first night’s program is followed by a reception.
Monday, June 10, 6:30 p.m.
Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue
$40, $30 seniors/students, $20 members
Join Master Junichi Mitsuborifor this special demonstration of the making of artisanal Japanese desserts.! Akin to the precision and refinement of the Japanese tea ceremony, the Way of Wagashi transforms traditional sweet-making into a form of consumable art. Master Mitsubori crafts the nerikiri (bean paste with mochi) with his hands, scissors and needles into intricately delicious creations. Master Mitsubori’s talent has been showcased at prestigious venues around the world, including the Sydney Opera House and the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. The demonstration will be followed by Q&A and a reception to sample Master Mitsubori’s confectionery masterpieces. Special introductory remarks will be made by Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, Consul General of Japan in New York.
Friday, June 21, 6:30 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
Take 513 premium sakes + 19 top restaurants = one amazing evening! Experience the largest and liveliest sake-tasting event in the U.S., with award-winning sakes from the U.S. National Sake Appraisal served in peak condition, plus sake-inspired appetizers to nibble while you sip. This year’s superb restaurant line-up features names like Morimoto, Sakagura. And Momofuku Ssäm Bar. Good food, good friends, good sake—it all comes together at The Joy of Sake. JQ readers receive a $15 discount by entering the promotional code JOYJET after clicking the “tickets” button on the event page here.
Saturday, June 22, 5:30 p.m.
The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery
Donna Burke is an Australian singer, actress and lyricist who has lived in Tokyo since 1996. She has sung, wrote lyrics and voice acted on world famous titles including Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid, and on anime including Turn A Gundam, Magical Lyrical Nanoha and Tokyo Ghoul. Since 2017 she has performed with Metal Gear in concert with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and in Paris, New York and Los Angeles and Tokyo.
Led by Grammy-nominated saxophonist and composer Patrick Bartley, The J-MUSIC Ensemble is an NYC-based, jazz-rooted instrumental band that is devoted to bringing new perspectives to Japanese music. The J-MUSIC Ensemble has been featured at anime conventions, Japanese culture festivals, and on international television. Their fan base reaches around the world, with a growing YouTube channel that features their most popular covers from series and artists like Perfume, Utada Hikaru, Cowboy Bebop, and Persona 5.