Saturday Afternoon in Little Tokyo

The Japanese American National Museum has a free family day every month, and since Adelaide just finished learning about Japan in history class, I decided to go with the kids this weekend.

The museum is across the street from a Metro stop, so we took the train from Pasadena to Little Tokyo.




The kids liked riding the train. Here’s Augie acting natural for a picture.




There was a truck outside the museum that people were supposed to paint on. We grabbed paint brushes and paint and added our designs.




When I returned the paint to the table, the guy there gave me a weird look. That’s when I realized I’d leaned in too close to the truck and Hazel’s ear and hair were covered in red paint. It looked like her ear was bleeding bright red blood.

So our first stop in the museum was the restroom.

After washing up, we walked out into the family activity area, only to find that we’d missed most of the festivities. There was an Asian-American Santa that we missed, and some sort of snowman craft. (Asian snowman?)

Not a big deal, though. I knew we would arrive late in the day, and mostly I wanted Adelaide to see some of the Japanese history stuff.

There were a few young people playing ukuleles onstage. They tried to make up a song on the spot, but they weren’t very good at improvising. The singer was making up lyrics by describing what he could see at that moment in the museum. I wanted to leave, but I didn’t want to dis the guy, so we stayed for the whole song.

Then we saw a cool mural.




We looked at a reconstructed barrack from the Japanese internment camps and some kimonos. Augie kept saying, “Let’s get out of this place!” Adelaide wanted to see a waterfall outside. So we spent a few minutes walking around, and then we went outside to look at the waterfall.




I decided that an hour at the Japanese American National Museum was long enough for a 7 and 4 year old, and we went back to the train stop.

We missed the train by a few seconds, but it was okay. The kids pretended to take a nap on the platform.




The next train rolled up a few minutes later.

I talked to a lady on the train with three kids (two teenage girls and a 9-year-old boy). I found out she was one year older than me, and her birthday is three days before mine. She lives just a few miles from me. She told me she has a gambling problem, and it’s her New Year’s resolution to fix it because she’s tired of being broke.

Talking to her, I felt like some hot shot, what with my husband, and my mild mannered kids, and my car parked at the train stop. But it wasn’t a good feeling. I wanted to be able to help her. I wasn’t prepared.

We went home and ate ice cream.

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