Forget their judicious recycling practices, stellar public transport, and beer dispensed in vending machines: The Japanese are masters of animation. Starting Saturday, Young at Art Museum will host "Japan: Kingdom of Characters," a traveling exhibition that showcases the country's decades of dominating all things kawaii. Saturday marks the exhibition's U.S. premiere. Guests can learn the history of manga and anime culture -- from Astro Boy to Pokémon -- and take in a life-sized Hello Kitty! doll. Gamers will get schooled on the history of Nintendo favorites Mario and Yoshi. And on opening day, YAA will give guests the chance to create an animated version of themselves, craft their own Hello Kitty! ears and kawaii mascots, and trade Pokémon cards. Warning: Visitors may have flashbacks of cleaning Tamagotchi poo. The following weekend, elite Harajuku fashion designer Sebastian Masuda will descend upon South Florida with his first one-man exhibition, "Colorful Rebellion -- Seventh Nightmare." Guests can learn more and make reservations for the July 12 Masuda meet and greet during Saturday's kickoff. "Japan: Kingdom of Characters" launches Saturday at 1 p.m., but YAA members can get a sneak peek starting at 11 a.m. The exhibition runs through September 7. Admission is free for YAA members. For nonmembers, the cost is $14 per person, $12 for Broward County residents, seniors, and children over 1, and $11 for military members and their immediate families. Young at Art Museum is located at 751 SW 121st Ave. in Davie. Visit youngatartmuseum.org, or call 954-424-0085. Hai!
Sat., July 5, 2014