Each year Animazement hosts a variety of special events.  Check out this year's offerings below and find out how to join in!



A workshop attendee seated at a table facing away from camera. On the table is a mostly assembled mini shamisen. In front of the table, a woman wearing a traditional kimono demonstrates how to use the shamisen.

What is ART Kabuki?

In response to requests to prevent the spread of coronavirus while theater performances were canceled, a new form of performance implementation was considered and performances were held using a paid distribution service.

Kazutaro Nakamura created the foundation for this work, which stars Kabuki actor Ukon Onoe. Other performers include Japanese dancers Genkuro Hanayagi and Ryotaro Fujima. The music was performed by national treasure-class Japanese instrumentalists such as Tomoya Nakai (koto, 25 strings), Sho Asano (Tsugaru shamisen), Suiho Tousha (flute), Taishi Yamabe (taiko drums), and Kakushin Tomoyoshi (biwa). In addition, a gorgeous lineup of world-renowned fashion artists such as Noboru Tomizawa, Takuty Satoyama, and Edenworks gathered to create hair, makeup, and costumes for this performance.

Animazement is excited to screen this performance of ART Kabuki! 

Kazutaro Nakamura


Kabuki actor Kazutaro Nakamura will join Animazement virtually from Japan for a live panel!  You'll have the chance to learn all about kabuki and ask questions live!

Day and Time: TBD

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Sake Tasting Sessions


Animazement is excited to present our series of sake tasting sessions.  Led by Sara Guterbock of the Sake School of America, you'll learn all the basics. How is sake made? What are the main styles? How does it pair with food? And most importantly, how does it taste? Each session includes a tasting of 6 different sakes.

Note: There will be a small plate of food served with this event which may include dairy, nuts, fruits and other allergens. Please be aware prior to registering for this event. If you have any questions, please email info@animazement.org.

Tickets for each session cost $40 per person. Seating is limited and reservations are required. You must be legally old enough to drink to attend these sessions. IDs will be checked at the door. Each sake tasting session has room for 36 people. We’ll sell 26 tickets in advance and 10 at the door.

Sessions are hosted by Sara E. Guterbock.

Ticket sales begin:  May 13th at 12:00 noon.


five wine glasses sitting on a table. each glass contains a tasting portion of sake. a plate of snacks sits in front of the glasses

Sake in Japanese Culture & Anime!


This fantastic seminar discusses the importance of Sake in Japanese culture, it’s inclusion in Manga & Anime, sake etiquette in Japan, Nomikai culture, and all a traveler in Japan should know about how to enjoy sake in Japan.  This seminar will include a brief introduction to sake & tasting of two vastly different styles of sake, including a comparison of sake at different temperatures!!

We will present this session twice. Friday 4pm and Saturday 3pm


Buy Tickets for This Session - May 13th @ noon

An Introduction to Japanese Sake


What is Sake?  How is it made?  What are the main styles?  What are the most important key words?  How does it pair with food?  How should it be stored?  How does one taste it?  This is one stop shopping for ALL the magic of this ethereal beverage, including a tasting of 6 different sakes!!

We will present this session once. Saturday at 1pm.


Buy Tickets for This Session - May 13th @ noon
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Sara E. Guterbock, CBS, ISS, ASP, JSA Sake Diploma, CS, CWE, DipWSET is an Educator with Sake School of America and the National Sales Manager for New York Mutual Trading Company, the United States’ most prestigious importer of fine Craft Sake, Spirits & Beer from Japan.

Sara is a Certified Sommelier (CS) through the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Wine Educator (CWE) through the Society of Wine Educators and received her Diploma in Wine & Spirits (DipWSET) through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in London, England, in 2012.    In 2014, Sara was among the first groups of people in the United States to be qualified as a Kikisake-Shi, or International Sake Sommelier (ISS) through Sake School of America & The Sake Service Institute of Japan (SSI).  In January of 2017, Sara became one of a limited number of Level 3 Sake Educators for the WSET, worldwide, and in 2018, she became one of the first 4 people in the USA to earn her Diploma in Sake from the Japan Sommelier Association (JSA).   In 2019 she completed the Advanced Sake Professional (ASP) course, in Japan, with John Gauntner and she has also earned qualifications as a Certified Sake Adviser and Certified Shochu Adviser through Sake School of America.  In 2023, she was qualified as an “Official Sake Lecturer” for SSI, Japan.  Since 2016, Sara has been the Certified Sake Advisor and SSI’s International Kikisake-Shi courses with Sake School of America.  She now facilitates these certifications as well as the WSET Sake Qualifications & Japan Sommelier Association’s International Sake Diploma Course in the Southeastern United States.

When she’s not spreading awareness of Sake in the USA & beyond, you might find her teaching Yoga in Charlotte, NC!


Mini Tsugaru Shamisen Workshop


In 2024, we will feature two shamisen workshops for different skill levels.


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KiKi x Tokyo Lens Norm Nakamura - Mini Tsugaru Shamisen Workshop


Join in a rare & interactive shamisen workshop with Japan's top players! Build a mini shamisen and learn the basics of how to play!

In this rare and interactive workshop from Japan’s top players, you will have a chance to:

- Experience LIVE Tsugaru Shamisen

- Put together your own Mini Shamisen (That you can take home with you!!)

- Learn the basics of Shamisen and even how to play a song!

Tickets are $59 per person.


Buy Tickets for This Session - May 13th @ noon

KiKi x Tokyo Lens Norm Nakamura - Advanced Mini Tsugaru Shamisen Workshop


Did you attend this workshop last year but want to learn a bit more? Do you already have a Shamisen? Join Ki&Ki for another session!

This is a rare and interactive workshop from Japan’s top players. You will have a chance to expand your knowledge of the shamisen!

This is considered the "experienced peoples course". NOTE: This event will not be selling or building Shamisen. This event requires you to **BRING YOUR OWN SHAMISEN or MINI-SHAMISEN. There will be no shamisen available for sale or for build during this event!

Tickets are $49 per person.


Buy Tickets for This Session - May 13th @ noon

Visit their website to learn more about shamisen: https://www.learnshamisen.com

Shamisen Shop 'Rakuya': https://shami1000rakuya.com

Ticket Sales begin May 13th at 12:00 noon.


Karuta Tournament


Try your hand at this Japanese card game.  Who knows? You might win!


Last year, we introduced the Japanese card game Karuta to our attendees.  This year, we are excited to introduce our Karuta Tournament!

To enter, there are only two requirements.

1. You must be 13 years or older to participate.

2. You must know how to read hiragana.

How to play:

    1. Players spread the picture cards on the floor so it is easy to see the cards.

    2. The reader reads a word from their stack and all four players look for the card with the picture that starts with the same sound as the word that was read .

    3. When players find a picture card that matches the reading card sound that the reader reads, they need to say, “Hai” (yes) and pick up(hit, hold down) the card.

    4. If the players touch the picture card at the same time, they will use a “rock paper scissors” game to decide who gets the card.

    5. The players repeat until all the picture cards are exhausted. 

    6. Whoever gets the most cards wins.

*This is an individual contest.  One winner will be selected, not one team.

a red mat covered with karuta cards. two hands are in view, reaching out to slap a card.
Apply Here to Play Karuta!
We are only taking a maximum of 25 players.   Sign ups will close when we reach this cap.

NCMA Loves Anime


Film screening event and bazaar in conjunction with Animazement

text reads "North Carolina Museum of Art"

Visit the North Carolina Museum of Art for a day of anime films, vendors, and fun! The bazaar will be free and open to the public, showcasing vendors selling a variety of anime-related products and merchandise in the East Building, Education Gallery/Lobby. Doors open at 11 AM on May 22 and close at 8 PM.

The films "Lu over the Wall" and "The Night is Short, Walk on Girl" will be shown in the evening and are ticketed separately. Tickets can be purchased from the NCMA website ($7 for nonmembers + taxes/fees).

Event Website: https://ncartmuseum.org/events/ncma-loves-anime-bazaar-in-conjunction-with-animazement/?occurrence=2024-05-22

Lu over the Wall: https://ncartmuseum.org/events/ncma-cinema-lu-over-the-wall/

The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl: https://ncartmuseum.org/events/ncma-cinema-the-night-is-short-walk-on-girl/