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This Mother’s Day, why not skip the usual flowers and instead give your mom an arrangement of gyoza? The fried dumplings, along with ramen, miso soup, and other treats are on offer at the eighth annual Japan Day, a Central Park–based celebration of the island nation. For Japanophiles, the festival hits all the right notes: A stage features performances that range from taiko drumming to a rendition of “Fortune Cookie in Love,” the hit song from J-Pop powerhouse AKB48. Activity booths run the gamut from culturally edifying to simply cute, with calligraphy workshops, Kabuki face-painting, origami lessons, and the chance to take a photo with Japanese idol Hello Kitty. Everything is free of charge, but get there early: Last year’s Japan Day had lines that rivaled the Cronut’s.
Sun., May 11, 9:30 a.m., 2014