The Japan America Society of St. Louis (JAS) serves as the major source of Japan-related information and cultural experiences in the St. Louis Metropolitan Community. See what we have to offer, and consider joining today!

Red Lantern Night Market - June 11 & 12

We were excited to co-sponsor the Red Lantern Night Market put on by Izakaya Club on June 11 and 12. The market exceeded all expectations, selling out the capacity of 350 people each night ahead of the event.

Part bazaar, part carnival, part party, this Red Lantern Night Market was hosted by Mad Art Gallery and featured street food (takoyaki, yakitori, onigiri, Japanese sandos, and more!) as well as beer and boutique cocktails, unique retail, authentic Japanese cultural experiences, and music and entertainment. 

Takashima Records DJ'd the events all night, with breaks for the crowd-arresting thumping bass of St. Osuwa Taiko performances.

Japan America Society of St. Louis provided three of the most popular experiences of the event. Guests stood in line for hours to have their fortunes told by Dr. Chikako Usui, who provided uranaishi (street-side fortune teller) services. Yuko Kitajima's Matcha Society (Ai-Ko-Kai) of St. Louis performed tea ceremony demonstrations in the venue's small jail cells-turned-chashitsu. They always had a line to get in and sold out both nights! And Hiroko Yoshii demonstrated shodo to guests into the wee hours of the morning.

Izakaya Club is sharing proceeds from the event with JAS and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).  The event was a huge success and rumor has it, they are planning another one for late summer or early fall. Be on the lookout for details as that comes together.

Virtual Japanese Events around the Country

Get to Know Kanagawa: Virtual Series

Located just south of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture is known for its breathtaking locales, from the grand Buddhist temples of Kamakura to the quaint hot spring town of Hakone. At this exclusive online series, join the Japan Society of Boston for a live sake webinar, a virtual exhibition of Kamakura-bori woodcrafts, a pop-up shop featuring delicious Kanagawa specialties, essays introducing the region, and more! For more information click here.

Through October: Origami in the Garden at Missouri Botanical Garden

The Origami in the Garden exhibition is open now at the Missouri Botanical Garden, lasting until October. Created by Santa Fe artists, Jennifer and Kevin Box, these sculptures tell the story of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. Making its St. Louis debut, the exhibition includes stunning large-scale metal sculptures created through collaboration with world-renowned origami artists.

In this video, the artists explain the fascinating and beautiful stories behind a few of the pieces. For an extra treat, St. Louis Osuwa Taiko will be performing at 1pm on Sat-Sun, April 24-25, during the Springtime Family Celebration at the garden. Don't wait to get your tickets!

June 19: Kudo Kids Book Event With Olympic Medalists Maia & Alex Shibutani offered by the Japan Society

Join us for this fun and interactive online book event for young people and figure skating fans, featuring two-time Olympic bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani (aka the ShibSibs). At the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, they became the first ice dancers of Asian descent to medal at the Olympics and are only the second sibling duo in the history of the sport to share an ice dancing medal. The Shibutanis are also the authors of the Kudo Kids book series, geared for ages 8-12—including The Mystery of the Masked Medalist and their latest release, The Mystery in Manhattan. Along with a chat about their Olympic experiences, they will discuss how their travels to Tokyo inspired their first book about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and how their time in NYC helped to craft their new book. Viewers can submit questions in advance as well as purchase autographed copies of their books during the registration process. For more information click here.

This program is part of the Passing the Torch. series, a celebration of the upcoming Tokyo Summer Games.

June 24: Anime de Japan offered by the Japan America Society of Colorado

Join JASC’s Junko Goodwin and Indy DeLaLuz as they dive into Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 Studio Ghibli masterpiece, Spirited Away and take you on an adventure that uncovers Japanese language usage and cultural themes not always easily recognized. This is a workshop for anyone who has wondered what anime is all about or is already a fan, for Japanese language learners and those already familiar with the language, and for those interested in learning about cultural aspects and those who are ready to dive a little deeper for some “aha'“ connections. For registration and more information click here.

June 29: The Inside Edge: Skating Champions from Japan & the U.S. offered by the Japan Society

Champion figure skaters from Japan and the U.S. speak out about training and competing, the athletic mindset and resiliency in overcoming challenges, superfans and the extreme popularity of the sport in Japan, and life after competitive skating. Participants include two-time Olympian, 2018 Olympic bronze medalist and 2008 U.S. National Champion Mirai Nagasu; 2007 and 2011 World Champion, 2011 Four Continents Champion, 2004 World Junior Champion and three-time Japanese National Champion Miki Ando; and two-time Olympian, 1994 World Champion, 1990 Junior World Champion and two-time Japanese National Champion Yuka Sato. Moderated by two-time Olympic and World medalist and 1993 U.S. National Champion Nancy Kerrigan. Viewers will be able to ask direct questions during this interactive online program. For more information click here.

This program is part of the Passing the Torch. series, a celebration of the upcoming Tokyo Summer Games.

July 14: Let's Play Two: Baseball in Japan & the U.S. offered by the Japan Society

Baseball—the national pastime of both Japan and the U.S.—will be featured at the Tokyo Summer Games for the first time since 2008. In a lead-up to the 150th anniversary of baseball in Japan, join us for a discussion of the differences in the game in both countries, the popularity of the sport, experiences playing through the pandemic, and prospects for baseball at the Tokyo Summer Games. Participants include Warren Cromartie, outfielder and first baseman from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) (Tokyo Yomiuri Giants), Major League Baseball (Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals), and 1989 NPB MVP; Matt Murton, popular MLB outfielder (Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies) and 2010 NPB single-season hit record breaker (Hanshin Tigers); and Robert Whiting, a journalist and author of You Gotta Have Wa (on baseball in Japan), Tokyo Underworld and his latest release, Tokyo Junkie. Moderated by director Yuriko Gamo Romer, whose upcoming film, Diamond Diplomacy, explores the relationship between the U.S. and Japan through a shared love of baseball. For more information click here.

This program is part of the Passing the Torch. series, a celebration of the upcoming Tokyo Summer Games.

In Case You Missed It...

Overview of Matsuri with Dr. Chikako Usui

Dr. Chikako Usui, Chairman of the JAS, gave a virtual presentation on matsuri (festivals) in Japan for the Missouri Historical Society. Her talk explored sights, cuisine, music, and atmosphere of these celebrations.

Home: Japanese Americans in St. Louis

On June 8, our own Dr. Chikako Usui, chairman of the Japan America Society of St. Louis and associate professor of sociology at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, presented an overview of Japanese Americans’ settlement in the St. Louis area over Zoom. This presentation was in collaboration with the Missouri Historical Society. This presentation will explore how they built their lives and homes here and how they’ve enriched the city’s culture. This program is a part of the Missouri Historical Society's 2021 Missouri Bicentennial programming, commemorating 200 years of Missouri history.

If you missed it and would like to see it, you can view it here on YouTube.

Annual Events

JAS offers at least nine annual programs each calendar year. They are scheduled throughout the year, and include a range of events from business/economic forums, cultural events, and social programs:

  • January - New Year’s Celebration (Shinnenkai)
  • February - Japan Currents - Global Impact of Anime & Manga, JAS Night at the Ballet 'Could This Be Love'
  • April - Sake & Sakura at Missouri Botanical Gardens, JAS Night at the Ballet 'Swan Lake', and Japanese Cultural Events- STL Community College at Forest Park
  • May – Passport to Japan at the St. Louis Art Museum and Celebration of Japanese Culture at Missouri History Museum
  • June – Trivia Night Fundraiser
  • September - Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • October – Fund Raising Gold Outing at Pevely Farms and Fall Japan Update
  • November - Annual Dinner/General Meeting
  • December - JAS Night at the Ballet: The Nutcracker

Recent News from JAS

Information on COVID-19

During these uncertain times, we want to work closely with the Japanese Consulate in Chicago, and Honorary Consuls in St. Louis and the Midwest to coordinate efforts and disseminate information.

Below are links to resources containing up-to-date information about COVID-19, some in Japanese language.

St. Louis Japan Society's page on COVID-19

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare

Coronavirus Data in Real Time

Coronavirus Symptom Chart

Corona virus chart.jpg

Have a Question or Request? Just Ask!

Click here to send us a question or request.

JAS receives and answers about 150 inquiries about Japan in a given year, as well as requests for lectures, authentic cultural activities, and programs from local libraries, schools, and other organizations.

We are happy to respond to requests and answer your questions as soon as we can.

Welcome to St. Louis!

Thank you to our Corporate Members!

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"Japan America Society of St. Louis" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
University of Missouri - St. Louis
362 SSB
1 University Boulevard
St. Louis MO 63121-4400

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