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!
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!
May 9, 16, 23, and 30: Virtual Haiku Class offered by the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago
The Japanese Culture Center in Chicago hosts an online Haiku Workshop taught by Sensei Seiyo, Buddhist lay minister and resident Haiku Master. The upcoming haiku class will focus on bringing your “snapshots” alive – those moments that happen every day that go unnoticed due to the demands of life. Classes are 11:00 am - 12:30 pm. Click here for registration and more information.
May 11: Facing the Mountain virtual book launch offered by the Japan America Society of Hawaii
Facing the Mountain is a new book about WWII Japanese American incarceration and the 442nd RCT by Daniel James Brown, NY Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat. This virtual event will feature a conversation between Brown and Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda, who has conducted oral histories with many of the men highlighted in the book. Facing the Mountain grew out of conversations Brown had with Ikeda in 2015 and is based on Brown’s extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists, as well as deep archival research. The book portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese American families and their sons. Click here for more information and to register.
May 19: The Digital Transformation of Healthcare: Hospitals at Home and Patient Monitoring, Learnings for Japan and US offered by the Japan Society of Northern California
The Covid Pandemic is rapidly accelerating digital delivery of Healthcare services. The US-Japan Healthcare Connection will offer a ground breaking Program – “The Coming Revolution in Healthcare” – that presents the latest developments underlying this transformation, with particular focus on “Hospitals at Home” and remote “Patient Monitoring.” The US-Japan Healthcare Connection is a strategic alliance between the Japan Society of Northern California and US-Japan Medtech Frontiers.
May 20: The State of U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: What’s Working and What’s Needed offered by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA
This event will feature three representatives of Japanese private sector firms with significant business activities in the United States: Mr. Kenichiro Mizoguchi, General Manager of Hitachi’s Washington, DC Office; Mr. Shinsuke Takahashi, Chairman of the Board and Head of Government Relations at the NEC Corporation of America; and Ms. Misato Kogure, Director of Business Development and Environmental Affairs at Daikin U.S. Corporation. This event will focus on the importance of economic strategy in the U.S.-Japan relationship, and our speakers will discuss not only their firms’ approaches to business operations in the United States but also the future of U.S.-Japan economic relations. Further event details, including registration information and speaker bios, are available here.
Overview of Matsuri with Dr. Chikako Usui
Dr. Chikako Usui, Chairman of the JAS, gave a virtual presentation on matsuri (festivals) in Japan at for the Missouri Historical Society. Her talk explored sights, cuisine, music, and atmosphere of these celebrations.
In Case You Missed It...On January 17, we held a virtual Shinnenkai (New Year party) to welcome 2021 - The Year of the Metal Ox. We were delighted to be joined by Consul General Okada to offer well-wishes and offer a New Year kampai as JAS president Greg Gorman and his family performed the kagami biraki ritual breaking of the sake cask. And, JAS chairman Dr. Chikako Usui offered a wonderful and informative overview of Japanese New Year traditions. If you missed it and would like to see it, you can view it here on YouTube.
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
Recent News from JAS
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:
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.
Virtual Japanese Events around the Country
As we all adjust to the "new normal" of COVID-19, many JAS chapters across the country are offering events accessible virtually. As we learn about them, they will be posted here.
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!
Ikebana 2020 Workshop Schedule
Regular Workshop: $20 Members, $25 Non-members
Tatehana Workshop: $30 Members, $40 Non-members
To register for a date below, please click here.
5, 6 Ikebana (Hatsuike-Shoka shofutai)
13 Ikebana (Tatehana)
26, 27 Ikebana (Free style)
2, 3 Ikebana (Shoka)
9, 10 Ikebana (Free style for Valentine's Day)
1, 2 Ikebana (Shoka)
8, 9 Ikebana (Free style)
15, 16 Ikebana (Tatehana)
12, 13 Ikebana (Free style)
19, 20 Practice for Missouri History Museum Ikebana Exhibition
2 Missouri History Museum event (Ikebana demonstration & display)
3,4 Ikebana (Shoka)
28, 29 Ikebana (Free style)
12, 13 Ikebana (Shoka)
19, 20 Ikebana (Free style)
9, 10 Ikebana (Free style)
16, 17 Ikebana (Tatehana)
5-7 Japanese Festival (Ikebana Demonstration & Exhibition)
13, 14 Ikebana (Shoka)
20, 21 Ikebana (Free style)
4, 5 Ikebana (Shoka)
11, 12 Ikebana (Free style)
18, 19 Ikebana (Tatehana)
1, 2 Ikebana (Shoka)
15, 16 Ikebana (Holiday arrangement)
6, 7 Ikebana (Tatehana)
13, 14 Ikebana (Holiday arrangement)
20, 21 Ikebana (Holiday arrangement)
27, 28 Ikebana (Holiday arrangement)
Japan Currents - Global Impact of Anime & Manga
Our Japan Currents event, held on February 20th, 2020, was a great success! The panel and reception were held in the unique Moonrise Hotel on the Delmar Loop inside the beautiful rooftop Twilight Room. Our theme of the Global Impact of Anime & Manga was a deviation from our usual panels and it was met with a positive response from the community. Our audience was engaged and responsive to our speakers, whose presentations ranged from Japanese folklore and yokai, to Miyazaki Hayao, and the voice acting industry. This event also saw a much larger turnout of many new JAS attendees and a younger audience overall.
To see more photos, click here.
2020 Shinnenkai Celebration -Year of the Rat
The Japan America Society of St. Louis kicked off 2020 with a great Shinnenkai at Sushi Sen Restaurant in Lake Saint Louis on January 12. A sold-out crowd enjoyed watching the New Year’s ceremony of kagami-biraki (sake barrel opening ceremony) and heard guest speaker Beth Eckelkamp share her experience growing up in Sapporo, Hokkaido and the custom of Omisoka (December 31) and the New Year. Other highlights included entertaining auction of kadomatsu (flower arrangement for the new year), a raffle of fukubukuro bags, and Chef Kenji Nonaka's course meal including osechi ryori (Special New Year's Meal and sake)!
To see more photos, click here.
2019 Annual Dinner & Meeting
The JAS Annual Dinner held on November 6 was another great success thanks to our members, guests, and a new venue, Third Degree Glass Factory. Around 100 people mingled and celebrated inside a unique venue that offered a glass gallery and cash bar. A silent auction featured generous donations of antiques, sake, event tickets, and various gift packages.
See photos and full article here.
Thank you to our Corporate Members!