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!

Tickets Now Available!

JAS Members can now purchase tickets for our Sake Cocktail Contest. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 13.

It's here! The fourth and final installment of our Sake-Tasting Sandbox series comes to fruition on Tuesday, April 4 at Platypus in The Grove, in the form of a Sake Cocktail Contest. Join the excitement and watch five finalists create and present their cocktail creations featuring Tozai Sake and Holladay Distillery. Your ticket gets you entry to the exclusive contest room with an up-close and personal view of the cocktail creation, narration, and judging, and one complimentary drink (tips not included - please be generous to the staff).

Are you a bartender? Mixologist? Creative drink maker? Amateur booze enthusiast? Whatever you call yourself, anyone is welcome to submit a recipe for consideration in the contest. Our judges will pick five finalists to compete live at a cocktail throwdown for their share of $600 in prize money. There are some rules and guidelines to be aware of, and you must use this official submission form. Deadline for entry is March 14.

Thank You to All Our Sponsors and Host

This event is made possible by Japan Foundation NY and is sponsored by McCormick Distilling Company, Tozai Sake, and Intoxicology.





Kado, The Way of Flowers at Laumeier Sculpture Park

Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis is now exhibiting "Narcissus Garden", an installation art piece created by famous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. JAS has partnered with Laumeier Sculpture Park to offer interactive programs aimed to engage attendees with various aspects of Japanese culture periodically throughout the course of the exhibit.

Our first program, "Kado, The Way of Flowers", rolled out on March 11 to a room full of people. Our very own Dr. Chikako Usui opened with a lecture about the history and development of ikebana, along with the art's philosophical foundations and aesthetic principles. Following her lecture Dr. Usui demonstrated shoka styles of ikebana, and afterwards invited her students, Anne Brown and Mary Patterson, to demonstrate arrangements made using both classical and contemporary styles. All those who attended were happy to learn about the history and difference in ikebana styles, the respect for life, the life processes of plants, and appreciation of natural beauty that this art is capable of expressing.

Laumeier Sculpture Park will be hosting "Narcissus Garden" until May 14. If you are interested in participating in the upcoming JAS sponsored programs, "Chado, The Way of Tea", or "Shodo, The Way of Writing", click here to visit the Laumeier Sculpture Park exhibit page for more information.

Upcoming events

Save These Dates

  • April 7 - Sake and Sakura at Missouri Botanical Garden
  • June 7 - Japanese Culture at Missouri History Museum 
  • June 17 - JAS Trivia Night

Laumeier Sculpture Park Hosts Yayoi Kusama's Narcissus Garden; JAS Provides Cultural Experiences

Yayoi Kusama's Narcissus Garden

From February 11 to May 14, Laumeier Sculpture Park will be hosting Yayoi Kusama's famous Narcissus Garden, an immersive art installation that contains nearly 1,000 polished stainless steel spheres. We are excited to announce that JAS will be partnering with Laumeier Sculpture Park to provide three supplementary cultural experiences alongside the exhibit!

JAS will provide special programs periodically throughout the course of the exhibit, including  demonstrations in:

Kadō, The Way of Flowers: Enjoy a kadō demonstration, the practice of flower arranging using classical ikebana forms, performed by Dr. Chikako Usui, Chairman of JAS. Learn about the way of flower arranging and the appreciation for nature and harmony that this delicate art inspires. Event takes place on March 11, click here to RSVP today!

Shodō, The Way of Writing: Join a hands-on calligraphy session with professional shodō artist Kaori Ishijima. Ishijima-san will demonstrate the dramatic brush strokes used in Japanese calligraphy, which will be followed up by a shodō workshop. Event takes place on March 23, click here to RSVP today!

Chadō, The Way of Tea: Attend a Japanese tea ceremony, performed by Yuko Kitajima, Director of JAS. Learn about the complexity of Japanese spirituality and the cultural significance of chadō while enjoying a bowl of matcha tea prepared just for you. Event takes place on April 15, click here to RSVP today!

For more information on dates, gallery hours, and reservations, click here to visit the Laumeier Sculpture Park event page.

Geostrategies Webinar: The Implications for Japan and the US of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

JAS collaborated with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation earlier this month to host a webinar that discussed the implications for Japan and the US of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Dr. Phillip Lipscy and Dr. Kayo Takuma led the discussion and former US Senator Jim Talent moderated. If you missed it, check out the whole discussion below.

Local and Virtual Events Across the Country

Beauty in Enormous Bleakness: The Design Legacy of the Interned Generation of Japanese Americans:  From January 17th - July 9th 2023, the John M. Olin library, located on Washington University's campus, will be hosting an exhibit that will explore architecture's relationship to issues of immigration, exclusion and cultural identity in 20th-century America. This exhibit will focus on Japanese American designers & architects that were forced to stay in internment camps during the second world war and their exceptional works in a post war culture. For more information, visit the Washington University exhibitions page.

In Case You Missed It...

If you missed one of our virtual events, be sure to check out the Japan America Society - St. Louis YouTube page! Larger virtual events hosted by us are recorded and uploaded there for those who could not make it to the live sessions. Recordings of events hosted by other organizations that JASSTL collaborated with will be posted below.

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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