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!

Upcoming events

Kishi Bashi

Friday, Sep 17, 2021


In community partnership with Japan America Society of St. Louis (JASSTL) and St. Louis JACL Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kishi Bashi makes his SLSO debut with a multimedia program including Improvisations on EO9066, a heart-rending musical exploration about the internment of innocent Japanese Americans during World War II. Known for writing the score to the 2020 AppleTV+ show “Stillwater,” performing at large festivals such as SXSW, and collaborating with popular artists including Regina Spektor, Kishi Bashi brings life to the stage with his vibrant presence.

For more information Click Here.


St. Louis Koi Show & Pond Expo

September 24th - 26th

Timberwinds Nursery

Come view the beautiful living jewels on display Koi judging & informational seminars September 24-26 in Ellisville, MO at Timberwinds Nursery. St. Louis is again hosting this Koi Show and Pond Expo. There will be hobbyists showing their beautiful koi from all across the Midwest and vendors selling fish, pond and garden-related items from across the country.

This is the 19th annual koi show for the NMZNA club. The NMZNA is a regional chapter of an international organization based in Beppu, Japan. Our goal is to spread the hobby of Koi (Nishikigoi) keeping and to improve the knowledge of the husbandry techniques and the appreciation of Nishikigoi as living art. Our motto is Friendship Through Scales.

Gateway Koi and Pond Club is very excited and honored to have this prestigious event come to our area for the third time! 

For more info, click here.


Righting A Wrong: Japanese Americans And World War II

July 24th through October 3rd at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian, examines the complicated history and impact of Executive Order 9066 that led to the incarceration of 75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese nationals following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Young and old lived crowded together in hastily built camps, endured poor living conditions, and were under the constant watch of military guards for two and a half years. Meanwhile, brave Japanese American men risked their lives fighting for the United States. Some 40 years later, members of the Japanese American community led the nation to confront the wrong it had done—and urged Congress to make it right.

This is a new traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian at the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum. This event is presented by the Missouri Historical Society and features Military & Firearms Curator Mike Venso. 

For more information about Executive Order 9066, please read:  Remembering and Righting a Wrong.


Origami in the Garden

April 17th through October 10th at Missouri Botanical Garden

The Origami in the Garden exhibition captures the delicate nature of paper in metal.Through October 10, the Missouri Botanical Garden is filled with the monumental works of Jennifer and Kevin Box and their collaboration of origami artists.

The exhibition elevates the ancient art of origami to new heights, using the technique of lost-wax casting and fabrication. Each piece glorifies the precision of origami in stately museum-quality metals using an innovative 35+ step process that took nine years to perfect.

The exhibition of 18 awe-inspiring large-scale sculptures features flying birds, painted ponies, emerging butterflies, floating boats, a majestic tower that creates the illusion of 1,000 stainless steel origami peace cranes hovering above the water, and more


Virtual Japanese Events around the Country

September 21: Japan’s Business Reinvention: How to lead Corporate Culture Change offered by the Japan Society

Over the past decade, Japan’s leading companies have undergone a reinvention, away from brand names and commoditized products to a stealth, deep-tech leadership in critical inputs into global supply chains. This reinvention requires new corporate processes and a new corporate culture that enable risk-taking and breakthrough innovation. This event will introduce the core message of Ulrike Schaede’s award-winning book “The Business Reinvention of Japan”, followed by a discussion with the key executives of JSR and AGC who have led this corporate renewal and reinvention in their effort to turn what used to be traditional, risk-averse, slow and steady companies into agile, tech-driven, global competitors. AGC Inc., formerly Asahi Glass Co., Ltd., is a supplier of flat, automotive, display glass, chemicals, ceramics and other high-tech components and the JSR Corporation, formerly Japan Synthetic Rubber Co., Ltd., engages in the manufacture and sale of synthetic rubber and fine chemical materials.

For registration and more information please Click Here


September 22: Authentic Japanese Tofu: From Bean to Block offered by the Japan Society

Delicate and delicious, tofu is a versatile food enjoyed in many Japanese dishes, from silky, chilled hiyayakko to deep-fried agedashidofu. At this online workshop, learn how to make fresh, authentic tofu at home with London-based chef and culinary educator Akemi Yokoyama. In the spirit of sustainability embodied by the Japanese concept of mottainai, participants will also use the tofu by-product to make tasty okara mochi. Discover what this plant-based protein has to offer, from bean to block and everything in between!

All participants will receive a recipe and ingredient list, and may follow along during the workshop or simply observe. For registration and more information please Click Here


September 23: Bridging the US and Japan: The Story of John Manjiro and Capt. William Whitfield offered by the Japan America Society of Boston

On May 6, 1843, a young Japanese boy named Manjiro sailed into New Bedford harbor, setting his eyes on the U.S for the first time and getting a glimpse of what would become his second home. After being shipwrecked on a deserted island during a fishing expedition, Manjiro and his crew were rescued by American whaling ship captain William Whitfield and taken aboard the John Howland. Because of Japan's closed-door policy, Manjiro and his crew were not allowed to return home to Japan. After sailing together for several months, Capt. Whitfield brought the crew members to safety in Hawaii, but he wished to take Manjiro back with him to his home in Fairhaven, MA, where he educated young Manjiro and welcomed him as a son. Years later, Manjiro returned to Japan as a fluent English Speaker and was critical to future U.S.-Japan relations. As the first Japanese man to live in the U.S., Manjiro was the first bridge between American and Japanese cultures. His bond with Captain Whitfield has spanned generations, and in 1987, a delegation from New Bedford/Fairhaven traveled to Tosashimizu (Manjiro's hometown) and signed a Sister City Agreement which has been active ever since.

Co-hosted by the Japan America Society of Chicago. We will hear from Gerald P. Rooney, President and CEO of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society, who is central to keeping the Manjiro-Whitfield legacy alive. For registration and more information please Click Here


September 23: Bunraku and Beyond: The Evolving Tradition of Japanese Puppet Theateroffered by the Japan Society

Join us for an upcoming special program about Bunraku, a form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre. Our speaker for the program will be Martin Holman, a literary translator, professor, puppeteer, and puppet theater director. Through the stories and music of the puppet theater, the presentation will include a brief history of Japanese puppetry, from its religious origins through the commercial enterprise of Bunraku.

in to watch live from the Awa Jurobe Yashiki Puppet Theater and Museum in the Tokushima Prefecture–home of more traditional puppet troupes and theaters than anywhere else in Japan! The program will include an introduction to the history of the traditional Japanese puppet theater, as well as a close up look at the construction and manipulation techniques of the puppets and the wide variety of puppets used. We will also examine the puppet stage and see a short performance, followed by a Q&A session amid the puppets and stage materials.

For registration and more information please Click Here


September 28: The Japanese Garden: Living Classroom of Nature, Architecture & Culture offered by the Japan Society

The Japanese garden is not simply a place of beauty, serenity and contemplation grounded in a long tradition, but it is also a holistic art form functioning as a place of discovery and innovation that continues to evolve through cross-pollination with other cultural forms. This talk explores the historical journey of one of the world's oldest land art forms and examines its evolving relevance to the world. Inviting experts of critical acclaim from various creative fields, this interactive webinar delves into how Japanese landscape design principles and aesthetics have impacted the ways in which modern society approaches art and architecture while helping mold the human relationship with nature. This is the first of the five-part Living Traditions webinar series.

For registration and more information please Click Here


October 5: Japanese Business Etiquette Workshop offered by the Japan Society

This business etiquette workshop is designed to teach basic Japanese phrases and behavioral skills needed in Japanese corporate environments. Participants will learn practical expressions and manners used in various business contexts, such as formal greeting, business card exchange, seating order (Kamiza and Shimoza), proper bowing, unique hand gestures and table manners. The class will be conducted in English and is suitable for persons at any level of Japanese language experience, including those who have little or no previous background in Japanese.

For more information and registration, please click here.


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.


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

https://stljapanweb.wixsite.com/stljapansociety

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

https://www.mofa.go.jp/

Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/

Coronavirus Data in Real Time

https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en

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.

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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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