A very successful Annual Dinner to Celebrate 50 Years

November 7th, 2017 

Our 50th anniversary Annual Dinner was our most successful fundraising dinner yet. We sold out our capacity quickly thanks to corporate table sponsorships by CSI Leasing, Nidec, and Novus and the tremendous support of our general members.

Seventy-four people gathered to enjoy a huge spread of Japanese dishes and sushi and to meet and enjoy one another’s company. The event was a great success filled with many surprises. Mayor Lyda Krewson proclaimed November 7th, 2017, as “Dr. Chikako Usui Day” in St. Louis in honor of her retirement as president of the Japan America Society of St. Louis for the past 10 years. Dr. Usui was also surprised by many wonderful gifts presented to her. She said she “will use her new vases at the ikebana demonstration at our festival next year.”

We also presented a $3000 donation to the St. Louis Japanese Language School, a Friendship Award to Ms. Hiromi Ishida for her dedication and support of the St. Louis Ishinomaki Friendship Program of the previous four years, and a Distinguished Service Award to retiring president Dr. Usui for her incredible achievements of the past 10 years..

To draw a successful evening to a close, we held our annual live auction. Several generous donors provided a varied array of 20 items, including Japanese sake, traditional Japanese lacquerware and other crafts, sports memorabilia, event tickets, high-end electronics, small-batch local food, and fashion articles. The centerpiece of the auction was a one-of-a-kind, hand-embroidered, silk uchikake (formal wedding kimono).

Missouri & Japan Business Partnerships

October 9, 2017

This years, standing room only, Fall Japan Update was hosted by our gracious corporate sponsor CSI Leasing Inc.  The focus of the event was on Missouri and Japan Business Partnerships featuring  three guest speakers, Congresswomen the Honorable Ann Wagner, Mr. Peter Smith of Enterprise Holdings, Inc. and Mr. Ken Steinbeck of CSI Leasing.  These speakers' different stories encouraged and inspired many different corporations in the room to continue business efforts with Japanese Businesses. 

The Japan America Society would like to extend our gratitude to both CSI Leasing Inc. for hosting the event and to Chef De Art for catering a once again artfully, delicious Sushi and Sake reception. 

All photos courtesy of Chip Meyer

All photos courtesy of Linda Austin.

The Japanese Festival continues to be well attended

September 2- 4, 2017

Thank you to all who attended the Japanese festival, this year we had the second highest record of attendance coming in at 39,764! It was special to us at JAS because it was a part of our 50-year anniversary Celebration!

This year our Tee Shirt booth featured multiple shirts including our 2017 Japanese Festival tee shirt with danchiku 暖竹(giant cane of Bamboo), the five virtues of Bushido and beautiful calligraphy for Flower.

Urban Chestnut teamed up with Masumi Sake to make a perfect beer, Konomi 好み, for a hot summers day. This was our first year selling draught beer and it was a great success! It was so widely enjoyed that our last cup sold before 2PM on Monday.  Thank you again Urban Chestnut for collaborating with Masumi Sake to make this tasty beer for the 50th anniversary of the Japan America Society of St. Louis.

Thank you Dr. Chikako Usui for the wonderful Ikebana demonstration that was standing room only.

All photos courtesy of Linda Austin and Susie Brent.

First Annual Trivia Night a Big Success

June 17, 2017

Thank you to all of the 152 participants, many sponsors, and volunteers for making our first Trivia Night, at St. Louis College Prep, a great success! We had 19 tables of competitors, including five Premium Tables, who enjoyed Japanese bento, beer, and sake as well as beautiful ikebana centerpieces.

This was a trivia night with a Japanese twist, so participants enjoyed a jankenpon (rock-paper-scissors) minigame, several authentic Japanese auction items, a few Japan-themed questions and everyone's friendly company!

Thank you to Steve Mitori for emceeing the event and providing all the questions and to our sponsors Summit Distributing, Lohr Distributing, JACL, Jazz St. Louis, The Mosaic Project, Washington University's East Asian Languages and Cultures, Honorary Consul Stephen Knapp and Diana Knapp, Animeggroll, Better Life, and St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

Congratulations to the table from The International Institute on their big win of the $500 cash prize. We hope to see everyone - and more - at next year's trivia event.

All photos courtesy of Tony Salini.

Partnership with St. Louis Art Museum Continues to be Fruitful

May 21, 2017

Following our successful partnership from last year, Japan America Society and the St. Louis Art Museum collaborated on the "Passport to Japan" Family Sunday program. Visitors to the museum enjoyed a hands-on origami workshop, several bon odori (including several with audience participation), taiko, and a lion dance. We look forward to bringing this program back next May.

All photos courtesy of Marc Vanacht and Chip Meyer.

Celebrating with the Missouri History Museum

May 7, 2017

Our Celebration of Japanese Culture was another successful partnership with the Missouri History Museum – our fifth! Despite the beautiful weather enticing everyone outside, many people came inside to learn about Japanese culture and traditions. We received compliments and thank-yous from appreciative attendees.

The Japan America Society of St. Louis thanks the Missouri History Museum and everyone who attended this event—performers, speakers, volunteer assistants, our JASWA friends, and our many guests. This was a wonderful experience of learning and celebrating and sharing the richness of Japanese heritage.

The JAS mission is to promote friendship and understanding between the people of Japan and the US. We support those who are learning Japanese arts as well as those with years of expertise. Thanks to a grant from Boeing, we can expand our mission of sharing culture and nurturing local talent.

All photos courtesy of Dan Lindsey and Tony Salini.

2017 Spring Japan Update Packed the House at NOVUS International

February 21, 2017

We had a packed house to hear three engaging speakers at our Spring Japan Update event hosted by our member, Novus International. Talks by Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, Carnegie Asia Program senior fellow James Schoff, and founder and managing director of The Yield Lab Thad Simons were followed by a wonderful sushi and sake reception provided by Chef de Art Catering. A big "Thank you!" to our speakers, to the sponsors - the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS) and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, to everyone who attended, and to everyone who worked to bring this opportunity to St. Louis.

All photos courtesy of Marc Vanacht and Chip Meyer.

2017 Kicked Off with Shinnenkai for Year of the Rooster

January 30, 2017

The Japan America Society of St. Louis kicked off 2017 - its 50th Anniversary Year - with a wonderful Shinnenkai at Sushi Sen in Lake Saint Louis on January 22. A sold-out crowd heard guest speaker Dave Lowry  explain the concept of "ichi-go ichi-e" (一期一会 "one time, one meeting"), a Japanese idiom that describes a cultural concept of treasuring meetings with people as once in a lifetime occurrences.

And, once again, JAS was honored to host Consul General of Japan Toshiyuki Iwado as a featured speaker. Other highlights included the kagami-biraki (sake barrel opening ceremony), a raffle of fukubukuro bags, and of course Chef Ken's osechi ryori - Special New Year's Meal (and sake!).

All photos courtesy of Tony Salini

"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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