Japanese Cultural Programming

The Japan America Society of St. Louis offers presentations, demonstrations, and activities related to various traditional Japanese arts and customs to schools, universities, libraries, and other community organizations. Our volunteers are happy to work with you to design an experience suited to your audience and objectives. Contact us to learn more about this program.

    Budo – Aikido, Judo, & Kendo

Budo are the martial Ways of Japan; arts aimed at sport as well as physical training and the development of aesthetic values consistent with traditional Japanese culture.

Aikido – modern Japanese martial art that practices defending oneself while protecting your opponent from injury.

Judo – modern Japanese martial art with features of throwing and taking down opponents in a gentle manner and immobilizing them.

Kendo – traditional Japanese martial art that uses bamboo swords and protective armor.

Koryu Bugei – for a presentation on a classical Japanese martial art style or system, please contact Dave Lowry at mailto:stlouis.smr@gmail.com



Calligraphy (Shodō)

Japanese calligraphy is a form of artistic writing of the Japanese language. The calligraphy

program offers individuals a chance to write with a calligraphy brush and sumi ink.


Request a performance followed by audience participation:

        Bon Odori - a style of group dancing performed at Obon festivals during summer        

        Okinawa Eisa - folk dancing that originates from the Okinawan islands of Japan    




This time honored form of Japanese poetry consists of 3 unrhymed lines of five-seven-five

syllables or sounds. Become skilled at crafting your very own haiku with this interactive


Japan In A Suitcase

Learn through this unique show and tell about students from Japan. This presentation uses actual

items as well as photos that illustrate the daily lives of Japanese children at home and in school.



Japanese Language

Beginner's lesson in pronunciation, greetings, numbers, and simple phrases. Discover how 

the Japanese and English languages are different.


See how to properly wear a traditional Japanese garment and obi (belt) in this demonstration. We 

have some formal silk kimono, the casual cotton yukata, and the short happi coat. Programs may

include dressing participants for photo opportunities as time allows.

*Note - We do not usually lend out clothing



Learn how to calm your mental and emotional state using a form of Zen Buddhism meditation.

Music - Instrumental

Group performance of traditional and contemporary Japanese music, plus a few fun

American songs, with instruments such as the shamisen, koto, and jamisen/jabisen.


Music - Singing

Request an interactive performance in singing traditional and contemporary Japanese



Origami is the art of folding paper. This hands-on activity teaches individuals how to fold

origami papers into a variety of shapes. 



Request an energetic drumming performance from St. Louis Osuwa Taiko. The shishi-mai lion

dance can be added for an audience-interaction attraction.

Top Spinning

See incredible skills at top spinning, ideal for outdoors or in areas with high ceilings. The 

top, koma, is a traditional toy in Japan.


Tea Ceremony (Chadō)

Chadō, or the Way of Tea, is a spiritual practice formalized by Sen no Rikyu in the 16th century. 

Presentations can be adapted to classroom settings or full demonstrations can be done in 

larger spaces. 


Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement that dates back to the 15th century. Ikebana 

emphasizes the natural beauty of flower materials including the stems and leaves, as well as the 

shapes, lines, and forms. It employs an asymmetric composition, space, and the principal of 

minimalism. Ikebana is also known as the way of flowers, involving the spiritual practice of 

understanding all living things in nature.


"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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