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!

Recent News from JAS

Annual Events

JAS offers 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
  • April - Sake & Sakura at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Celebration of Japanese Culture at the Missouri History Museum, and Japanese Cultural Events with St. Louis Community College at Forest Park
  • May – Passport to Japan at the St. Louis Art Museum
  • June – Trivia Fundraiser
  • September - Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • September - Fundraising Golf Tournament at Pevely Farms
  • October – Japan Update
  • November - Annual Dinner/General Meeting
  • December - JAS Night at the Ballet: The Nutcracker

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.

Upcoming Events

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. 

Chef Naomi Hamamura of Chef de Art Catering created an elaborate display of sushi and traditional hot and cold Japanese dishes, as well as a beautifully carved ice sculpture. 

The Friendship Award was given to Mr. Hiroshi Abe, for his contributions to US-Japan relations, especially the St. Louis-Ishinomaki Friendship Program (2013-2016).

The 2019 Distinguished Service Award was given to Mr. Ken Kitajima as a symbol of our appreciation of his ongoing support as a Vice President, Member of the Board, and Corporate Member representative.

We hope 2020 turns out to be another fruitful and exciting year!

See the gallery of photos here!

3rd Annual Trivia Night

Trivia Night was a great success with 15 teams competing to win the $500 cash prize. Steve Mitori was a wonderful emcee again this year, with Chip Meyer assisting. Premium tables enjoyed delicious bento catered by Chef d’Art, plus sake and free mulligans. Other tables brought their own goodies. Urban Chestnut Brewing Company and Lohr Distributing generously donated free beer for the occasion.

Many enjoyed a game of ‘jankenpon’ (rock-paper-scissors) after round 3, facing off with a leader until only one participant was left standing to win the pot of game money. Another favorite of the night was the 50/50 raffle. The winner graciously donated back part of her earnings to JAS – thank you, Megan!

The silent auction had numerous items, gift sets, tours, and tastings to bid on. The auction, along with the restaurant gift cards raffle, were a fun way to help support the mission of JAS to share culture and make friends.

As the night progressed, the rounds became more challenging and every table tried to strategically use their mulligans to gain the advantage. Some of the more difficult rounds were airport codes, military history, and sports. Ultimately it was Table 14 who won the game – congratulations to them!

Thank you to our corporate and round sponsors, to the restaurants who donated gift cards, and to all who donated auction items! You helped make this fun event possible! 

See the gallery of pictures here!

A Celebration of Japanese Culture and a Passport to Japan

On Sunday, May 5, JAS presented our annual “mini Japanese festival” for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. A good-luck lion dance by St. Louis Osuwa Taiko opened the program, then we focused on the “way of” meditative arts of ikebana flower arranging (kadō), brush calligraphy (shodō), and tea ceremony (chadō). A kimono show followed, then Zen meditation practice, kamishibai story-telling, and rakugo “sit-down” comedy. This year attracted the largest audience ever!

Also, JAS partnered with the St. Louis Art Museum on Sunday, May 19, to hold their annual Passport to Japan Family Sunday program. St. Louis Osuwa Taiko attracted a crowd, then the St. Louis Bon Odori group welcomed all to join in the bon dances. All ages enjoyed making origami.

Our thanks to the participants and volunteers, with special thanks to the Missouri History Museum and the St. Louis Art Museum for their continued support.

See the gallery of pictures here!

Spring Japan Update: Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation in Japan & the United States


On Monday, February 25, JAS presented its Spring Japan Update program. Guests enjoyed beverages donated by Urban Chesnut Brewing Company while listening to the presentations on business cultivation from a global to a local perspective. A sake and sushi reception was provided by Naomi Hamamura of Chef De Art Catering. The program and reception were graciously hosted by Cortex Innovation Center and funding was provided generously by NAJAS. 

See more photos here

JAS kicks off the new year without a hitch with the Annual Shinnenkai Celebration!


Despite the snowstorm over the weekend, 66 attendees braved the weather to celebrate the New Year with JAS! Reverend Daigaku Rumme of Zen Confluence Center gave an inspiring and uplifting speech to bring in the new year. 

Guests enjoyed a wonderful Osechi Ryouri made by the friendly staff at Wasabi Bar and Grill. 

Thanks to all of our corporate members and attendees who made this New Year's celebration possible!


Finishing the year off with our JAS Annual Dinner 2018!

We would like to offer warm thanks and appreciation to all the members and guests who were able to make Annual Dinner night such a success. 

The new Wild Carrot venue proved to be a wonderful change of scenery for this annual event, and was wonderfully accompanied by a live string quartet. 

Once again Chef Naomi Hamamura of Chef de Art Catering created a delicious sushi buffet for everyone to enjoy. 

セントルイスへようこそ
Welcome to St. Louis!


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"Japan America Society of St. Louis" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
University of Missouri - St. Louis
366 SSB
1 University Boulevard
St. Louis MO 63121-4400

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