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 COVID-19 Update

In the interest of the health and safety of our staff, members, and broader Japanese community, we have made the decision to close the JASM office. For the time being, we have been providing online activities.  Staff members are working remotely and will continue to be available as much as possible via e-mail.

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Upcoming events

    • 2021-08-15
    • (CDT)
    • 2021-08-21
    • (CDT)
    • Online Cultural Event
    • 79

    Obon is an annual summer festival to commemorate our ancestors. While we had to cancel our usual Obon Festival in Como Park, we are instead inviting you to join a festive online event, scheduled for the third week of August. This festival is throwback of  our Spring Festival, Shinshunkai, which we celebrated in March. We greatly appreciate the artists and performers who have agreed to join this event as well. From Sunday, August 15th until Saturday, August 21st you can enjoy videos of performances at any time you want. If you have seen these great performance back in March, please let your friends and family know how great they are!  Now it is their chance to see them!

    This event is free for JASM members and $8 for non-members. Please sign up today!

    Please support JASM to continue with our mission and activities.

    Damien “Nijiya” D’Luxe is a local non-binary half Japanese drag king that is known nation wide. He has been performing for 17 years and is a former cast member of #dragrevolution and Black Hearts Burlesque at Lush in Minneapolis, MN. He also does a lot of guest performances throughout the Twin Cities mostly with Dragged Out (an all kings show in St. Paul) and Flip Phone. He is the “Asian for every occasion” and is known for his transformative make up and style through cosplay and impersonations. 

    Kazha is a rock band founded by a Japanese singer-songwriter Kazuha Oda (Kazha) and a guitarist Hideki Matsushige in 2009. Kazuha Oda is a classically trained singer who has worked in various genres of music from Classic to Heavy Metal and currently touring nationally, representing the Birth Place of Rock'n'Roll Memphis, Tennessee.  Kazha represents a new future of music: a fusion of cultures and musical view points that create their sound, combining the softness of a falling feather and the heaviness of a hurricane. Metal. Her work has appeared on the iTunes Top 100 charts of numerous countries for a significant amount of time. She is an Official Ambassadors of "Music Export Memphis"

    Kendama Institute, Joshua Grove, President and Director, Co-Founder, is a motivational Kendama educator who as been involved in Kendama education for the past three years. With six years of kendama experience and university studies in psychology, flow Science, mindfulness, growth mindset, social and emotional learning, and child development. He has dedicated his life toward serving in transformative youth education and bringing Kendama into class rooms and gymnasiums around the world.


    Tomoko Drake, Dango making 

    Tomoko Drake, a baker in Twin Cities will teach us how to make dango


    Yuki Tokuda is a ballet dancer and choreographer based in Twin Cities. She is originally from Shiga and has been living in Minnesota over 10 years. She has been dancing over 30 years and collaborates with other artists and companies.

    This piece is an excellent excerpt from Yumé which I collaborated with Asako Hirabayashi. Music is from opera Rusalka by Antonin Dvorak. Rusalka is the daughter of water-goblin who wants nothing more than to be human after she falls in love with a hunter/prince. She sings “Song to the Moon” asking the moon to reveal her love to the Prince. Performed by Momoko Tanno and Asako Hirabayashi. 

    Ensō Daiko (Formerly MU DAIKO) offers loud, energetic performances that combine music, dance, culture, and pure athleticism. The group regularly premieres new work adding their unique voice to the expanding canon and innovation of North American taiko. Through performances, studio classes and school residencies, Ensō Daiko has taught thousands of students of all ages and abilities. Ensō Daiko was founded as Mu Daiko in 1997 by Rick Shiomi. New Artistic Director, Jennifer Weir, renamed it Ensō Daiko in 2017, when Taiko Arts Midwest took over the taiko program formerly supported by Theater Mu.
     Performed by: Craig Schultz, Chiako O'Brien, and Hiroshi Yoshino  
    The video is a performance of Matsuri (arr by Rick Shiomi), and includes the following folk songs arranged by Hiroshi Yoshino.

    - Haru no ogawa (Spring stream) composed by Teiichi Okano
    - Hana (Flowers) composed by Rentaro Taki
    - Haru ga kita (Spring has come) by Teiichi Okano

    Momokusu Iwata, Shamisen Player 

    Momokusu Iwata grew up in a family of musicians, but he first developed interest in the shammisen after he was watching an animation, “Naruto”, on TV when he was nine years old. He was surprised by the sound of Tsugaru Shamisen in the show, which made him immediately decide to play the Shamisen.

    Momokusu Iwata plays not only traditional folk songs, but also classic, jazz, rock, pops and dance music. He is actively playing in and out of Japan alone and in groups such as “Tokyo futari“and “AOI”. 

    In 2019 Momokusu came to Minnesota to play his Shamisen at  the concert of  JASM's annual event, Harukaze. 

    Thunder Wave started in 2012 with students from the Japanese community studying at the Minneapolis Japanese School. Their debut performance was at Sundin Music Hall at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and they received a standing ovation for the energetic dance performance of Nanchu Soranbushi.

     Their mission is to bring together the youth in our community for cultural identity and empowerment, and to preserve and introduce Japanese contemporary performing arts to our Japanese, Japanese American, and other communities.

    Twin Cities Buddhist Association Sangha (TCBA) was founded in 1946 by Japanese American incarceration camp survivors and Military Intelligence Service veterans from Fort Snelling. They are a Jodo Shinshu group based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, affiliated with the Buddhist Churches of America. Jodo Shinshu is part of the Pure Land tradition and has its origins in Japan in the 13th century. It developed as a teaching that included all of society, not just the educated elite of the day. It arrived in the US in 1899 along with the Japanese immigrant community. They currently meet every other week via Zoom but in non-pandemic times they meet monthly at the Midtown YWCA in Minneapolis.  They also hold monthly discussion sessions in Japanese using Zoom. For more information, please check the TCBA website from here.

    $8: Non-Member, $0: Member

    Sunday, August 15th -21st

    Please sign up today! The ticket is not refundable, but transferable. 

    • 2021-08-22
    • 3:00 PM - 8:30 PM (CDT)
    • Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

    We would like to inform you that the Obon Festival 2021 has been officially cancelled this year again due to COVID-19. The decision was made with everyone's safety in mind since we do not feel comfortable enough yet to get together with a minimum of 10,000 people.

    We are looking forward to seeing you at the Obon Festival 2022! 

    Meanwhile, there will be a small program of a lantern release  on the pond at Como Park this year. The date and details will be announced later on this website.

    The Obon Festival, the largest Japan-related festival in Minnesota, usually takes place in Como Park every August. Modeled after summer festivals held across Japan, it features stage performances, cultural demonstrations, activities, and, of course, Japanese food.

Connecting Japan and Minnesota for nearly 50 years

The Japan America Society of Minnesota is a member-supported, non-profit organization established to promote mutual understanding and friendship between Japanese and US citizens. Through our programs and events, we endeavor to promote an appreciation of cultural, educational, economic, public, and other affairs of interest to both peoples. JASM also connects and supports Minnesota's seven Japanese sister cities, two Japanese-language Saturday schools, over 100 Japanese corporate subsidiaries, and a host of other organizations dedicated to Japan-related topics from Anime to Zen. JASM is open to individuals, corporations, and other organizations interested in supporting its missionFounded in 1972, JASM is a member of the National Association of Japan-America Societies.


JASM is supported by hundreds of individuals and over 40 Companies and Non-Profit Organizations. Special thanks to the following sponsors:

Corporate Benefactors

Daikin Applied 

Delta Air Lines, Inc.  

Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd     

Taiyo International, Inc.

Corporate Contributors

Briggs and Morgan, P.A.     IACE TRAVEL     

Satellite Industries, Inc.     UMEI    Murata Vios Inc.

Corporate Sustaining Members

     Deloitte Tax, LLP 

Hamre, Schumann, Mueller & Larson, PC     Japan Lifeline Co.Ltd

Mall of America     Metropolitan Airports Commission     MGK, Inc.

Naigai Industries     U.S.A. Inc. Satellite Industries, Inc.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Partners in Service

JK's Table     Kiku Enterprises, Inc.     Minnesota Trade Office

Origami Restaurant     Sakura Restaurant

Saint Paul Saints Baseball Club     Saji-Ya Restaurant

Suishin Restaurant

Tomodachi     Voyager  Group Inc.   Zen Healing Center     

Nonprofit Members

Concordia Language Villages     Economic Club of Minnesota     Global Minnesota

JETAA Minnesota     JETRO Chicago     JP Network, St. Cloud State University

KCC-Japan Education Exchange     Macalester College Asian Language & Culture Department

Minneapolis Japanese School     Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minnesota Council of Teachers of Japanese     Minnesota Orchestra     Mu Performing Arts

NDSU-Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection     Twin Cities Aikido Center

UMN Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

University of North Dakota-Grand Forks     Winona State University Global Studies Dept.

Contact Us


P.O. Box 26639

Minneapolis, MN 55426

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