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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.


    • 2024-05-09
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Online Event
    • 82

    Please join us for  “Working in Japan? Navigating Japanese Employment” with Hiroshi Mitsuda on Thursday, May 9 at 6:00 p.m. on Zoom.

    In this presentation, Hiroshi Mitsuda will explain the contents below:

    1. Current demographics of foreign nationals in Japan

    2. Types and numbers of work permits/visas issued

    3. Visa application steps

    4. Benefits/entitlement with work visa

    5. Limitations/restrictions for work visa

    6. Subsequent ability to change to permanent residence    

    Ticket Price

    $8 for Non-Member

    Free for Member

    Hiroshi MITSUDA has worked for 18 years at Japan's Immigration Services Agency, where he has been involved in the examination of States of Residence for foreigners and the introduction of online applications. In addition to his work in Japan, he served as Deputy Consul at the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong for three years, where he was involved in visa applications and other matters. He also served as a member of the Ukrainian Refugee Support Team at the Embassy of Japan in Poland, providing support to Ukrainian refugees relocating to Japan. From March 2023 to March 2024, he spent one year in Washington, DC as part of a program sponsored by the US Department of State, conducting research on US immigration systems. As part of this research, he also engaged in exchanges of views with the Japan America Society of Minnesota. He is currently working as a legal specialist in the International Affairs Division, Policy Division, Immigration Services Agency, Ministry of Justice.

    (Photo: Hiroshsi Mitsuda)

    Please support JASM to continue with our mission and activities.

    • 2024-05-19
    • 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • 1531 Hewitt Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104
    • 234

    Please join us for our upcoming Harukaze 2024 in-person event. We will be showcasing world class local multi instrumentalists, Craig Hara and Eri Isomura who will present a wide range of musical instruments, such as the marimba, various percussion instruments, the piano, the digital harpsichord and the electronic valve instrument (EVI).

    The performance will include Craig and Asako's original compositions, J-pop music,  an Argentine tango, music by a contemporary composer from New Zealand and improvisation. Also opera singer, Momoko Tanno, the Japanese children’s dance group, Thunder Wave and composer Asako Hirabayashi will join the show. 

    Register today!

    Sunday, May 19th, 3 p.m.-

    Day-of Tickets/Door Sale Tickets: $20 (Non member), $15 (Member)

    Online Tickets $15 (Non member), $10 (Member)

    The ticket is not refundable, but is transferable.

    Sundin Music Hall (Hamline University,1531 Hewitt Ave, St Paul, MN 55104)

    ** Sundin Music Hall is Accessible for All  

    A multi instrumentalist, Eri Isomura performs in orchestras, recitals, choirs, musicals, and recording projects around the Twin Cities. Eri is a founding member of 10th Wave Chamber Collective, a Twin Cities-based ensemble featuring classical music of the 20th and 21st centuries, which is serving as MPR Class Notes Artists for 21-22. She is also an Ensemble Artist of the Heartland Marimba Ensemble. She has performed in a variety of musical styles with the Minnesota Opera, Champagne Confetti, Zeitgeist, Border CrosSing, Dubuque Symphony, and others. She released the album "Musical Moments for Cello and Marimba" with her father Sachiya Isomura, a former cellist in the Minnesota Orchestra. 

    She has commissioned and/or premiered works for marimba by local composers such as Asako Hirabayashi, Michael Maiorana, Ian A Cook, Elwyn A Fraser Jr., Jonathan Posthuma. Eri is on the percussion faculty at St. Olaf College and Yinghua Academy. She completed her M.M. in Percussion Performance at The Boston Conservatory.

    Craig Hara is a multi-faceted musician, educator and producer, playing Trumpet, Drums, Percussion, EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), Guitar, Bass, Keyboards/Synthesizers and Vocals. He has performed on recordings and in live performance with numerous artists and orchestras, on scores for motion pictures and television, and has performed in North America, Japan, and Europe.

    Craig is also the Conductor and Music Director of the East Metro Symphony Orchestra, the conductor of the Metro Brass Ensemble, and is the director of the Jazz Ensemble and Instructor of Drumset Studies at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls.

    Craig holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts, and is also on faculty Hamline University and Century College.

    Momoko Tanno (she/they) is a versatile soprano singer/actor, who has been actively performing in the Twin Cities and abroad. She has made her debut with Tacoma Opera singing the title role in Madama Butterfly and performed the title role in the Opera Reading Project of Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catan, premiered and sang the title roles in operas by Asako Hirabayashi. Momoko is a member of AEA who has performed at regional theaters such a s the Guthrie Theatre, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, American Repertory Theatre, Park Square Theater, Theater Mu, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and more. Momoko has a BA from Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan and a MM from University of Minnesota. She teaches voice at University of Wisconsin River Falls.

    A harpsichordist and composer, Asako Hirabayashi's first recording on Albany Label, whose program is entirely composed and played by herself, was selected as one of the top ten albums of the year 2018 by the Global Music Awards and received 7 favorable reviews internationally. She won two McKnight Fellowships, Jerome Fund for New Music by American Composers Forum, Schubert Club Composer Award, Opera America’s Discovery Grant, MNiatures award by MN Opera and several first prizes in Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition. Her live performance of own composition was featured in Performance Today. She holds a DMA from the Juilliard School.

    Thunder Wave was founded by Asako Hirabayashi in 2012. Since the group's debut performance it has been invited to perform more than two dozen times as a guest artistic group locally. They have collaborated with twin cities finest classical musicians, such as players from MN orchestra. They dance pop arrangements of traditional Japanese songs as well as new songs rooted in Japanese culture. 

    Their robes are modern arrangements of traditional Japanese Kimono.  Their mission is to preserve and introduce Japanese contemporary performing arts to Minnesota’s American community. The group has their own original repertoire which is arranged by award winning composer Asako.


         Noriko Ishida    
    • 2024-06-18
    • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

    The 2024 Obon Festival will be on Sunday, August 18th at Como Park. We will look for volunteers starting in June/July.

    Please find information below on the various booths you can volunteer at and make this event successful together!

    (Picture: 2023 Obon Festival first shift volunteers)

    • Calligraphy - assist calligraphy master and help people do calligraphy (previous experience with calligraphy preferred) 

    • Yo-Yo Tsuri - a game where participants fish for floating balloons. Volunteers will need to organize booth, prepare water balloons, prepare hooks, and help run game. 

    • Balloon Makers - help make balloons for Yo-Yo Tsuri 

    • Kingyo sukui - our version will involve participants fishing for rubber fish with scoopers. Volunteers will need to prepare tubs of water, and help run game. 

    • Japanese Quiz - conduct J-quiz by asking participants questions and encouraging participants

    • Main Booth - sell variety of JASM merchandise and conduct membership outreach 

    Everyone is welcome to volunteer, as long as you are 18 years or older. Both newcomers and experienced Obon volunteers are welcome!

    ** Please note that all volunteers need to attend a volunteer workshop before the festival to get necessary information.  Time and location to be determined.

    We're looking forward to working with you!

    • 2024-08-18
    • 3:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

    Please save the date  for Obon Festival 2024 at Como Park on Sunday, August 18 from 3 PM to sundown for a celebration of Japanese culture and tradition.  There will be food, singing, dancing, martial arts, and of course, lantern lighting! This is a family friendly event perfect for everyone. 

    Please stay turned for the update!


    JASM Activities that will be at Obon Festival: 

    Calligraphy - Try your hand at calligraphy or ask the calligraphy master for a message on a fan (with a donation of $15 or more)

    Yo-Yo Tsuri - A game where participants fish for floating balloons

    Kingyo sukui - In our version, fish for rubber fish with scoopers

    Japanese Quiz - Test your knowledge of Japan and win a prize

    Main Booth - Find variety of JASM merchandise and other fun items.

    Visit JASM Main Booth for Obon Festival Masks!


    We hope to see you there!

    • 2024-09-21
    • 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Pioneer Creek Golf Course 705 Copeland Rd #9787, Maple Plain, MN 55359
    • 72

    JASM will be holding our 3rd annual charity golf scramble event in September at Pioneer Creek Golf Course in Maple Plain, MN on September 21st.

    Please save the date for this event!

    We will announce the details as soon as we know.

    Enjoy a fun day of competition with friends while supporting JASM. This event is limited to 72 participants. 

    • 2024-11-16
    • 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Oak Ridge Country Club 700 Oak Ridge Rd, Hopkins, MN 55305

    Please mark your calendars for the 2024 Mondale Award and Scholarship Gala will be held in person on Saturday, November 16th at the Oak Ridge Country Club in Hopkins.

    Both the MondaleAward and Mondale Scholarship will be presented at this event. The Mondale Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the building of understanding, cooperation, and respect between the people of Japan and Minnesota. 

    The Mondale Scholarship is presented to students enrolled in Minnesota colleges and universities who want to broaden their knowledge of Japan through a combination of study and travel.

    Please keep an eye out for registration information which will come in September.

    • 2024-12-12
    • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • TBD
    • 50

    The 2024 Annual Meeting  is scheduled on December 12th at 6:30 pm this year. The location is to be dermined.

    At the meeting, we will be reflecting on the year as a whole and looking forward to next year. We’ll discuss additional ways we can further JASM’s  mission and will hold elections for board members.

    Mark your calendar!


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 Patron

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Miller Milling Company


Corporate Sustaining Members


Hamre, Schumann,  Mueller & Larson PC   

Japan Lifeline Co.Ltd

Mall of America

Metropolitan Airports Commission

Naigai Industries U.S.A. Inc. 

Satellite Industries, Inc.

Surdyk's Liquor & Cheese Shop

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Corporate Contributors

Satellite Industries, Inc. UMEI    

Partners in Service

JK's Table     Kiku Enterprises, Inc.     

Metoree   Minnesota Trade Office

Origami Restaurant     Sakura Restaurant

Saint Paul Saints Baseball Club     Saji-Ya Restaurant

Suishin Restaurant

TOMODACHI     Voyager Group Inc.

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     

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.

Recent Blog Posts

 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.

Contact Us


P.O. Box 26639

Minneapolis, MN 55426

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