St. Louis JACL Mourns Passing of Richard Henmi

St. Louis JACL member and 1956 St. Louis Chapter President, Richard Henmi, passed away on July 7, 2020 at age 96. Mr. Henmi was famous for designing the “Flying Saucer” building at Grand Boulevard and Forest Park Avenue in midtown St. Louis that is now a Chipotle restaurant. Mr. Henmi was a very skilled bowler in the JACL Bowling League for many years.

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JACL National Digital Storytelling Competition

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The Digital Storytelling Competition for the JACL National Youth/Student Council is open for submissions until August 15, 2020.

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Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story

Ruth Ezell, Anna Crosslin, David Shimamoto

On May 8, 2019, a private screening was held at Nine Network in St. Louis for the documentary “Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story” which aired later in the year on PBS. A panel discussion with Nine Network moderator Ruth Ezell and St. Louis JACL members Anna Crosslin, President and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis, and David Shimamoto followed a viewing of the film.

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2020 Book Club Selection

Judy Mundle and Janice Koizumi

The JACL Book Club selection for 2020 is “The Block Manager: A True Story of Love in the Midst of Japanese American Internment Camps” by Judy Mundle published by Open Books Press. St. Louis resident Ms. Mundle wrote the story based on her close friend and long time co-worker and St. Louis JACL member, Janice (Janet) Koizumi.

St. Louis JACL held its annual Book Club discussion on January 10, 2020 and was honored to have Ms. Mundle in attendance. Additionally Ms. Mundle was the keynote speaker at the “Day of Remembrance” St. Louis JACL event at The Lodge on February 16, 2020 which was attended by approximately 60 persons. The “Day of Remembrance” observes the February 19, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans.

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2020 St. Louis JACL Scholarship Awards Announcement

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St. Louis JACL is proud to announce the recipients of its the 2020 Scholarship Awards.

Tyler Young Han Kim is a sophomore at Truman State University. Tyler is president of the Japanese language club at his school and is a passionate advocate for social justice issues related to Asian American identify. Tyler also has worked at the Truman State Center for International Students and at Kirkwood Public Library. Tyler engages in various community services service opportunities working with underprivileged populations through Outpour Evangelical Covenant Church.

John Lubianetsky is a graduate of The Barstow School in Kansas City, Missouri. A fourth-generation Japanese American, John has embraced Japanese culture as the founding member of the shogi club at his school and a brown belt in Japanese Kenpo. John volunteered as a transcriber for the “Go For Broke” National Education Center. John is also active in Model United Nations and the Science Bowl and plans to study international relations at university.

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2020 July 4th Picnic Canceled

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The 2020 St. Louis JACL July 4th Picnic scheduled for July 4th, 2020 at Vlasis Park has been canceled due to Covid-19.  We are sorry for the inconvenience and we hope to meet again soon.

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Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archaeology Collection

Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum

In partnership with the St. Louis chapter of the Japan America Citizens League (JACL), the Garden’s Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum will host Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archaeology Collection

April 27 through May 12, 2019.

The exhibit employs interpretive displays and artifacts to share the story of Japanese Americans imprisoned at the Amache Internment Camp in Southeastern Colorado during World War II and the gardens they created while detained.


Finding Solace in the Soil: The Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Colorado’s Japanese American Internment Camp

In conjunction with Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archeology Collection, the Garden is honored to welcome exhibit curator Dr. Bonnie J. Clark of the University of Denver for this special presentation. Admission is free.

Some of the most significant Japanese-style gardens in the United States are not to be found in botanical gardens or parks, but in WWII-era confinement camps. This presentation overviews the methods and results of six seasons of landscape archaeology at Amache, located in southeastern Colorado. The site contains an incredibly well-preserved record of how the people of Japanese ancestry incarcerated there transformed a hostile landscape through strategy and skill. By integrating a program of historical research, community engagement, and intensive garden archaeology, the University of Denver Amache Project is expanding the view of what internee gardens are, how they were created, and their import, both to those who made them and us today.

May 5, 2019
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Missouri Botanical Garden — Shoenberg Theatre

For more information, visit

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JACL Book Club 2019

The next meeting of the annual JACL Bookclub is scheduled for:
7:00 pm Friday January 11, 2019.

We will be discussing Born A Crime by Trevor Noah.

For more information, please comment below.

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JACL Votes Campaign

JACL Votes

As part of our JACL Votes campaign, JACL National proudly stood with over 50 major national networks and 3,500 community partners across the country – including nonprofits –to register over 300,000 voters on National Voter Registration Day, September 25, 2018.

Results exceeded expectations by over 500,000 as more than 800,000 voters were registered on that day (CNN).


JACL National is also selling JACL Votes merchandise through CafePress,

This merchandise includes t-shirts, stickers, and other merchandise that can either be given or sold at these events. Visit the ONLINE STORE.



Asian American & Pacific Islander Voting Data – APIAVote
Voting Rights – APIAVote
Serve as a Pollworker to help ensure everyone is able to vote
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Representation & Responsibility Panel Discussion and Reception

Representation and Responsibility
Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents:

Representation & Responsibility: Perspectives on Equity, Casting, and the Performing Arts in the 21st Century

Friday, October 26, 2018
7:00 pm
Haertter Performing Arts Center
John Burroughs School
755 S. Price Road
St. Louis MO 63124

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis launches a four-part series this fall exploring questions of representation and equity in the arts, entertainment, and media. Events continue through June 2019, including conversations about casting, film and television, the music industry, and the media. At each program, OTSL artists join other leaders in the field for a meaningful dialogue and Q&A with the audience to expand our collective understanding of these important issues – and to examine what role we play in creating a more equitable world in which to live and create art.

For the first program in the series, we explore the question of casting in opera and theatre, both locally and nationally. The conversation will be moderated by Adrienne Davis, Vice Provost and William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law at Washington University. Panelists include:

  • Soprano Julia Bullock, who returns to St. Louis in 2019 as one of the stars of the world premiere Fire Shut Up in My Bones. A former member of OTSL’s Monsanto Artists-in-Training Program for high school students, Ms. Bullock has now given critically-acclaimed performances at Carnegie Hall, the San Francisco Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, the English National Opera, the Berlin Philharmoniker, and The Bolshoi.
  • Actor and educator Duane Foster made his Broadway debut in the original cast of Ragtime in 1998 and enjoyed an extensive national career before returning to St. Louis and his alma mater in the Normandy School District to revive their drama program and chair the district’s fine arts program.
  • Christina Rios, Artistic Director of R-S Theatrics, a St. Louis non-profit theatre company in its tenth year of producing St. Louis premieres of thought-provoking works that demand conversation. As a performer, she has appeared in numerous St. Louis productions, including The Threepenny Opera, Jerry Springer: The Opera, First Lady Suite, and Into the Woods.
  • Opera Theatre’s General Director Andrew Jorgensen, who assumed leadership of OTSL in July 2019 after serving as Director of Artistic Operations at the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, where he also acted as Interim Executive Director during the company’s 2018 season.

After the 75-minute panel discussion, audiences are encouraged to stay for an informal reception. The Representation and Responsibility series will continue with three more events in 2019, with further details to be announced in the weeks to come.

Admission is free, but registration through the OTSL box office is heavily encouraged.

Register Here

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