2022 National JACL Scholarship Program is Open for Submissions

Entering Freshman applications must be completed no later than March 4, 2022 11:59 pm Hawaiian Standard Time. Scholarship guidelines, instructions, and application have been posted at link below. The local St. Louis Chapter Scholarship program will be opening soon.


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“Keeping America’s Promise: Civil Liberties Act of 1988” Day of Remembrance Event – February 27, 2022

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Dr. Mitchell Maki, author and President/CEO of the Los Angeles “Go For Broke” National Education Center, will speak at The Lodge in Des Peres, Missouri from 12:00-2:00 on Sunday, February 27, 2022 on the anniversary of 1942’s Executive Order 9066, which lead to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans. The title is “Keeping America’s Promise: Civil Liberties Act of 1988”. A bento lunch will be provided free of charge with a reservation. Reservations are now closed.

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Janice Koizumi Has Passed Away

Long time St. Louis JACL member Janice (Hattori) Koizumi has passed away at the age of 101 in Chicago, Illinois, early in January 2022, just short of her 102nd birthday. Ms. Koizumi’s story was documented in the 2019 book “The Block Manager” written by her former co-worker Ms. Judy Mundle in 2019. May 7, 2019 was officially designated as Janice Hattori Koizumi day in the City of St. Louis.

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St. Louis JACL 75th Anniversary

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Although 2021 marked the actual 75th anniversary of the inception of the St. Louis chapter of the JACL, we were unable to celebrate it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Instead, we have chosen this year, 2022, as the official year of the commemoration of our chapter.

Throughout the following months we hope to highlight the history, events and some key individuals who have been instrumental in our organization over the years. We want to recognize the enormous effort and dedication it has taken to make this chapter true to the cause of the JACL as well as recognize that which has made our chapter unique.

We are also planning activities that coincide with this recognition of the past as well as bring us up to the present and future of our chapter.  We hope you will join us as we celebrate all JACL members and friends throughout these years and beyond.

Early History
Prior to 1940, there were few Japanese Americans residing in St. Louis and individuals came for business reasons, others to go to colleges such as Washington University and Saint Louis University, and some came to represent Japan at the World’s Fair in 1904. A few families opened their own businesses like the Tanakas who had to restaurant downtown.  Most Japanese Americans, however, arrived here during and after WWII. Individuals like Gyo Obata and Dick Henmi came to Washington University from California to study architecture because they were not allowed to attend West Coast schools. Both graduated from the university and went on to make significant marks in their field.

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Holiday Social – December 2nd

St. Louis JACL held a holiday social on December 2, 2021 where chapter members and friends could socialize and catch up with each other. Good food and drink was had by all!

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A Celebration of Art Towata’s Work: November 27, 2021 – March 5, 2022

The Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, Illinois will be displaying exhibits of long-time St. Louis JACL member Art Towata’s art. For many years Mr. Towata regularly held demonstrations and exhibited his works at a booth at the annual Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden. See the link below for detailed information.


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JACL Holiday Social – December 2, 2021

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Please join St. Louis JACL members and friends for an informal, end-of-year gathering Thursday, December 2, 2021, 5:30-8:00pm in Clayton, Missouri. JACL is providing appetizers and drinks and will have the latest edition of the Nisei Kitchen cookbook available for purchase. Please wear a mask and social distance, if you are not vaccinated. Please RSVP by email at stljacl1@gmail.com if you would like to RSVP and receive information on the venue.

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JACL Youth Civic Dinner – November 18, 2021

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On November 18, 2021 Kendal Takeshita, Midwest District Council Youth Representative, is hosting a Civic Dinner at 7:00-9:00pm Central Time. Civic Dinner is a meaningful conversation intended to serve as an opportunity to connect with other JACL Youth members about thoughts on racial equality and combatting injustice. Everyone is welcome and membership is not required. There are limited spots available. Please register using the link below, if you are interested.


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Red Lantern Night Market is Cancelled for October 2021!

We are sorry to announce that the Red Lantern Night Market event has been cancelled for October 22-23, 2021. We hope to be able to bring this event back in the future!

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KSDK Airing Discussion on Anti-Asian Hate in St. Louis Community

KSDK (NBC Channel 5 in St. Louis) is airing a discussion on Anti-Asian on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 11:00 am. Michelle Li of KSDK hosts the discussion that includes JACL member and former International Institute CEO, Anna Crosslin.


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