2022 JACL Appreciation Lunch Delayed to May 22

The JACL Appreciation Lunch originally scheduled for March 20, 2022 has been delayed to May 22, 2022 at Hunan Star at 1:00-3:00. The Board of Directors felt that the previous date was too close to the Day of Remembrance Event recently held on February 27, 2022. An email will be sent out to the invitees: St. Louis Chapter members and 2021 Japanese Festival Soda Tent workers. We are sorry for any confusion!

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St. Louis JACL and Dr. Mitchell Maki – February 28, 2022

St. Louis JACL and Dr. Mitchell Maki, President/CEO of “Go For Broke” National Education Center in Los Angeles, participated in a presentation to Ladue High School and then a meeting with prominent St. Louis Black leaders.

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JACL/OCA Leadership Summit Application Deadline March 6, 2022

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The JACL/OCA Leadership Summit will be held May 21-24, 2022 in Washington, D.C. The deadline for applying to the 2022 Summit is March 6, 2022. The JACL Midwest District Council provides much of the cost of the Summit for attendees from the District, if the application is accepted. The link to the online application form is below.


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2022 Day of Remembrance Event

Dr. Mitchell Maki, President/CEO of the “Go for Broke” National Education Center in Los Angeles, California, delivered “Keeping America’s Promise: Civil Liberties Act of 1988” program in Des Peres, Missouri on February 27, 2022 for the St. Louis JACL Day of Remembrance, marking an anniversary of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. There were approximately 55 persons in attendance and the program had great interaction between Dr. Maki and audience. Thank you to all who made this event such a success!

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Japanese Latin American Day of Action – February 24

The Campaign For Justice: Redress NOW for Japanese Latin Americans! (CFJ) and the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project invites you to take actions today, February 24: (1) Call the White House (2) Email the White House (3) Sign the CFJ Redress Petition to President Biden (4) Post on your Social Media (5) Share with your networks.


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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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