Photo of balloon flowers _cropped_ byKim MyoungSung
In This E-blast
Best Wishes To Joan Ambo!
Transforming Oral Histories
JASC Fresh Market
Virtual Japanese Conversation Table
Donguri Kai
U.S. Premiere Of "Gift Of Fire"
Chicago Northside Origami Group
JASC Health Fair
JASC Family Room
Covid-19 Vaccinations
ADS Program Resumes
JASC YouTube Channel
JASC Food & Cooking
Community Events
JASC Wishlist
Make a Donation
Classes & Events
JASC | 4427 N. Clark St.

 Mondays, TBA
6:30 - 8 pm
Beginner II
Japanese Language Class
Online Session

Wednesdays, TBA
6:30 - 8 pm
Beginner I
Japanese Language Class
In-Person Class

Thursdays, TBA
5 - 6 pm
Japanese Language Conversation Class

Thursdays, TBA
5:30 - 7 pm
Japanese Language Class
In-Person Class

Thursday, 9/9
4 - 6 pm
JASC Fresh Market

Monday, 9/13
7 pm start
Transforming Oral Histories: Harnessing The Powers Of Chicago's JA Voices

Thursday, 9/16
7 pm start

Thursday, 9/23
4 - 6 pm
JASC Health Fair

Thursday, 9/23
4 - 6 pm
JASC Fresh Market

Thursday, 10/14
4 - 6 pm
JASC Fresh Market

Thursday, 10/28
4 - 6 pm
JASC Fresh Market

Saturday, 11/13
10 am - 4 pm
Holiday Delight & Kodomo Matsuri

Class fees subject to change without notice.

For more information or to register for classes, please visit our website
Best Wishes on your new adventures!
Joan Ambo, our Program & Special Events Manager, is moving on from JASC, effective Sept. 9th. During her 3 years with us she helped create many new connections with the community through new programs such as Bento Sales and Kimono Meet Up, to name a few. Though you won't necessarily see her in the office anymore, don't be surprised to see her at community programs & events. Joan, thanks for everything!        
TODAY FROM 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Doors open at 4:00 PM
2nd & 4th Thursdays until October 28, 2021

Enter our small indoor market from the main Clark Street entrance, 4427 N. Clark Street, for the opportunity to purchase fresh vegetables and prepared foods from the following and more:
  • Hinata Farms - Asian produce with a focus on Japanese varieties.  
  • Mom's Chicago - Katsu Sando and more
  • Onigiri Kororin - authentic Japanese style grilled onigiri
  • Summertime Cafe - bento, and more
  • M Square
  • What Margie Made - pastries
  • Keilyn's Farm Stand
  • Hiroshi Ariyama
JASC health protocols for the Fresh Market:

Face masks are required - masks must cover the nose and mouth and be worn at all times.        

JASC indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people

Please maintain a 6' distance from others

Any questions? Contact JASC -

Japanese Conversation Table - Thursday, September 9, 2021
JASC 日本語でお話会

コロナ・パンデミックで過去1年以上ズームで続けてきた日本語のお話会ですが、州や市の拘束解除に伴って、今までどおりJASCで 開催できることになりました。
このプログラムに興味のある方、参加したいと思われる方は、Eメールで川口ケイclasses@jasc-chicago.org電話:773-275-0097内線226, までご連絡ください。

Date: Monthly, 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Cost: $5 per person, per session

For native-level Japanese speakers to connect and socialize with others. Please note that this is not a Japanese language class.

Following the Covid-19 guidelines for the city and state, we are now resuming in-person gatherings at JASC for our Conversation Table.

JASC's Conversation Table welcomes everyone to share their experiences, ideas, and stories through social interaction, and also an opportunity to expand their social networks with others in the local community.

If you would like to participate, please contact Kay Kawaguchi at or please call and leave a message to Kay Kawaguchi to RSVP 773-275-0097 x 226.

JASC is located at 4427 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL

2021 Fall Online Class Starts from September 20, 2021!
The Donguri Kai program provides continuing Japanese education to support bilingual and multilingual children from kindergarten to elementary school. Its small size class creates an interactive learning environment for every student and provides an exciting opportunity to virtually work with Japanese learning students of Japanese programs in Canada and Norway.
Class meets virtually on a weekly basis for 10 weeks. An online device (PC, Tablet), Internet access, printer and the Installation of the Zoom or Google Meet application are required.
Tuition: JASC members $180,   Non-members $230
New Learner: Mondays & Wednesdays @ 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM (Twice a week)
Level 1: Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM (Twice a week)
Level 2: Wednesdays @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Level 3: Tuesdays @ 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Level 4: Thursdays, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
The fall registration ends on September 12 (sun.). More info and register here
For more information, please visit our website:
See what happens behind the scenes in planning a fun Tampopo class:

Our meeting dates for 2021 are as follows:
September 18
October 23
November 20
December 18

Please note, masks are required in all public areas of JASC.
JASC's Health Fair is back this year in a new form!
  • Walk-in Flu shots are free
  • Shingles or Pneumonia cost to be determined by your insurance
o   Call JASC (773-275-0097) to make an appointment, and have your insurance information ready.
o   We will submit the insurance information to Walgreens.
o   When we get the approved amount from Walgreens we will let you know what the cost will be.

We are also partnering with Swedish Hospital to provide health-related educational programming and more!

This event is open to the public and will be at JASC, 4427 North Clark St, Chicago.

COVID-19 Vaccinations
Currently all Illinois residents 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. Find out how to get vaccinated at WBEZ article: Here's How To Get Vaccinated In Chicago And Illinois

Here are some ways to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:  
  • Contact your primary care physician
  • Contact pharmacies to check on vaccine availability. For example, if you have a Walgreens account number, and your date of birth available, you can try to schedule by calling 1-800-WALGREE (1-800-925-4733), or by visiting this page
  • Find appointments or sign up for updates on availability if appointments are not available on Zocdoc or call 312-746-4835.
  • For Cook County residents, sign up for appointments or updates here
  • Here's a list of vaccination sites open to all Illinois residents, with links to sign up for appointments or updates
  • Here's a list of vaccination sites in Illinois, that require you to live or work in specific places in Illinois
  • For anywhere in the United States, try the Center for Disease Control's Vaccine Finder

Community Events 

Chicago Japanese American Council (CJAC) Events Calendar
Stay up to date on Chicago Japanese and Japanese American community events! This calendar will be a central place where people can see events by CJAC member organizations, and other Japanese and Japanese American community and cultural events. Visit the calendar at

TADAIMA 2021 - Registration now open!
Sun Aug 29th - Sat Sep 25th
Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages (JAMP) in partnership with the National Park Service will co-host the second annual Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage. This pilgrimage will run continuously for four weeks, with new content provided daily. The pilgrimage is free and open to the public and will be available online.

Tadaima 2021 will expand upon Tadaima 2020 to address identity, indignity, and intersectionality as they relate to the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans. This program will showcase Japanese American artists, live panel discussions featuring a diverse collection of speakers, and opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion for Nikkei and allies alike. Tadaima 2021 is a collaborative effort between Japanese American and ally organizations worldwide. This year we hope to forge new connections within and around our diverse Nikkei community, to rebuild relationships fractured by intergenerational trauma, and to begin the journey to healing collectively through mutual respect and understanding.

More info and register here


Tsukasa Taiko at Night Out in the Parks: 
Pulaski Park
This Saturday! September 11, 2021 | 2:00 PM
Pulaski Park
1419 W. Blackhawk Street, Chicago, IL 60642

Tsukasa Taiko is back at Pulaski Park for the final Night Out in the Parks concert of our 2021 season. Free concert, public show open to all ages. Please follow Chicago Park District's protocols when you join us at our performance: Protect Yourself, Protect Your Neighbor, Protect Our Parks: Wear your mask, Stay 6 feet away from others, Wash your hands.

Sonic Pavilion Festival
Various Dates + Times, September 2021
Millennium Park Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph Ave. Chicago, IL

Sonic Pavilion Festival is a series of 30-channel sound installations commissioned by Experimental Sound Studio for the spatialized overhead trellis loudspeaker array at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion. The result is an immersive canopy of sound-a fluid sonic architecture that bridges the focus of a live performance and the majesty of the surrounding cityscape.Commissioned works are 20 minutes each, all artists are presented daily. Sonic Pavilion Festival is developed by Experimental Sound Studio and is presented by Millennium Park and the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Featured Artists (In Order Of Play):
Whitney Johnson (Matchess)
I Gusti Ngurah Kertayuda & Bill Parod
Stephan Moore
Kioto Aoki
Natalie Chami (TALsounds)

Listen Live At Millennium Park On The Following Dates:
Tuesday, September 14, 2-4pm
Thursday, September 23, 5-7pm
Thursday, September 30, 11am-1pm

Commissioned works are 20 minutes each. All artists are presented daily.

Kioto Aoki, Sonorous Admittings

About the work:
Sonorous Admittings
is a sonic landscape that accentuates the taiko drum's most fundamental and captivating element: acoustic resonance. The simple phrasing played by the artist on the odaiko (larger taiko) and smaller shime taiko enunciate the textural and tonal shifts of assonant sound between silence, and recreates what it feels like to play the odaiko and be completely surrounded by thunderous reverberations.

About the artist:
Kioto Aoki is a visual artist and musician descending from the Toyoakimoto performing arts family in Tokyo with roots dating back to the Edo period. Studying under her Tokyo-born father, Aoki is carrying on the family lineage in Chicago as a taiko artist while also playing shamisen and tsuzumi. She plays in both traditional and contemporary musical contexts and is active within the experimental and creative music communities in Chicago and the Bay Area.

Anderson Japanese Gardens: Monthly Lecture Series
Toyoaki Shamisen: Japanese Music Lecture and Demonstration
with Ozashiki dance and Ohayashi
Thursday, September 16, 2021 | 7:00 PM | Free with Garden Admission
Anderson Japanese Gardens
318 Spring Creek Road Rockford, Illinois 61107

In this lecture, you will learn about the unique tradition of Tokyo geisha music. Toyoaki Shamisen, led by award-winning Toyoaki Sanjuro (aka Tatsu Aoki) , is one of the three core groups that comprise the traditional performing arts at Asian Improv aRts Midwest. Our outreach presentations provide lectures with performance of traditional ozashiki geisha house(chamber) and Ohayashi music with ozashiki dance. While popular geisha shamisen music like Hauta and Kouta focus mostly on singing, Ozashiki shamisen is largely instrumental and used mostly as interlude music before the featured geisha ladies appear, or to fill time in large parties and gatherings.

Register now to reserve your seat for this special lecture event.
Kioto Aoki Saturday Concert at Lake Forest College
for "Fleeting" - An Exhibition by Sandra Binion
Saturday, September 18, 2021 | 2:00 PM
Lake Forest College Durand Art Institute
Sonnenschein and Albright Galleries
555 North Sheridan Road, North Campus, Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Fleeting and Aftermath are two bodies of work celebrating the fragile and ephemeral experiences that leave profound and lasting emotional imprints. Lake Forest College is pleased to present a double exhibition of work by Chicago artist Sandra Binion, Fleeting and Aftermath, September 2-26, 2021, at the college's Durand Art Institute.

Fleeting is a multi-media exhibition that includes video, photography, watercolor, sculpture, and sound installed with close attention to the Sonnenshein Gallery's architecture, color and lighting. Fleeting is paired with Aftermath, a series of 30 watercolors presented in the adjoining Albright Gallery. The exhibition was in preparation in 2019-2020 and was originally scheduled for fall 2020, but was postponed one year due to the pandemic.

The exhibition is further extended with three musical events presented free to the public. Three women improvisers from Chicago will present solo concerts in the atrium of the Durand Art Institute that opens onto the galleries: vocalist Carol Genetti (September 11), taiko drummer Kioto Aoki (September 18), and cellist Katinka Kleijn (September 25). These performances will take full advantage of the wooden atrium's warm and reverberant acoustics, which-like the exhibition- give material presence to an ephemeral experience.


お月見 Tsukimi Moon Viewing at Garden of the Phoenix
Saturday, September 18, 2021 | 6:00 PM | Free with Registration
Garden of the Phoenix at Jackson Park
6300 South Cornell Avenue Chicago, IL 60637

The inaugural Tsukimi: Moon Viewing evening in the historical Garden of the Phoenix in Chicago's Jackson Park!

The Japanese Arts Foundation and Japanese Culture Center welcome you to the inaugural Tsukimi: Moon Viewing evening in the historical Garden of the Phoenix in Chicago's Jackson Park. This event is made possible in part by the support of the Japan Foundation, New York / Center for Global Partnership.

A Tsukimi (tsoo-kee-mee), or moon viewing celebration, honors the autumn or harvest moon. Here in Chicago, we will be celebrating with taiko drum performances by Tsukasa Taiko, a traditional tea ceremony led by Omar Francis-sensei of the Urasenke tradition of tea, and shamisen / Japanese lute performances by Toyoaki Shamisen. Tea will be provided to all guests courtesy of ITOEN. Suntory Toki Highballs will also be provided by the House of Suntory, making this event exclusive to guests 21 and older. Our night also includes a discussion by all participating artists and Saira Chambers, director of the Japanese Culture Center and Arts Foundation, about expansive monosyllabic concepts embraced in the arts we will experience together; Ma, Mu, and Wa respectively.

This all occurs outdoors within the beautiful Garden of the Phoenix. Tickets are free and restricted to those over 21 years of age. ID's will be checked at entrance. Seating is VERY limited and we strongly suggest early registration, however this event will be filmed and streamed nationally on the evening of Friday, October 1st for those who cannot attend in person.


Morton Arboretum
Destination Asia Festival
Saturday, September 25, 2021 | 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Morton Arboretum | Tram Road Stage 2
4100 Illinois Route 53 Lisle, IL 60532

Join Asian Improv aRts Midwest at the annual Destination Asia Festival taking place at Morton Arboretum. Tsukasa Taiko and Shubukai will take the Tram Road stage in the morning:

10:30 - 11:30 AM + 12:30 - 1:30 PM: Tsukasa Taiko Japanese drumming
11:30 - 12:30 PM: Shubukai Japanese classical dance

Explore the diverse cultures of Asia through music, dance, food, and more. Join us for a fun-filled weekend that will transport you across the globe. On Saturday, September 25th, enjoy various cultural performances and demonstrations, shopping and art vendors, and local food trucks. The event is free with arboretum admission. Visit Morton Arboretum website for more information.

Japanese Classical Dance Autumn Workshop
"喜撰 Kisen" with Yoshinojo Fujima
(Virtual or Hybrid)
Wednesday + Saturdays, October 2, 6, 9, 13, 23, 27
*Purple dates are in-person lessons
7:30 - 8:30 PM | $100 for Virtual, $135 for Hybrid Participation
Japanese Culture Center

Nihon Buyo(日本舞踊)draws from Kabuki and also has origins derived from Noh and Bugaku. The Autumn Workshop will focus on the dance "Kisen".  Originating from the Kabuki play with the same name. "Kisen" refers to Kisen Hoshi, a Buddhist  monk and poet, and deemed one of the "Six Immortal Poets" during the 9th Century.  This dance is performed unique to the Fujieda Festival where only the locals are allowed to participate.  Yoshinojo Sensei was granted permission to learn and share the dance here in Chicago. This is a Beginner level class. Previous participation in Intro Workshops or Nihon Buyo experience is not required but would be very helpful. 
Hybrid (Virtual and In-Person) participants will receive tenugui (hand towel) during the in-person session (fee included in tuition). Virtual only participants can use the following link to buy tenugui (hand towel). Link is only active until Sept. 15 to ensure delivery before class:
Learn more about this workshop and register on Japanese Culture Center's Eventbrite.

Tsukasa Taiko Beginner Workshop 
Sunday, October 10, 2021 | 5:30 - 7:00 PM | $45
Japanese American Service Committee
4427 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Beginner taiko workshop is now open for registration. You must be fully vaccinated and will be required to bring in your physical copy of your vaccination card to participate. Please read all Tsukasa Taiko COVID-19 protocols before you complete your registration form.

Follow us on Instagram @AIRMW for all the latest news about Tsukasa Taiko! | For any inquiries, contact us at

Tsukasa Taiko and Shubukai are programs of Asian Improv aRts Midwest and is supported in part by The Illinois Arts Council Agency, The MacArthur Funds for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, JCCC Foundation, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and The Joyce Foundation.
JASC Wishlist
  • NEW or used Apple Ipad
  • Letter Size (8 1/2 x 11) Copy Paper
  • "Dollar" gift items for Adult Day Service games & activities
  • Staples, Amazon, or Target gift cards
  • Amazon Wishlist (be sure to use!)

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