Photo of balloon flowers _cropped_ byKim MyoungSung
In This E-blast
In Memoriam - Rev. Masaru Nambu
Wagyu Day At JASC Fresh Market
JASC Health Fair
JASC Legacy Center presents Uprooted And Reckoning
Virtual Japanese Conversation Table
Chicago Northside Origami Group
Donguri Kai
ADS Program Resumes
JASC YouTube Channel
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, 9/23
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
(Circa 1978, JASC Legacy Center)

In Memoriam - Rev. Masaru Nambu, May 28, 1929 - September 19, 2021
Rev. Masaru Nambu, former JASC Executive Director and resident of Westborough, MA, passed away on Sunday September 19, 2021. Rev. Nambu led JASC from 1964 to his retirement in 1995, helping the organization grow from its original LaSalle Street offices to Viking Hall on Sheffield Avenue to its current location on Clark Street.
Services will be held at 11 am, September 23rd at North Shore Baptist Church, 5244 N. Lakewood Ave., Chicago, IL 60640, 773-728-4200.
TODAY FROM 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Good food. Local businesses. Japanese American culture in our favorite city.

Anything else we missed?

Join us for this week's Fresh Market on September 23rd with help from the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago. Come learn and experience the flavors of delicious and highest-quality wagyu product samples from local vendors, including Onigiri KororinSummertime Jazz Bar, and M Square Catering.

Wagyu is a premium Japanese beef cattle product. Heralded for ultimate flavor and texture, any foodie who means business needs to get their hands on this delish product. Good news: we've got you covered. 

Come out and experience WAGYU DAY Sept. 23rd at JASC, 4427 N. Clark Street, 4-6pm. Also, thanks to Walgreens, we'll be offering free seasonal flu shots on the 23rd!

We host our Fresh Markets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday until the end of October, but we can't promise we'll be hosting another WAGYU DAY, so join us while the offer stands!

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 -

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.
The JASC Legacy Center announces the public launch of two new interactive, multimedia-based digital exhibits. Inspired by the Legacy Center's oral history collection, these online experiences bring history to life through a uniquely Japanese American and Midwestern lens. 

Uprooted traces the multigenerational journeys of three families to tell the story of World War II incarceration and resettlement in Chicago.

Reckoning shines a light on the Japanese American redress movement and the contributions of Chicagoans to the national effort.

Whether you are new to these histories or possess deep knowledge already, you are sure to be moved by the power of first-person voices woven together with photographs, documents, and narrative in a truly innovative way.  Both exhibits integrate educational elements into the site design to enhance classroom use and are especially well-suited for secondary school audiences and above.

Created for JASC by digital producer Katherine Nagasawa, these exhibits are the culmination of a multi-year project funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service under the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program.  Additionally, we wish to thank Paula Friedrich, Cori Nakamura Lin,  Anna Takada, the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society, and the many community members who participated in or contributed to the creation of these exhibits.

For more information, please visit our website:
See what happens behind the scenes in planning a fun Tampopo class:
Japanese Conversation Table - Thursday, October 14, 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

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

Please note, masks are required in all public areas of JASC.
2021 Fall Session Ongoing
The Donguri Fall session is ongoing. The program opened all 5 levels in this fall with many returning students and new students. During the session, no additional students are accepted.

The 2022 Winter session registration will open in November. Please check the JASC Donguri Kai page for more information.
2022 Session Schedule:
Winter (10wks): January 16, 2022 - March 28, 2022 (no class in the week of February 20, 2022)
Spring (6wks): April 18, 2022 - May 23, 2022

Community Events 
CJFC Special Online Screening and the Panel Discussion: HIRONO (Japan, 2019)

Marking 10 years since the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, this special screening of HIRONO is presented by CJFC.

Dates: September 23-26
Special Panel Discussion: September 25th at 7:00pm (CST)
Screening Platform:
Ticket: Free

*Donations help victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake & tsunami and can be made

Today MBT is launching an important fundraising campaign FILL THE GAP. Over the next 4 weeks MBT will share information about how they have been coping with the pandemic. While the long-term financial state of MBT remains strong - we never-the- less have a "gap' in our near-term budgets. Our first message is simple:
Ginza Holiday represents 1/3 of our annual operating budget
BUT we've had to cancel Ginza in both 2020 and 2021!

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


Meet Kioto Aoki at Sonic Pavilion Festival
Come join artist Kioto Aoki today! Thursday, September 23, 5:00 -7:00 PM at the second to last presentation of her work featured at the Festival presented by Experimental Sound Studio. This is a special opportunity to meet her in person to learn more about her contribution and process. Find Kioto in the center of the main lawn area underneath the trellis.

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 Last Two Dates:
TONIGHT! Thursday, September 23, 5-7pm
Thursday, September 30, 11am-1pm

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.

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: 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.


2021 Hyde Park Jazz Festival
Saturday, September 25-26, 2021 | Various Times + Locations
Family-friendly Outdoor Festival | Donation Encouraged

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival was created in late 2006 when cultural leaders on the South Side met with the Hyde Park Jazz Society to develop an annual event that would bring new audiences into the many arts and culture venues in Hyde Park and celebrate jazz's great legacy and bright future on Chicago's South Side. The Festival is tremendously grateful to all sponsors, donors, and venue partners for their continued support.
Now in its 15th year, the 2021 two-day Festival includes more than 30 performances! These concerts represent the creative diversity in Chicago jazz and feature some of the most compelling emerging and venerable artists on the national scene performing in collaboration with some of Chicago's brightest lights

Mai Sugimoto Trio
feat. Tatsu Aoki on Bass
Saturday, September 25, 2021 | 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Augustana Church
5500 S. Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Mai Sugimoto is a saxophonist, composer, and active member of Chicago's jazz and improvisational music scene. "A compelling performer" with "dry-champagne tone and lyrical lines" (Chicago Tribune), Sugimoto draws inspiration from her upbringing in Japan and her roots in jazz to compose and perform from her unique multicultural experience. "Born/Raised," her 2018 debut album, explores this cultural and musical binary - juxtaposing, among other things, a jazz rendition of a Japanese children's song with compositions inspired by the American jazz idiom.
Sugimoto is also a core member of the quartet Hanami, whose two albums similarly mix Japanese culture into creative music. She has performed three times at the Chicago Jazz Festival: in 2015 with Hanami, in 2019 as a leader, and in 2018 with renowned bassist Tatsu Aoki, with whom she frequently plays, including appearances in his Fred Anderson Legacy Band. Her first solo album, "monologue" (Asian Improv Records) was released in March of 2021.
Musicians: Mai Sugimoto - Saxophone, Tatsu Aoki - Bass, Isaiah Spencer - Drums

Trio WAZ
Saturday, September 25, 2021 | 4:45 PM - 5:30 PM
Dusable Museum Roundhouse Plaza
740 W. 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637

Trio WAZ has performed together for more than twenty years, making it one of the longest-standing experimental music trios in Chicago. Edward Wilkerson, Jr. is one of the great saxophone and clarinet players on the Chicago scene. Tatsu Aoki is a prolific artist, composer, musician, and educator, and a consummate bassist and Shamisen lute player. Michael Zerang is a percussionist who focuses extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms. Each brings their own distinctive disposition to the trio, where their unique skills braid and interplay, forming an incomparable synthesis of musical actuality.
Musicians: Edward Wilkerson, Jr. - Saxophone, Tatsu Aoki - Bass, Michael Zerang - Drums, percussion

The MIYUMI Project Autumn Concert
Friday, October 1, 2021 | 7:00 - 9:30 PM | Tickets Available
Elastic Arts
3429 W. Diversey #208 Chicago IL, 60647

The MIYUMI Project is one of the longest-standing amalgams, drawing upon the aesthetics of Japanese traditional music and Chicago's creative jazz and experimental music scene. The presentations are improvised compositions that stem from a conceptual framework for each band member to interpret, which is then transformed into a contemporary musical immersion for the audience. Each successive grouping of MIYUMI Project musicians over the past two decades have contributed to the unique blending of modern application with traditional sensibility. In 2017 the band was chosen as the official musical presenters for both the groundbreaking and unveiling of Yoko Ono's "Skylanding Project", which resulted in the Yoko Ono produced, "SKYLANDING" album. Tatsu Aoki and his featured ensemble offer a fusion of Avant-garde jazz interwoven with traditional taiko drumming, it is an innovative, energetic musical experience. The "Best of MIYUMI Project" Double Vinyl and CD was released in 2020 by FPE records, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the band.
The current roster of Tatsu Aoki's MIYUMI Project includes creative musicians: Mwata Bowden, Coco Elysses, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Jamie Kempkers, and Kioto Aoki.

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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