Japan America Society of Iowa
“The Japan America Society of Iowa is a non-profit, volunteer based organization that seeks to establish mutual understanding between Japanese and American communities in Iowa. JASI provides
opportunities to its members and the public to participate in social, cultural and educational activities.”
Every month, except in July and August, JASI organizes a monthly meeting for members to be inform of JASI activities, upcoming events, and news, while participate in discussions to move the organization forward. Please check on our events sections to learn where the upcoming monthly meeting will take place and what Japanese related program will be available on that day.
Current JASI Executive Officers
2012 - 2013
President - Kiyokazu Matsuyama
Vice President - Tanis Sotelo
Secretary - Chikako Brown
Treasuer - Hiromi Umeda
Newsletter Editor - James VanEchaute
Past JASI President - Mayumi Ameku
2008 - 2011
Mayumi Ameku has been a dedicated JASI member since she started back in 2002. In 2004, Mayumi created first JASI website to share information and photos of JASI. During her term as president, Mayumi took a part in number communtiy events and activities, such as making school presentations and volunteering for the annual Kidfest in Des Moines, IA. In addition, Mayumi was the first president to organize a Matsuri Daiko Dance group for high school student to join and have fun teaching Japanese culture, while doing a number of dance performances in community events.
Past JASI President - Polly Fortune
2002 - 2007
Polly Fortune has been a strong advocate is spreading awareness of Japanese culture as a JASI president and as a committee member of the Iowa Sister Commission. In addition, Polly worked hard to file and make JASI into 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the IRS, and organized a number of Japanese cultural events through the Japan Foundation, such as holding a Japanese Doll Exhibit at the Iowa Historical Museum, having a Japan Poster Exhibit at the Heritage Gallery, and inviting an Ikebana Instructor at the Grinnell's Faulconer Gallery.
Past JASI President - Jo Wetherell
2000 - 2001
Jo Wetherell has been a proud supportor of JASI, along with her husband, John, since the organization was official named the Japan America Society of Iowa, from helping organizing meetings, writing the JASI newsletters, and collecting an achieve of JASI related resources from when the organization was created to the present. Both Jo and John were the ones who started The Japanese Teahouse Project to built a lost Japanese History in Des Moines, IA.
Founding Members of JASI
1989 - 1999
In December 1989, Hiroko Sogi and Maxine Krick organized the Japan America Society of Iowa, along with Yoshiko Swift, Hisako Chrishmore, Koko Kawaguchi, Rose and William Giffith, and Dorothy Hopkins. In the beginning, the organization was called the Japanese American Society of Iowa until Hiroko Sogi renamed the organization as the Japan America Society of Iowa on July 15, 1994. JASI started with a hand full of individuals only interested in the Art of Ikebana to learn about Japanese culture and organized social gatherings in members' houses. However, as time went by, the organization grew by having its meetings in public areas, such as libraries and community center, at the same time, expand its interests in other Japanese culture arts.
©Copyright 2012 | Japan America Society of Iowa | P.O. Box 12093 Des Moines, IA. 50312