Japan America Society of Iowa will celebrate 30th year in 2019. We’re calling all JASI members to be a part of this milestone event.
Japan America Society of Iowa (JASI) was found in 1989 by a small group of dedicated individuals to promote Japanese culture in central Iowa. The group was led by Ikebana master, Ms. Hiroko Sogi (1931 – 2012). On January 29, 1989, the first meeting of Japan America Society of Iowa was held by eight members: Koko Kawaguchi, Maxine Krick, Yoshio Swift, William and Dorothy Hopkins, Hisako Chirsmore, Rose (Ryuko) Griffith, and Hiroko Sogi. The first members shared one of traditional Japanese art of Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangements) with the community of central Iowa.
Mrs. Fae Huttenlocher, a Des Moines magazine editor was the one who welcomed Ms. Sogi to Des Moines, IA, and she also taught Ms. Sogi how to be more aggressive in working to promote peaceful relations between Japanese and Americans and inspired Ms. Sogi to found the Japan America Society in Iowa in 1989, to promote an understanding among Americans about Japanese culture, and vice versa. The society brought a Japanese dance troupe to Des Moines in the early ‘90s, and regularly offered instruction in Japanese traditions at art centers and museums throughout the state.
One of the original members, Mrs. Maxine Krick described Ms. Sogi as “a one-woman campaign to turn around American opinion of Japanese people.” Ms. Sogi explained her philosophy as, “Why fight each other? More we talking each other, more we understanding each other. Then peace.”