In Memoriam

Arnold E. Perl

1939 - 2021

Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus

Japan-America Society of Tennessee


In memory of Arnold, JAST is currently working with friends at Memphis Botanic Garden on a special planting project within the Japanese Garden of Tranquility (Seijaku-En). The Japanese Garden is a stroll garden and boasts a variety of Japanese and regional native plants as well as symbolic elements that are unique to Japanese garden design. If you would like to join JAST in funding this tribute to Arnold, please contact Ginger Byrn at


Remembering Arnold Perl

By Kanzi Takayama

On February 26th, 2020, we welcomed the inaugural visit of Consul General Kayoko Fukushima to Memphis. Arnold took pride and pleasure in welcoming incoming consul generals of Japan, and he always wanted to be the first one to greet them on behalf of the City of Memphis.

On this particular occasion, he was delighted to meet Consul General Fukushima and introduce her to Mayor Jim Strickland in his office. A luncheon honoring Consul General Fukushima at the Greater Memphis Chamber followed, with the “triple header” visit concluding at Arnold’s own office. It was fitting that Arnold’s office, where so many conversations about the future of the Japan-Memphis relationship had always taken place, would be the last stop on the Consul General’s first visit to Memphis. It is where Arnold invited my fellow JAST Board Member Joe Durante and me whenever we brainstormed and developed strategies for fundraising, and also where he hosted countless Japan-related seminars and receptions, including a 2018 JETRO special economic report.

Sadly, the Consul General’s visit was the last time many of us saw Arnold in person. Shortly after the meeting, Memphis enacted “Safer at Home” sheltering due to COVID-19, and future interactions were limited to telephone conversations.

In retrospect, it was fitting that what may possibly have been Arnold’s last official role was to represent the Japan-America Society of Tennessee as its founder. At those meetings, he repeated Mayor Strickland’s encouraging words, “The best is yet to come.” He was very optimistic about the future of the relationship between Japan and the US, particularly Memphis, even when we were losing key investments. In fact, it was Arnold who had convinced Mayor Strickland to embrace the Memphis Japan Festival as its key partner just two years prior.

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Trivia of the Month


This month, test your knowledge of Tennessee! 

In what Tennessee city is the world’s busiest cargo airport located?

Photo Credit: Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal

Answer Here

Welcome JAST New Members


Genbukan Fukuryu Dojo is a branch dojo of Genbukan Honbu Dojo in Japan. They teach traditional Japanese martial arts (open hand and weapons).


Syscom Global Solutions provides bilingual consultation and services in English and Japanese to help with infrastructure, cyber security, ERP, managed services, and DX. Please contact Joe (Yosuke) Kameda with any questions.


Cambridge Technology Partners is a consulting firm that works with clients to deliver successful projects and facilitate positive change. They provide end-to-end services from strategic planning and issue analysis to implementing new processes and systems.


Contact information is available to JAST Corporate Members for these new JAST members and all JAST Corporate Members in the digital Corporate & Organization Membership Directory. For information about joining JAST as a Corporate Member, click here.

Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville Showcases Japanese Companies in Tennessee


The Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville presents "Thriving Together: Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant and Japanese US suppliers". Among the featured companies are JAST corporate members Bridgestone Americas, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, and Nissan. 

The video focuses on Nissan and the car manufacturing suppliers who come together to produce the top-notch vehicles that have become a driving force of the Tennessee economy. 

Watch Here

JAST Pick - Klara and the Sun


Dive into the world of Klara and the Sun, the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The book tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. This book is not just a narrative with sci-fi elements, but one that explores love, mortality, social hierarchy, and the effects of advancing science through the eyes of an interesting narrator. The ending will have you experiencing many emotions and pondering its true meaning.

You can purchase Klara and the Sun at your local bookstore or preferred online retailer. 


Upcoming NAJAS Events


How can the U.S., Japan and Korea cooperate on shared challenges to achieve prosperity and shape the economic rules of the road, and what does the Biden administration mean for U.S. trade policy? Join the Japan Society for a discussion about the dynamics of U.S.-Japan-Korea trade relations and regional economic integration, featuring Asia Society Policy Institute Vice President Wendy Cutler, Waseda University Professor Emeritus and Economic Research Institute for East Asia and ASEAN Senior Research Advisor Shujiro Urata, and Korea Development Institute and Johns Hopkins University Professor Wonhyuk Lim.

Virtual Daruma Workshop & Demonstration

June 12, 2021 7:00 PM EDT



Join the Japan-America Society of Cincinnati and seasoned performer Emiko Moore as she shares the traditional art of Kamishibai -- Japanese storytelling with colorful story boards. Emiko is a freelance writer/producer who enjoys storytelling, especially the art of Kamishibai (paper theater). She has shared this art form with children & parents in many schools and libraries, festivals, and cultural programs in the Cincinnati-Dayton area and has over 30 stories in her collections, including an original cherry blossom story by a local Japanese author.


Guide to Daily Living in Tennessee 


JAST's Guide to Daily Living in Tennessee is now available! It's for newcomers and long-time residents originally from Japan to familiarize them with essential information on aspects of daily life that may differ from life in Japan and other parts of the world where they may have lived before relocating to Tennessee. Please let your Japanese friends know about this guide. We hope this will be helpful to our Japanese community! 

Partner Resources COVID-19 

JAST is generously supported by these outstanding partners


Austin Peay State University

Baker Donelson

BB&T now Truist

Jack and Barbara Bovender

DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc.

Humanities Tennessee

Clay and Cathy Jackson

Komatsu America Corp.

The Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation 


Office: +1 615-663-6060