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The Annual Shinnenkai Returns!

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Join JETAA Chicago for the 17th Annual JETAA Chicago Shinnenkai! To welcome the new year, we are spreading the fun out over three days from Friday, February 5 through Sunday, February 7! Each day will have a different focus, as we celebrate the culture of Japan and our community’s continued connection to it.

Schedule of Events

Kick-off - Friday, Feb. 5 - 6PM-7PM CST

Our welcome event featuring a demonstration from the Japanese Culture Center.

Cultural Connections: Storytelling and Trivia Night - Saturday, Feb. 6 - 7PM-9PM CST

An evening of exploring our connections with Japan post-JET. Part I (7PM-8PM) will focus on a discussion about how alumni maintain their Japan connections in different ways, featuring a special guest alumni, Joe Palermo. In Part II (8PM-9PM), attendees can go head-to-head in a special US-Japan themed trivia and compete for a variety of prizes! You must sign-up for the “+Trivia” ticket in order to participate in the game itself.

Sunday Family Fun-day - Sunday, Feb.7 - 2PM-3:30PM CST

Attendees will be treated to a variety of fun craft activities including origami and nengajo designs. You may bring your own supplies or sign-up for the “+Activity Supply Pack” ticket to have some mailed to you!

General Admission is free for all three days, but attendees have the option to upgrade to expand their experience. Check out the ticket types for more information. We hope to see you there!

And in the spirit of strengthening our community’s connection with Japan, this year proceeds from the “Activity Supply Pack” and “Trivia” upgrades will benefit two organizations in Chicago that have been incredible partners to our chapter over the years: the Japanese American Service Committee and the Japanese Culture Center.

Japanese American Service Committee

Founded in 1946, JASC was formed to serve the needs of Japanese immigrants and their American-born children coming to Chicago after leaving the World War II internment camps. Originally called the Chicago Resettlers Committee, the organization assisted with housing, jobs, and the re-forming of a community.

JASC has served as a unique locus for the Japanese American community while playing a much larger role in providing social services to a much wider and diverse group of Chicagoans. JASC has built the Heiwa Terrace Retirement Community, the Keiro Long Term Care Facility, and instituted a number of individual services and activities for both children and adults.

JASC also works to archive the history of the Japanese American experience in Chicago for both scholars and the community with the JASC Legacy Center while continuing to provide social service and cultural programs for the greater Chicago area. As our community continues to grow and change culturally, ethnically and socioeconomically, we have an ever-lasting duty to adapt and change to better serve and improve the physical, emotional, and social well-being of our community.

Japanese Culture Center

The Japanese Culture Center was established in 1977 in Chicago by Aikido Shihan (Teacher of Teachers) and Zen Master Fumio Toyoda to make some of the martial arts, crafts, and philosophical riches of Japan available to the public.

Today the JCC continues this tradition, offering classes in over a dozen martial and cultural arts. The Center is not a museum where lifeless objects are displayed; it is a school where living skills are passed on person to person from generation to generation. You become an active participant in arts that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Questions? Contact us at

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