Society Column: Carmel celebrates 20 years of cultural exchange
Four officers from our Japanese sister city, Kawachinagano, enjoyed their recent visit to Carmel.
“They listened to the Carmel High School choir, saw the Miniature House Museum, played golf and ate Kentucky Fried Chicken,” said Barb Moshier, President of the Sister Cities group. “One of the highlights was when Mayor (Jim) Brainard gave us a tour of the Palladium … the entire Performing Arts complex.”
Moshier said the four visiting officers, Aki Yamamoto, Lilia Shiba, Tamotsu Iisaka and Harumi Goto, were particularly interested in Carmel’s renown as both the best and safest suburb in the country.
In that vein, when asked how she enjoyed her visit here, Shiba said, “I had always wanted to come here, but it is hundreds … no, thousands times better than I thought.”
Barb Moshier has visited Japan 16 times since initially orchestrating a middle school and high school student exchange program between Carmel and Kawachinagano. On May 4, 1993, the two cities signed a “Declaration of Commitment to a Sister City Relationship.” The intention was to foster a relationship through programs such as education, culture, commerce and sports.
The hope is to promote better relations between the United States and Japan, and by extension, to the peace and prosperity of the world.
Kawachinagano is south of Osaka and has a population of about 110,000 people. It is the third largest city of the Osaka Prefecture in terms of land size; however, 70 percent is comprised of forested mountains, valleys and rivers.
Many exchanges have occurred between the Sister Cities during the years, including: student art exchanges, business and trade fairs and fire department personnel exchanges. One of the enduring legacies, the Japanese Garden near City Hall, was inspired by Carmel master gardener Joyce Wozniak’s suggestion. The Garden is now home to several significant artifacts shipped from Japan through the years.
On April 27, the Sister Cities enjoyed a formal dinner at Ritz Charles, with about 65 people in attendance. Jeff Worrell, Master of Ceremonies, introduced the Jan Brill Trio and Koi artist/photographer, Jerome W. Chambers. Charles Scott gave the invocation. David Russell, Mayor Brainard, Aki Yamamoto and Barb Moshier each spoke. Tom Kendall concluded with “Circle of Friendship” remarks.
Others attending the celebration dinner, to name a few, were: Liz Brainard, Ashley Ulbrecht, Mart and Donna Tutwiler, Al Wozniak, Kay Myers, Kay Scott, Mary Eckhard, Matthew Hoffman, Frances Russell, Kay Brunson, Masumi Makaio and Kay Yokoto.
For more information about Sister Cities send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tonya Burton is the Current’s social scene columnist. You may contact her at email@example.com