Mayor Phil Gordon, Councilman Bill Gates, and Jon Osterkamp, Chair of the Phoenix Sister Cities Himeji Committee, announced that the City of Phoenix has partnered with the Phoenix Sister Cities Himeji Committee for the establishment of the Japan Aid Fund that will benefit ongoing relief efforts for the Japan earthquake and tsunami.
According to the SHIZUGAWA, Japan (AP) - The official count of the dead in Japan's earthquake and tsunami is nearing 3,700, but that could be just a fraction of the actual number. Officials raised the death toll today to 3,676. Nearly 8,000 are missing and some 434,000 people were made homeless and are living in shelters. The missing include more than half the population of one town of 17,000 people, which was obliterated by the tsunami that followed Friday's massive earthquake.
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Phoenix Sister Cities
Historic City Hall, 4th Floor
17 South Second Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Telephone: (602) 534-3751
For more information, contact the Phoenix Sister Cities office at 602-534-3751.
The Himeji Committee actively supports the city of Himeji, Japan, and promotes Japanese culture through its relationship and activities wiht the Japanese-American community of Phoenix. The Committee's main project is Matsuri, a festival of Japan held in downtown Phoenix the last weekend of February. The Committee supports the festival by working at the two-day event. The Himeji Committee supports the goal of nurturing future international leaders by sending Youth Ambassadors to Himeji. The Committee also is involved with the Teach Abroad Program, which sends Phoenix teachers to Himeji to work for the Himeji Board of Education, helping Japanese youth speak and understand conversational English.
Chairperson: Dawn Judd
The Phoenix Sister Cities Himeji Committee manned the soda and water booth at Matsuri.
There were spectacular demonstrations of how to make Mochi/Omochi, which was the theme of the festival.
Many festival-goers enjoyed the freshly made mochi.
Many people participated in Cosplay at Matsuri.
The festival featured many Taiko drum performances by organizations such as All Arizona Taiko Team, Phoenix Taiko Kai, Saboten Taiko, Shojin Taiko, and many others.
The festival also featured many martial arts demonstrations from organizations such as Ryushinkan Dojo, Kinshin Dojo, and many others.
Many people came to participate in the traditional Matsuri parade.
from left to right: Kelly Moeur, Honorable Consul General of Japan; Paula West, Executive Director of Phoenix Sister Cities; Consul General Jun Niimi, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles; Masako Takiguchi; David Cavazos, City Manager of Phoenix
Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos and Consul General Jun Niimi, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, exchange gifts as a sign of the good relations between Phoenix and Himeji.
Ro Ho En
The Japanese Garden symbolizes the cultural bond between the cities of Phoenix and Himeji. The garden is a shelter from the busy world outside its walls with its beautiful rocks and plants arranged to create an atmosphere of serenity, peace of mind and a calmness within one's self. One of the main attractions at the Japanese Friendship Garden is the Japanese Tea House. It is an exact replica of the traditional tea houses in Japan except for substitutions of certain materials used that would withstand desert weather. The tea house will feature the traditional tea ceremony which is administered only by tea masters trained in the formal art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
To learn more, please visit their website.
Japanese Friendship Garden
The second city to be formally recognized as a Phoenix Sister City, Himeji became a partner in 1976. The city is located along the Seto Inland Sea some 40 miles west of Kobe, which is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture. While Phoenix is named for the mythological Phoenix bird, Himeji Castle, which is considered the best-preserved castle in Japan, is called Oshiro or "White Heron" and is designated as a United Nations World Treasure.
An interactive map of Himeji
News about Himeji
Learn some Japanese for free:
Check out the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix