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YACHIYO CITY REFLECTIONS   by Carol Pendleton   

Want to feel like a Rock Star? Go to Yachiyo City with Sister Cities! From the initial greetings of smiles, bows and gifts at Yachiyo City Hall to the farewell party of good food, gifts, graceful and expressive Japanese dances combined with our Hokey Pokey and Chicken dance, we were treated as cherished guests (if not royalty).

Our activities included demonstrations and participation in calligraphy, a tea ceremony, and playing the Koto, a Japanese stringed instrument. We then tried our hand at Japanese cooking of tempura and sushi. After that we enjoyed the fruits of our labor at lunch followed by Karaoke “entertainment”. Doug Flatt and I took country western music to a new low with our rendition of the Tennessee Waltz. Although Doug said we were going to Nashville - they haven’t called yet.

We tried our creative skills at a pottery workshop and then enjoyed a tour of the Yachiyo Historical Museum. That night we were hosted by the Yachiyo Boys and Girls Choir which gave a wonderful concert and then served us dinner. They were delightful!

The next day we were met by our individual hosts to spend the day – some at Disneyland, some at Edo Tokyo museum and Asakusa and some on train trips out to the countryside. Most of us were taken to the individual homes for lunch or tea.

Another delightful experience was the meeting with Ambassador Schieffer in Tokyo. He was very informative and impressive.

This ended our stay in Yachiyo, but 24 of us went on the optional tour of Kyoto and Nara. We boarded the bullet train to Kyoto. We were driven around Kyoto and then to Nara seeing Todaiji Temple with the huge Buddha and Nara Park where the more than 1000 “sacred deer” roam freely to be petted and FED. They can be aggressive and one even nipped me not once, but twice on the bottom until I opened my purse and gave him the food I had hidden there!

The next day we toured the textile center and saw a style show of Kimono. We then had time to shop and admire the beautiful silks and crafts. The following day we toured a fascinating Shogun’s home and saw beautiful gardens.

This ended our trip and we headed back to Tokyo for our
 l o n g trip back to the US.

June 2007

TYLER SISTER CITY: Yachiyo City, Japan

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Tyler Sister Cities is part of Sister Cities International, a flourishing global network of exchanges through arts and culture, fostering economic and community development.
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Twinning Ceremonies:
Tyler:  May 1992
Yachiyo City: August 1992

The official twinning ceremony  occurs as Tyler and Yachiyo City mayors Smith Reynolds and Kazuhira Nakamura sign the document during the 1992 visit.

Tyler Sister Cities delegation is overwhelmed by the welcome extended by over 1,000 persons greeting them upon their arrival in Yachiyo City, Japan. Everywhere, children were waving American flags.

A tea ceremony prepared by kimono-clad women demonstrates the traditional custom for Tyler Sister Cities delegate Wanda Joyce.

Enjoying a tea ceremony demonstration during a 2000 visit to Yachiyo City are (left to right) Margaret Perkins, Pat Johns, Jim Perkins, Bobby Curtis, Chris Curtis and Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle.

Enjoying a meal in Yachiyo City are (left to right) Tyler Sister Cities delegate Ann Primter, Yachiyo resident Kimie Masaki, and Tyler delegate Wanda Joyce. Kimie and Wanda are wearing their Happy Coats!

Sister Cities delegates don Kimonos while in Yachiyo. Left to right,  Arlene Burt, Margaret Perkins, Sue Donaldson, Pat Johns and Cris Curtis.

A  demonstration dance with fans by colorful kimono-clad Japanese women during the 2000 Tyler Sister Cities visit.

Wearing kimonos during an August 2000 Summer Festival in Yachiyo, Japan, are Kimie Masaki and Tylerite Pat Johns.

PHOTO GALLERY

Yachiyo Guests 2015

CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR JAPANESE FRIENDS  
                                                                           by Kathy Tadasa

Those in Tyler Sister Cities who are going on the trip in October can find many sites online that list the primary characteristics of Japan and her people.  However, most contain statements that could use elaboration.  One example is “The Japanese are reserved people.”  This trait should not be viewed merely as shyness or aloofness.  It’s the product of centuries of cultural and religious training to reveal one’s self indirectly through actions, interests and skills.  Group harmony is the goal in Japan;  modesty, quietness and understatement are ways to maintain this.  

We are privileged this year to celebrate twenty-five years of friendship and interaction with the people of Yachiyo, Japan, through Sister Cities.  Conversation flows easily among us.  The exchange of business cards (meishi) and/or personal name cards over the years has played a part in this.  One little card (usually with Japanese on one side and English on the other) can deliver a wealth of information:  name, contact info, occupation, and--often from the Japanese--photos of the bearer and his or her interests (including martial arts, calligraphy, flower arranging).  These aids can be used for quick reference when we are all together;  they can be used to address letters and greeting cards to one another when we are apart.  

I exchange cards with Japanese people wherever I go in their country.  They study my card thoroughly and appreciate my doing the same with theirs.  This quick nonverbal sharing moves us naturally into conversation.  

From frommers.com :   “As a tourist, you don't have to have…cards, but it certainly doesn't hurt, and Japanese people will be greatly impressed by your preparedness.”