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A Newsletter from the Kumagaya Friendship Association • June 2004 • Issue 1

Invercargill students take trip of a lifetime TWENTY students from James Hargest and 14 students from Mt Anglem made a joint day excursion to Nikko, funded by the Kumagaya City Council and the Kumagaya International Friendship Association, during their two week visit to Invercargill's sister city Kumagaya. The trip was the third exchange to Kumagaya by James Hargest High School, which is working towards signing a sister school agreement with Kumagaya Nishi High School. It was the first ever trip to Japan by students of Mt Anglem College, many of whom fundraised for two and a half years to raise the money to go. Both James Hargest High School and Mt Anglem College are members of Invercargill's Kumagaya Friendship Association. Meanwhile, James Hargest High School, Southland Boys' High School, Southland Girls' High School and the Southern Institute of Technology are preparing to host Kumagaya students who will visit Invercargill in July, August and September. As well as attending class and sightseeing, the Kumagaya students will meet Invercargill's city leaders and members of the Kumagaya Friendship Association. Read about the Mt Anglem trip on page 2 and James Hargest exchange on page 3.

HAPPY TRAVELLERS: Students and teachers from Invercargill's James Hargest High School and Mt Anglem College at the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, Japan.

Japanese Ambassador visits city INVERCARGILL Mayor Tim Shadbolt and Japanese Ambassador Masaki Saito exchange gifts in front of Invercargill's "Pacific Rim" sculpture. Mr Saito made a courtesy call on Mr Shadbolt during his visit to Invercargill in February, when he also visited the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter. Japanese company Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd is a joint venture partner in New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd, which owns the Tiwai Point Smelter.

ARTICLES INSIDE... Mt Anglem students spread their wings Look out Japan, here comes Hargest Kimpira Potatoes Recipe (from the Bonsai) The Buzz (from the Chairman)

pg 2 pg 3 pg 4 pg 4

Mt Anglem students spread their wings By Courtney Watson, Year 12 AFTER two and a half years of fundraising you could hear the whoops of excitement as the aircraft soared into the sky carrying 14 Mt Anglem students on their way to Japan. Our kind hosts from Kumagaya (in particular Tomoko san and Negishi san) met us at Narita Airport and took us by bus to Kumagaya right through the middle of Tokyo. We stopped to see the view from the top of Tokyo's tallest building and the city just spread and spread in every direction. It was just breathtaking. We had one night to recover in a comfortable dormitory at Rissho University and the Kumagaya Friendship Association entertained us to a meal, which was the first of many generous gestures on their part.

SCIENCE ALIVE: Mt Anglem College students join their counterparts at Fijimi Junior High School in Kumagaya for science class.

We had a one day break from school when we joined with the James Hargest group on a day trip to Nikko.

The next day after lunch hosted by Mr Yagihashi at his department store we did a little sightseeing and then our first major duty was to meet the Mayor where each of us had to introduce ourselves in Japanese.

When it was time to leave Kumagaya it was sad saying good bye but we were headed for Hiroshima on our first ever bullet train. We travelled at about 270 kph but it didn't really seem like that. It was a wonderful opportunity to see so many aspects of Japan. We went through lots of cities, saw tea plants growing on terraces but of course the highlight was seeing Mt Fuji.

After that we met our host families from Fijimi Junior High School. Fijimi Junior High School is quite a big school of about 800 students, who range in age from 13 - 15 years. The school day was quite long with some of us having to walk an hour to get there and often it was quite dark by the time we got home.

In Hiroshima we saw the Peace Park and from there we visited Miyajima where we saw the famous torii in its full glory. We also saw Noh theatre being acted in the shrine.

We were in different classes so had different experiences but at times they brought us together and gave us lessons in calligraphy, kendo, origami, music and dance.

Amongst other cultural things we experienced on the trip was a visit to a teahouse in Kumagaya where Arai san served all of us tea in the traditional way. We saw lots of temples, castles and shrines in Nara and Kyoto where we stayed two nights. Then we spent three nights in Tokyo and on the final day we went to Disneyland which was magical.

We enjoyed the school and managed to communicate quite well with their students. The scariest bit was doing our Maori cultural items on the stage and then each of us had to do a self-introduction in front of 800 students and staff. We had one interesting afternoon at Kumagaya Municipal Girls' High School where we were entertained along with the whole school with a variety of cultural activities.

All in all it was a wonderful trip, which will forever be in our memories.

Welcome to student members

Rissho and SIT work together

WELCOME to new student members: Dylan Beck, Allanah Faherty, Kylie Grindell, Campbell Henderson, Josh Kennedy, Jena King, Jessie Lineham, Jessica MacAskill, Kyla McKenzie, Aimee Morison, Lisa Pankhurst, Megan Pearce, Todd Rabbitt, Simon Rankin, Byron Sanders, Beth Smith, Sara Watters, and Andrew Wheeler, all from James Hargest High School.

PROFESSOR Kazuo Ikegami and Mr Mikio Asami of Rissho University visited Invercargill's Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) in February to discuss and develop an annual exchange between the institutions.

Committee elected

In January SIT received its first Rissho scholarship student to study English and this November SIT hopes to send two students to Rissho University for three weeks to take part in a Japanese culture and language programme.

AT the Kumagaya Friendship Association's inaugural AGM in February, the following people were elected to serve on the committee: Murray Ballantyne (Chairman), Shirley Palmer (Secretary/Treasurer), Judy Lange, Cheryl Mouat, Joanna Reekie, Tom Sawyer.


Look out Japan, here comes Hargest

By Simon Rankin, Year 12

WE were off to the Land of the Rising Sun - 20 James Hargest High School students, Ms Thomson and Mrs Elder travelling to Japan for two weeks of learning and enjoyment. After a stopover in Auckland, we were all ready; passports and cameras firmly grasped in one hand and the fear of the unknown in the other. Look out Japan here we come! In Tokyo we visited the Meiji Shrine and Akihabara, which is dubbed the electronics capital of the world. Disneyland was the highlight of the trip for many, seeing all our favourite characters and posing for photographs with them. The rides were awesome.

KANJI CAPERS: Sara Watters and Josh Kennedy, Year 10 students at James Hargest High School, being taught Kanji by Shiori Sugawara during an English lesson at Kumagaya Nishi High School.

While touring around Tokyo we travelled everywhere by trains and subways, including one particular station, Shinjuku, where over two million people pass through daily.

Every day after school we joined in club with our host students. School days in Japan are long, with many students not getting home until 7 o'clock or even later.

After Tokyo it was time to travel to Kumagaya to home-stay and to attend Kumagaya Nishi High School for a week.

On the Wednesday we had a break from school and travelled to Nikko with Mt Anglem College, courtesy of the School Council and Kumagaya Friendship Society. Nikko is a small town up in the mountains and here we visited an ancient shrine.

Around Kumagaya we visited traditional Japanese gardens, the main rugby stadium and the Kumagaya City Council where we met the Mayor of Kumagaya Mr Tomioka.

At school we got our own welcome and goodbye assemblies but they differ from New Zealand assemblies in the fact that we have the luxury of sitting on seats. In Japan you either had to sit on the hard floor or stand.

Home-stay was scary at first, as everybody was by himself or herself for the first time and we had to speak Japanese. Part of the fun of homestays was trying to communicate with our new family. With homestay we got to experience sleeping on a futon, try various Japanese foods and gained insights into Japanese life beyond what a textbook could offer.

Our two week trip had passed quickly and it was time to leave this beautiful country. It was a tearful departure. We will miss Japan and our host families very much. Now we can look forward to developing our films full of fabulous memories and being reunited with our families back home.

We attended Kumagaya Nishi High School for a week. The school consists of two multi storeyed blocks and a huge dirt field. We were fortunate to have a computer room as our home room, which enabled us to e-mail home daily. Throughout the day at school we sat in class with our host students and also had lots of special lessons. The special lessons included: flower arrangement, kendo, Japanese, art and music.

n Congratulations to Simon Rankin who won first place and a trip to Japan in the Dunedin-Otaru Sister City Society Japanese Speech Competition in June. Simon will travel to Tokyo to represent New Zealand in the 9th International Japanese Speech Competition on 26 July.

Kimpira Potatoes By Chef Tsuyoshi Kaburaki, Bonsai Restaurant, Invercargill Ingredients (Serves 2) § 2 potatoes § 1 parsnip § 2tblsp sesame oil § 2tblsp sake or white wine § ½ tsp red pepper

§ 1 carrot § 4tblsp soy sauce § 4tblsp sugar § 1tblsp sesame seeds

Cut the potatoes into julienne strips and then soak in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Drain water. Cut the carrot and parsnip into strips. Heat sesame oil in a frying pan until it starts to smoke and fry all vegetables together for 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar, sake, red pepper and sesame seeds to the frying pan and fry until liquid evaporates. Serve as a side dish, or in a bowl.

Photo courtesy Barry Harcourt

Kimpira Potatoes is a traditional Japanese side dish that uses three root vegetables, which are said to be good for one's health. All of the ingredients can be found at any supermarket.

Kimpira Potatoes will keep for up to four days if refrigerated.


The Buzz

Deepening our bond as Sister Cities

By Chairman, Murray Ballantyne IT is 18 years since I first visited Kumagaya on the invitation of Mr Kurihara the then president of Bushu Yohoen, a honey processing company.

From Hirozumi Yagihashi President of Kumagaya International Friendship Association

Since that visit our two companies have formed a very successful trading and working relationship.

IT has been 11 years since Invercargill and Kumagaya became sister cities. Since then, there have been numerous opportunities for cultural exchanges in a variety fields between the citizens, students, city councillors and representatives from our cities.

During one of my visits to Kumagaya I discussed with Mr Kurihara the possibility of our two cities developing a sister city link. Mr Kurihara spoke to Mayor Kobayashi outlining the cultural and business advantages that could accrue if such a link was formed between the two cities.

Thanks to your enthusiastic efforts and cooperation over these past 11 years, what was once a budding relationship between our cities has come into full bloom. I hope this relationship will continue to grow and bloom.

At the same time we outlined to Invercargill Mayor Eve Poole the opportunities of a sister city relationship.

This year, we heard that Mr Murray Ballantyne was elected to be the new chairman of Invercargill's Kumagaya Friendship Association. Mr Ballantyne is an old acquaintance of mine. I would like to act as a bridge between the citizens of our two cities. I am also looking forward to receiving the continued kindness and cooperation that Mr Ballantyne has always shown us.

Today some 11 years since the formation of our sister link we have established a successful sporting, educational and cultural relationship between the two cities. Kumagaya has placed a lot of importance on the cultural, sporting and educational links between our two peoples, so much so that it has received recognition from the Japanese government that our sister city link is one of the best working sister city relationships in Japan.

Lastly, I would like to extend my best wishes for your citizens' health and prosperity.

Join the Association

During the past 11 years there have been many Invercargill citizens who have either visited Kumagaya or had contact with Kumagaya citizens through the many exchanges that have taken place. These visits and contacts have helped our citizens better understand one another's culture and the different lives we lead.

THE Kumagaya Friendship Association is inviting new members to join. Membership fees are: Students $5, Individuals $15, Family $25, Community Member $30, Corporate $50+. To become a member, please fill out the membership form enclosed and send, with your fee, to Kumagaya Friendship Association, Private Bag 90104, Invercargill.

It was very encouraging to have a large number of people attend the first Annual General Meeting of Invercargill's Kumagaya Friendship Association in February this year. At the meeting a working committee was formed to further foster the relationship between our two cities.

Corporate and community members

To help us develop even stronger links we look forward to working with all sporting, cultural, business and educational groups within Invercargill and would appreciate any input or ideas you may have. Please email with any ideas or inquiries. We would be delighted to have your support.

THE Kumagaya Friendship Association is supported by the following organisations: Platinum sponsor: Invercargill City Council.

n Murray Ballantyne is Chairman of the Kumagaya Friendship Association and a Director of Woodlands Apiary.

Corporate members: Bonsai Restaurant, Chamber of Commerce Southland, DT Carter Ltd, Jayel Trading Ltd, Pacific Shipping, Preston Russell Law, Ralph Moir & Associates, Southern Institute of Technology, Woodlands Apiary.

Contact details

Community members: Altrusa International Inc, Invercargill Kendo Club, James Hargest High School, Mt Anglem College.

IF you would like to contact the Kumagaya Friendship Association, please telephone (03) 211 1678 or email


Nyuusu June 2004  

Newsletter of the Invercargill Kumagaya assn

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