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Book now for Christmas Function The Kumagaya Friendship Association's Christmas Function for 2005 will be an evening of Japanese cuisine with a twist!. Diners can try their hand at origami (perhaps to make a

A Newsletter from the Kumagaya Friendship Association • November 2005 • Issue 5

Bright idea sparks museum exhibition

Christmas decoration) and enjoy a delicious dinner as well.

Monday 5 October at 7pm. Only $25 for KFA members and $30 for non-members. Numbers are limited, so BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment! Please RSVP to Carol Boyd on (03) 2111-672 or email: by 28 November.

Language study leads to opportunities

Contact details

By Andrew Leckie, Year 12, Southland Boys’ High School

Earlier in the year, I applied for a fully funded trip to Japan courtesy of the Japan Foundation. To apply, I had to write an essay in Japanese saying why I study the language and then take a phone interview in Japanese.

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

I was lucky enough to be one of three New Zealanders selected to attend the two week course based in Osaka, with 40 students of Japanese from 18 countries around the world.

The Kumagaya Friendship Association is supported by the following organisations:

Corporate and community members

Platinum sponsor: Invercargill City Council.

Included in the course was a three day trip around Japan. We flew to Tokyo where we did some shopping and visited the Emperor's Palace. The next day we rode on the bullet train for about five hours to Hiroshima.

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.

At Hiroshima, we spent a night at a traditional Japanese Inn, which was quite an experience and the next morning visited the Museum and Peace Park to remember the atomic bomb. This was a very humbling experience and possibly the highlight of my trip.

Community members: Altrusa International Inc, Invercargill Kendo Club, James Hargest College.

At Kyoto, we visited a couple of shrines which were very interesting and then bussed back to Osaka. We spent a day with some high school students at their school and then looked around the city and spent one night with a host family which was quite an eye opener.

Photo courtesy Stacey Osborn/The Southland Times Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt with (from left) Yuko Ito, Namiki Tamura, Azusa Kaneda and Midori Sasaki at the opening of the exhibition celebrating Invercargill's sister city relationship with Kumagaya in Japan.

A good suggestion from a member at the Kumagaya Friendship Association's AGM turned into a successful exhibition at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

exhibition was an example of great co-operation between the Kumagaya Friendship Association, City Council and Southland Museum and Art Gallery

The exhibition simply called “Kumagaya” was opened by His Worship the Mayor at an evening function, on 22 September, attended by Kumagaya Friendship Association members and civic leaders. The exhibition ran for a month until 20 October.

“It was an idea that was suggested from a member of the Kumagaya Friendship Association at its AGM. The member had just walked down the corridor past all of the gifts and commented how few of the general public had the opportunity to see them. She suggested an exhibition at the Museum.

On display were some of the many gifts given to Invercargill City and to several Invercargill secondary schools from our sister city, pieces from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery's own collection and a kimono from the collection of Kumagaya Friendship Association member Mary Marshall. Mayor Tim and Kumagaya Friendship Association President Murray Ballantyne both spoke about the benefits of Invercargill's sister city relationship and how it had developed over the years. Sister City Co-ordinator Eirwen Tulett said that the

I met lots of cool people and made several good friends, as well as having loads of fun. I think this shows the opportunities that can come about through learning a foreign language.

ARTICLES INSIDE... Mayor Tomioka elected unopposed Intensive Japanese experience for Hargest teacher Seeing is believing for Sister City relationship Invitation to our Christmas Function

I would like to thank my teacher, Miss Sasaki, for all the work she put in getting my Japanese up to this standard.


Pg 2 Pg 2 Pg 3 Pg 4

“Council staff raised the idea with the Museum and the Museum staff, under the direction of Programmes Manager Jacqui Hemsley, really got behind the idea. “KFA Committee members organised the loan of exhibits from the schools and provided the refreshments for the evening. “There was just such a lot of goodwill towards this exhibition. The Kumagaya Friendship Association should be really proud of what it achieved,” Mrs Tulett said.

Mayor Tomioka elected unopposed

Time for something new?


The Mayor of Kumagaya City, Kiyoshi Tomioka, has been reelected unopposed. News of Mayor Tomioka's victory in the Mayoral election came through to Invercargill soon after deadline for candidates to declare their intention to stand passed on 31 October. The Mayoral election coincides with the amalgamation of Kumagaya with two other nearby areas. The enlarged city will retain the name of Kumagaya and now boasts around 200,000 residents. The amalgamation has seen the number of city councillors temporarily enlarged from around 30 to approximately 60. However, this number will reduce following councillor elections. Invercargill City Council Chief Executive Officer Richard King said he and Mayor Tim Shadbolt and written to Mayor Tomioka, congratulating him on his re-election. “It is great news for Kumagaya and for Invercargill. Mayor Tomioka is a great supporter of our sister city relationship and an extremely popular civic leader,” Mr King said.

At The Bonsai Restaurant we like to give people the opportunity to experience Japanese culture through our food. Our popular presentations for social clubs and businesses, include a talk on making sushi and a sampling of different sushi flavours. If your business or social club would like to experience Japanese culinary culture and a free sample of delicious sushi, please email us at and we will contact you directly. The Bonsai Restaurant - 35 Esk Street Email Phone 218 1292

Copies of Kumagaya Friendship Association member Barry Harcourt’s latest book, The South Revisited, are available for only $13 from The Southland Times Office in Invercargill.

Intensive Japanese!

Seeing is believing for Sister City relationship By Darren Ludlow We had training to cope with the language and cultural differences, and made preparations for our absence from work and home. This seemed a small price to pay for what we were to receive. From the moment we arrived in Kumagaya, the 40 degree heat was nothing compared to the warmth of the welcome we received from both their City and Friendship Association delegations. Rather than bore you with a travelogue, members of our delegation were prepared to immerse themselves in the Japanese culture, learn as much about Kumagaya as we could and draw parallels with Invercargill and see how much they value the relationship.

Mayor Tomioka shakes hands with Invercargill Deputy Mayor Neil Boniface as city councillors and staff look on

It was the latter that was the greatest surprise and we started to wonder how we could reciprocate sufficiently when we host their next delegation.

The saying “seeing is believing” sums up my understanding of the importance of Invercargill's Sister City relationship with Kumagaya.

We are assured Invercargill “turns it on” for our visitors and ensures their trip is equally unforgettable. What we have now though, more importantly, is a Council where all members understand the relationship and its importance. We have more people in Invercargill determined to play a role when we next host delegations from Kumagaya.

Despite having previously served a three-year term as a city councillor, it wasn't until this year that I understood the relationship and its significance. The dinner hosted by the Kumaguya Friendship Association earlier this year at the Cabbage Tree and the official Council function a couple of nights later changed this.

We were also somewhat surprised to discover how few members of our Council are members of the Kumagaya Friendship Association and are determined to change that.

Having the opportunity to be a member of the City's delegation to Kumagaya in August cemented in my mind that the relationship is important and does have a valid role in our operations.

The whole experience, right from hosting earlier in the year through to traveling to Japan, has been one of the most significant events of 2005 for me.

Naturally, you have to be prepared for the inevitable accusations of travelling on a “junket” at ratepayers' expense and we weren't disappointed.

by Cheryl Mouat, Committee Member, Kumagaya Friendship Association 'Congratulations! You have been selected for an, Intensive Seminar for Teachers of Japanese.' “Yeah!”, I said as I read that I was off to Sydney for a week.

I now teach Japanese at James Hargest Junior Campus and am a Committee Member of the Kumagaya Friendship Association. All of my life experiences are the reason I was one of three teachers selected to represent New Zealand in Sydney, Australia.

While at boarding school I met Miwako Imazu then and now one of my best friends. Little did I know at the time, back in Year 9, that our friendship would open up a world of opportunity. Her homesickness and desire to talk about her home and family life and my fascination for this different culture prompted my first of five trips to Japan. Miwako's family in Nagoya took me in for the summer holidays and showed me what I soon came to know as Japanese hospitality.

If anyone thinks, from this point on, members of the current Council are not playing their part in the relationship, call us on it. If we weren't to respond to such a challenge, we should be embarrassed.

However, it was work and had to be treated in a respectful, professional manner.



Japanese people don't do things by halves, so when Nikki, Heulewn and I got dropped at the five star Intercontinental over looking Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House we were all delighted. Luckily our flights were a day earlier so we had a chance to roam the city and take advantage of the sales. The next four days of the course were not so relaxing, 'intensive' being the operative word! Our day started at 8am and ended at 8pm during which time we spoke as much Japanese as possible. Studying at our own ability level we worked on improving in the classroom, shared games and resources with other teachers and had fun with a variety of cultural activities. On the third day we had one-on-one conversation with Japanese people in Japanese and on the final day we made sushi and had a feast.

In Year 13 knowing how to count to 10, say “Please, Thank you” and “I don't understand” in Japanese, I embarked on a one year AFS experience of a lifetime. My host family in Wakayama City were very important to me and still play a major part in my life. My love of the Japanese culture and my host family and friends are the reason for my third, fourth and fifth visits. I remember sitting in a Japanese house that was the same age as New Zealand which left me gobsmacked. Culture and tradition is what makes Japan so unique and fascinating.

I am left feeling very lucky to have been a part of such a magnificent opportunity. I have renewed confidence in my own ability and am having fun putting my new and improved knowledge into practice within the classroom.

My fondest memory would be performing a traditional tea ceremony after hours of practice and least favourite memory would be wearing a sailor uniform every day for school.



1. Kumagaya International Friendship Association President Hirozumi Yagihashi hosted members of the City Council delegation. 2. The Kumagaya International Friendship Association arranged for a traditional tea ceremony for the Invercargill delegation. 3. Sister City Co-ordinator Eirwen Tulett admires the sister-city declaration outside Kumagaya City Hall. 4. The Kumagaya City Hall Council Chamber.



Nyuusa Nov 2005  

Newsletter of the Invercargill-Kumagaya Friendship Assn

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