Wellington Mayor's bicycle from Sakai Mayor has arrived!

Some of you may remember at the WSA-hosted dinner for the Mayor of Sakai and delegates on 23 August 2014 to celebrate the end of the Japan Festival 2014, the Mayor of Sakai Osami Takeyama presented Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown with a (photo of a) bicycle from Sakai. Celia is well-known for her love of cycling and promotion of Wellington as a cycling friendly city.

The actual bike from Sakai has now arrived in Wellington, and has been made available for use by Wellington City Council staff. It is on display in the foyer of the Wellington City Council offices at 101 Wakefield Street, so if you happen to be passing make sure you check it out!

Giant Kimono Project flashback

On 23rd August 2014, in recognition of the 20 year sister city relationship between Sakai and Wellington, a symbolic giant kimono was erected as the centrepiece for the Wellington Japan Festival held at the TSB Arena. This kimono was a collaborative piece of art created by school students and youth groups in the Greater Wellington and Kansai areas.

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New Year's Picnic

On February 4, Wellington Sakai Association celebrated with a shin-nen-kai 新年会 (party to celebrate the start of the New Year) summer evening picnic to celebrate the 21st anniversary of our sister-city relationship with Sakai in Katherine Mansfield Park where a number of trees and a mini kofun garden donated from Sakai are planted. 

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CLAIR Newsletter No. 83

Welcome to Tottori

Tottori Prefecture is located in western Japan, along the coast of the Sea of Japan, about two and a half hours away from Osaka. Tourism in Tottori can be divided into four main areas of interest: nature, manga, delicious food, and hot springs.

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WSA Wrap-up November-December 2014

WNES student presentation to the WSA Committee, 11 November

Wellington Nakano Educational Society (WNES) provides short and long term educational exchanges to Japan (including Sakai) and promotes learning about Japan. WSA hosted a participant from the recent WNES student trip to Sakai in September-October 2014, who presented on the Sakai experience. The Wellington high-school students visited and studied at Japanese high schools, stayed with host families, and visited key cultural landmarks including the Sakai City Traditional Craft Museum and the Sakai Museum in Daisen Park where they experienced the tea ceremony. The best part of the trip was attending school in Sakai, and the most surprising thing was how nice the host family was.

The first Wellington-Sakai Educational Exchange occurred in 1994, twenty years ago. Since that time, around 400 New Zealand and Japanese students have benefitted from participation in the exchange programme. The Japanese government has a strong push to get Japanese students on exchange overseas. As of 2010 there were 30,000 students overseas, which is hoped to increase to 60,000 by 2020.

The speech delivered by Wellington-Sakai Educational Exchange Trip Leader on Thursday 2 October at Sakai City Council Building can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/wellington-nakano-education-society/speech-to-sakai-city-mayor-and-councillors/472642416209334.

The WNES website can be found at http://wnesoc.wordpress.com/.  

WSA trip to Thorndon primary School with Yurina Shelton, 24 November  

Catherine Harrow (Secretary, WSA) accompanied Miss Yurina Shelton to Thorndon Primary School. Miss Shelton is a daughter of John Shelton, Principal of Harumi Primary school in Sakai, and spent several weeks studying at the Campbell Institute in Wellington. Thorndon Primary School has a pen-pal agreement with Harumi Primary school. Miss Shelton met with Principal Alistair du Chatenier, and went on a tour of the classrooms and grounds.

Mayoral award presentation for out-going President Rosemary Jones, 25 November

Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown presented out-going WSA President Rosemary Jones with a beautiful framed certificate of appreciation for her long service to WSA.

WSA members in attendance included Vice-President Katy McTeigue, Committee member Melda Townsley, and past Committee member Christine Jones.

JKaiWA Bonenkai (End of year party), 9 December

11 WSA Members joined the JkaiWA Bonenkai Quiz held at Fork and Brewer hosted by WSA, Jet Alumni Association (JETAA), and Japan Society of Wellington, NZ.

WSA Vice-President and President organised two of the quiz rounds, and Committee member Kayo was a member of  the winning green team (winning a $20 Tatsushi voucher!)

Thank you to everyone who attended - we hope you had a great time and congratulations to the winning Green team by a mere 1/2 a point! 

WXA/WSA Christmas party 4 December

WSA members celebrated the end of the year with a Christmas party co-hosted with Wellington's other sister-city group Wellington Xiamen Association (WXA) on 4 December 2014 at Dragon's Chinese restaurant. The evening featured games, Secret Santa and lots of delicious food. Thanks to WXA for hosting us!

More photos are available at  www.southlight.co.nz/WXAxmas14