Brief Outline of Saint Paul-Nagasaki History

1955 Saint Paul Mayor Joseph E. Dillon officially invites the Mayor of the city of Nagasaki, Japan, to recognize the Sister City relation.
1960 Vice Mayor of Nagasaki Kaoru Naruse visits Saint Paul. USS St. Paul cruiser visits Nagasaki.
1961 Nagasaki Road is officially dedicated by Milton Rosen, member of the City Council.
1963 City and County employees have a Nagasaki float in the Winter Carnival parade.
1965 The tenth anniversary of the Sister City affiliation. First conference telephone call between the two Mayors.
1966 144 children’s letters are received to be turned over to Saint Paul schools for responses.
1967 Nagasaki children’s art displayed at the St. Paul Art Center 100 pounds of books are sent to Nagasaki.
1969 Sister City Committee co-sponsors with the St. Paul Art Center to feature a Japanese Festival with exhibts, demonstrations, and films. 1000 attend.
1971 The St. Paul Rotary Club sponsors a special one-month student exchange with 150 students from Saint Paul and the same number from Japan.
1974 Robert Schweitz of the Como Park Conservatory requests architectural help in designing a Japanese garden. Jim Aldridge, Sister City Committee president, writes the Mayor of Nagasaki for assistance in laying out a Japanese garden. Nagasaki Mayor Moritani’s office calls to say that Nagasaki would send two garden architects to Saint Paul, at their expense, to plan a Japanese garden in Como Park.
1975 Two garden technicians, Mikio Tanaguchi and Masame Matsuda, arrive from Nagasaki. The technicians prepare a layout for a small garden on the Conservatory grounds. They also play a large garden across the street from the Conservatory. A small formal garden within the Conservatory grounds is dedicated. A special conference call is held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sister City affiliation.
1977 METAMORPHOSE II, a traveling exhibition of Minnesota photos, is shipped to Nagasaki.
1979 The Ordway family donates $100,000 for the Japanese garden at Como Park. Dedication of Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden in Como Park.
1980 Festival of Nations — Sister City operates a Japanese food booth with JACL for the first time. Junshin Women’s Junior College and St. Catherine’s College form a joint affiliation. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sister City affiliation, a 30-foot totem pole will be carved by local Explorer Scouts and sent to Nagasaki as a symbol of friendship.
1981 The totem pole is carved. The totem pole is shipped to Nagasaki and erected on St. Paul Street.
1982 The Sister City Committee sponsors a Boys’ Little League Baseball team to play in Nagasaki.
1984 Sister City representative visits Nagasaki to request Mr. Masame Matsuda’s advice in training volunteers for overall maintenance of the Japanese Garden in Como Park.
1985 30-year anniversary with our Sister City, Nagasaki.
1986 Dedication of the Nagasaki Peace Stone at the Lake Harriet Rock Garden.
1987 130 attend the Japanese Tea House ground-breaking ceremonies. Award is presented to Louis W. Hill from the Emperor, for his educational and cultural contributions to Japan.
1988 Mayor Motoshima of Nagasaki visits Saint Paul.
1989 Lynn, Tim and Heather Wolfe and Chris Rossow make first visits to Nagasaki. SPNSCC provides airfare for Masami Matsuda so that he can direct planning for reconstruction of Como Ordway Japanese Garden. Mayor Motoshima of Nagasaki visits Saint Paul.
1990 Mayor James Scheibel visits Nagasaki for Journey Expo and participates in running event with city hall workers (Sakura Machi Running Club). He also notes the absence of any sculpture in the Peace Park from the USA and vows to change that. The St. Catherine’s College Orchestra performs in Nagasaki. SPNSCC provides airfare for Masami Matsuda so that he can direct reconstruction of Como Ordway Japanese Garden.
1991 SPNSCC and Mayor Scheibel raise funds for sculpture “Constellation Earth” by Paul Granlund, to be shipped to Nagasaki. One fundraising event is the midwest premiere of Kurosawa’s film, “Rhapsody in August.” Several members of Nagasaki’s Sakura Machi Running Club run in the Twin Cities Marathon. SPNSCC provides airfare for Mr. Matsuda to continue reconstruction of Como Ordway Japanese Garden.
1992 Grand re-opening of the Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden in Como Park. In July Chris and Larry Rossow, along with Mr. and Mrs. Matsuda, witness the arrival of Paul Granlund’s sculpture in Nagasaki. In October Lynn Wolfe and a large delegation from Saint Paul attend the unveiling and dedication of “Constellation Earth” in the Nagasaki Peace Park.This is the first sculpture in the park to represent the U.S.
1993 The sister city committee welcomes Dr. Ito, director of Nagasaki International Culture Hall. New gift of tatami mats from Nagasaki make the perfect occasion for tea ceremony at the teahouse in the Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden, Como Park. Special exhibit coordinated by SPNSCC members, reflecting our Nagasaki connections, at the new Minnesota History Center. The first Chip Fricke Award is presented to Jim Scheibel.
1994 Nagasaki Council Chairman Jubashi and delegation come from Nagasaki to prepare for 1995 Mayoral visit. A new book entitled “Memoirs of Japanese American Women in Minnesota 1942 – 1992”, including essays by four SPNSCC members, is published. Chip Fricke Award presented to Kazutoshi Yamashita, Director of Nagasaki City International Affairs Section.
1995 SPNSCC celebrates their 40 year relationship with a visit by the Nagasaki Symphony Orchestra. On August 9th, 1995, an official Saint Paul delegation arrives in Nagasaki to participate in the ceremonies at the Peace Park commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing: Saint Paul Council President Thune and Chris Rossow present wreath at the event.
At the same time, there is a Global Harmony event in Saint Paul at the College of St. Catherine, attended by Mayor Itoh, Council Chairman Nakano and delegation, to show the unity of the people of Saint Paul with the people of Nagasaki on a day which combined sad memories with hope for a better, more peaceful future. The Global Harmony Labyrinth design is presented by member Cynthia McKeen.
“The Global Harmony design attempts to be inclusive of all viewpoints. To describe its elements separately: The sphere represents the earth. The line expressing yin/yang represents the relationship of opposite elements, mutually essential to the wholeness of both. The hands represent human effort to maintain balance. The symbol sits at a tilt, on an axis like the world itself, to reflect equality between hemispheres. In this way one can envision the world turning so that no one hand is ever always in a ‘top’ position.”
Ruth Tanbara receives the Chip Fricke Award.
1996 Commemorative booklet celebrating 40 years of friendship between our cities is published. A signing ceremony is held in Nagasaki, formally commencing a sister orchestra affiliation between the Nagasaki Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Civic Orchestra. A labyrinth based on the Global Harmony symbol is designed and the search for a location begins.
1997 Delegation to Nagasaki in October to bring a gift of the Global Harmony design, interpreted on a clay platter by Richard Bresnahan, to the City of Nagasaki. Included with this gift were three poems by Fr. Neal Lawrence, OSB, who, in 1948, was the first U.S. diplomat to visit Nagasaki after the atomic bombing. The poems strongly reinforce the need to work for global harmony and peace for the future. SPNSCC is represented at Sister Cities International Conference in San Diego. Chip Fricke Award is presented to Chris Rossow.
1998 The Saint Paul Civic Symphony visits Nagasaki and performs in the opening ceremony of the new Brick Hall. Copies of the Global Harmony platter were given to the Hill Reference Library, the Grotto Foundation and the Japanese Ambassador to the United States. Global Harmony Day is celebrated, April 3, 1998.
1999 SPNSCC represented at first Japan-U.S. Sister City Conference, held in Sendai, Japan.SPNSCC works with the Como Conservatory to host the Lantern Lighting Festival, an event celebrating Japanese Culture in the Twin Cities, held at the Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden on the third Sunday in August. The Nagasaki Saint Paul Sister City Committee is launched in October.
2000 Nagasaki St Paul Sister City Committee conducts a symposium, “International Exchange in the Twenty-first Century: How Will You Participate?” SPNSCC members attend. Commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the relationship between our cities and the 25th anniversary of the St. Paul /Nagasaki Rotary Youth Exchange. Delegation to Nagasaki in April to plant a momiji (maple) tree in Nagasaki’s Peace Park to mark the 45th anniversary of the sister city relationship. Forty young tennis players and coaches visit Saint Paul and participate in the Tennis Exchange 2000. In August, seventy five people from Nagasaki arrive in Saint Paul for the Lantern Lighting Festival, including Master Gardener Matsuda and twenty Nagasaki Boy Scouts. Saint Paul sends a delegation to Nagasaki in October to celebrate Okunchi, the yearly harvest festival.
Ruth Tanbara receives the Mondale Award.
2001 Saint Paul Mayor N. Coleman, his family, Staff Member Anne Briseno and SPNSCC members visit Nagasaki and meet with Mayor Iccho Itoh. Mayor Coleman places a wreath in Nagasaki’s Peace Park. World champion kite flyer, S. Nakamura of Nagasaki visits. St. Paul.
2002 Hamline University and Kwassui Women’s College form the second sister city college relationship between schools in St. Paul and Nagasaki. St. Paul’s Mayor Kelly proclaims October 10 as Constellation Earth Day on the tenth anniversary of the placing of Paul Granlund’s sculpture in Nagasaki’s Peace Park. SPNSCC hosts Minnesota Sister Cities Conference. Paul Granlund receives the Chip Fricke Award.
2003 A history committee is formed and the first interview of a founding member, Ruth Tanbara, is done.
2004 In July, Mayor Itoh and his wife, as well as (12 or 13) mayors from Nagasaki prefecture, attend the Grand Excursion festivities in Saint Paul. Seeds from Nagasaki’s famous survivor, a Kusu (camphor tree), are gathered by our sister group and Mr. Matsuda and sent to the Conservatory at Como Park where one hundred are planted.
2005 Commemoration of 50 year anniversary of the sister cities of St. Paul and Nagasaki. A delegation attends the commemoration ceremonies marking the 60th anniversay of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
A location is chosen in Como Park for the Global Harmony Labyrinth. It is constructed and the dedication is on August 21. Many members of a Nagasaki delegation attend the dedication and the Lantern Lighting Festival at Como Park.
A Kusu seedling is presented to Mayor Kelly by Takayuki Miyanishi at the Lantern Lighting Festival. SPNSCC member Sister Ann O’Neill works with the Native American Dream of Wild Health group to share seeds from their indigenous seed collection; the exchange of seeds is completed during the delegation’s December visit to Nagasaki. 18 members of Kyushu’s Sakura Machi Running Club run in the 10K /marathon here.
Mayor Kelly, Gayle Ober, Rotary Club, Boy Scout and SPNSCC members go to Nagasaki in early December to dedicate the Totem pole sent by the Rotary Club of St. Paul and boy scouts who carved it. The delegation also participated in the opening of the new bridge across the west end of Nagasaki’s harbor. Masami Matsuda receives the Chip Fricke Award.
2006 SPNSCC participates in Public Art Saint Paul’s Minnesota Rocks event; sponsors a Japanese Culture Day in honor of sculptor Atsuo Okamoto. SPNSCC receives the Mondale Award.
2007 SPNSCC is represented by Chris & Larry Rossow at the funeral service for Mayor Iccho Itoh, Mayor of Nagasaki and good friend. They meet with newly elected Mayor, Tomihisa Taue. Six singers from Junshin High School perform at the first August 9th Commemoration event at the labyrinth, as part of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki “Days of Remembrance.” Bill Pesek receives the Chip Fricke Award.
2008 Farewell to longtime member Ruth Tanbara; her family donates a bench in her memory, to be placed at the labyrinth site. The second August 9th Commemoration is held at the labyrinth. World premiere of “Ashes Into Light” is performed at the College of Saint Catherine. Mayor Chris Coleman and delegation travel to Nagasaki, visiting sites and schools; they plant a tree in honor of Mayor Itoh. Patricia Katagiri receives the Chip Fricke Award. Chris Rossow receives the Mondale Award.
2009 SPNSCC is represented at the dedication of the new Peace Bridge at the Lyndale Park Peace garden; historic relic stones from Hiroshima and Nagasaki are features. The third August 9th Commemoration is held at the labyrinth. Local group Mu Min sings during ceremony. Delegation attends 10th anniversary of NSPSCC in Nagasaki (October).
2010 55th anniversary year. SPNSCC sponsors photography project “Seen and Unseen”, an exhibition of photos taken at the Como Ordway Japanese Garden by Peter Leach; following a showing at Como Conservatory, attended by NSPSCC President Takayuki Miyanishi, the exhibit travels to Nagasaki. Jo Ann Blatchley represents SPNSCC at opening of exhibit in Nagasaki. Mayor Tomihisa Taue, Chairman Yoshihara and delegation visit Saint Paul on their way to a nonproliferation meeting in New York. Junshin Peace Singers perform at the Nagasaki Commemoration and other venues. First Sam Honda award presented posthumously to this faithful volunteer.
2011 Takayuki and Mami Miyanishi attend Winter Carnival; tennis players visit for August Commemoration event; three members attend Okunchi Festival representing SPNSCC.
2012 St. Paul Rotary sends replica of Vision of Peace to Nagasaki, installed at entrance to Peace Park. St. Paul receives 20 cherry trees from the government of Japan; planting day ceremony with Deputy Counsel Sawada from Chicago and US Representative Betty McCollum.
2013 Return of the Sword ceremony on the International Day of Peace; Koji Matsuda visits; Junshin Peace Singers 2013. Chip Fricke award presented to Dean Potter.
2014 Visitors from Japan include Takayuki Miyanishi, Kaho Yamashita. Chip Fricke award presented to Matt and Tony Kujawa. Planning for 60th anniversary year in 2015.
2015 60th anniversary celebration. Kite flyers Seikoo and Akiko Nakamura come for Cherry Tree Celebration in June; Junshin Singers performed at the Nagasaki Commemoration, St. Paul Cathedral, Minnesota History Center, and Carondelet Village; 66 member Mayoral delegation includes city council members, business leaders, bridge players, NSPSCC members, sixteen junior high students and geisha from Nagasaki Kenban. Two peace exhibis at Landmark Center: Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard and From War to Reconciliation: Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Exhibition in the fall. Sansei Yonsei Kai dances in Nagasaki in June; New Nagasaki Players’ Ensemble performs in Minnesota. Chris Coleman leads official delegation to the Okunchi Festival.
2016 Wishes for Peace exhibition at Union Depot during St. Paul art crawl. Publication of SACHIKO: A Nagasaki Bombing Survivor’s Story met with national acclaim. Sam Honda award presented to former Honorary Consul of Japan at Minneapolis Mirja Hanson for her help with our strategic planning. Six students attend tennis camp at Fort Snelling.