Friday, 10 May 2019

Sister cities : Beppu, Kyushu, Japan 1987

Beppu our second Sister City 

 The Beppu Mayor first contacted Mr Keaney regarding a Sister City relationship in early 1984. The idea was then discussed at a full council meeting on the 13th December. Mr Keaney said Council should consider ‘the cost of hosting visitors before cementing such a bond’

"Mr Keaney and Mr Harry Childs have been invited to visit Japan and Beppu from 3th Feb – 9th 1985 for preliminary discussions. Air NZ had also offered a discounted airfare as part of its efforts to encourage tourism to NZ.  The council supported this visit to Japan. DP 14 Dec 1984, pg.1
“Sister City links find supporters”.  Following a meeting with locals and local groups, Mayor Keaney is optimistic that the community is supportive of this new relationship with Beppu for the city". Daily Post 9 Oct 1985

 “Sister City ties: Wheelchair marathon first step to Beppu” Mr J.E. Marsh has taken up the challenge, of being chairman, of heading a local liaison committee looking into the possibilities of how to encourage this new sister city relationship.  This will begin this year with two Rotorua sportsmen visiting the city to take part in a wheelchair marathon.  Other ideas put forward are an exchange of arts and crafts and fostering ‘family exchanges.’"  Daily Post 10 Oct 1985.

Beppu Map Click this link to Google Earth. 

 ‘Gifts from sister city’ in Daily Post, 15th Jul 1987, pg.3.  “The Rotorua entourage, which included district council officials and a Maori cultural group teamed up with a 500-strong Auckland contingent for the trip. The Aucklanders visited their sister city and the Rotorua group travelled on to Beppu”   A photograph of Mayor John Keaney and District Manager Ted Hansen shows them holding the gifts and the official sister-city document. Signed on 10 July 1987.

These three items were gifted to Rotorua District Council from their counterparts of Beppu, Japan

Beppu travel guide Click this link to see what there is for tourists.

An office exchange programme started in 1991 and in 1993 the second exchange officer arrived in NZ. Hideki Kamahori a graduate of Rikkyo University and worked at City Hall, Beppu since 1980. While here he spent his first few months learning English, then he came to Rotorua where he worked with council staff learning about local authority administration in NZ.  From District News, 7th July 1993, pg.2 

In the Daily Post, 20 March 1993, pg.22. Nell Trail writes:

"At an exhibition in the gallery at Council - describes some of the items in the exhibition. A Japanese wedding gown of rich red and gold brocade with red lining; a Kokeshi doll; a sculptured glass clock; a gold bamboo fan; a Hakato traditional clay doll ; a bamboo doll and an ancient farmer wearing rope sandals and holding a mouse.

Beppu description of the surrounding landscape and city, with its hot springs, and the medicinal effects of the eight main spring areas. Nell describes the relaxing sand baths, waterfall baths and steam baths. All of which do not smell strongly of sulphur as their chemical makeup is different from our Rotorua ones.

As well as the baths, she writes there are many outdoor pools spouting geysers and sizzling heat. Beppu also is close to the inactive volcano ‘Bungo Fuji’ which last erupted 1,100 years ago, it has five craters and some slight activity can be detected on the far side of the crater. 

Beppu and Rotorua will be linked as sister cities, and shall positively promote friendly exchanges, beneficial in providing understanding, through scenic development, tourism. Cultural, education, science and technology, thereby making a positive contribution to world peace and prosperity”

Ten years on… Daily Post 26 August 1997, pg.1  
Two local marathon runners, Hilary Grinter and Peter Roy, recently competed in the annual Beppu Yukemuri Kenko marathon, both returning excellent performances in the 20km event. 16 Dec 1997, pg.2.

…”both cities have had changes in the mayoralty since the agreement was signed in 1987, changes which often signal reversals in the previous administration’s arrangements. But Graeme Hall and Beppu mayor Nobuyuki Inoue have weathered the changes and appear to have become firm friends in the process”  “During the 10th Anniversary the ceremonies were covered by at least two TV stations and two radio stations”  Daily Post 20 Sept 1997 pg. 17

Yoroi Kabuto 

This Yoroi Kabuto suit was on display first in the Council building and then in the Library until 2016.

Collection gifted to Rotorua District Library from Rotorua's sister city Library Beppu,
Japan on 7 October 2010, they also received a collection from us about
Rotorua and New Zealand

"Bev, with Chiemi’s help (in translating all correspondence with the Beppu Library), and that of Sue White, Council’s Sister City Liaison, finally brought about an exchange of books with our sister city, Beppu, Japan. Chiemi was co-opted into cataloguing the books that arrived. Friends of the Library funded a special shelving unit and the collection was finally launched in October to co-inside with a visit of a delegation from Beppu."

30 Years on … 16 June 2017

“A Beppu delegation visited to celebrate the anniversary and  to strengthen relationships with the our Rotorua community,  but also to see how we in Rotorua were hosting the Rugby World Cup as Japan will be hosting the cup in 2019”

"Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Inomata, says the sister city relationship with Rotorua is important to Beppu and is a natural fit, given the geothermal resources which feature in both cities. 

Te Puia hosted a dinner in partnership with Auckland's Japanese Consulate Office which Tim Cossar says is part of maintaining long-established relationships and building on those to facilitate a successful tour of the Tuku Iho exhibition which will be touring Japan in 2019.  The visitors also went to Hell's Gate and the Redwoods Tree Walk before leaving Rotorua. 

This blog post was written by Alison, with thanks to the Daily Post and Rotorua Lakes Council documents. Photographs taken by Library staff.

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