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San Diego CA 92112-2842

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Category: News


Emperor of Japan honors San Diegan with prestigious accolade

Press received “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays” from Consul General Akira Chiba at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

“It is a ranked decoration and highly prestigious,” said Jennifer Usyak, the Japanese consulate’s adviser for political and community relations. “We look very carefully at the background of anyone under consideration.”

San Diego resident Thelma Press gets prestigious honor from Japanese government.
(Courtesy photo )

She explained the award recognizes people who promote friendship and good relations between the United States and Japan and who enhance Japanese culture in the United States.

Press’ contributions date back to 1959 when she was living in San Bernardino and co-founded the San Bernardino-Tachikawa Sister City program.

She was appointed as a California representative to Sister Cities International in 1972 and served as president of the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society from 2013-2015.

A Los Angeles woman also received the 2017 Imperial decoration in an earlier ceremony at the consul general’s home.

The emperor’s award requires the approval of his Cabinet. “It is equivalent to the Congressional Gold Medal in the United States or a knighthood in the UK,” Usyak said.

DIANE BELL• U-T Original article Below


Yokohama BOE Partnership Agreements

Principal Eddie Park has continued the tremendous momentum of dialog between Yokohama and San Diego for building a public school partnership. Eddie traveled to Yokohama once again on from July 8-16 and made tours to the elementary, middle, and high schools in Kanazawa Ward. He was able to meet and exchange gifts with each of the principals there and officially sign partnership agreements that twinned schools together.

Kanazawa Elementary is now partner schools with Barnard Elementary Asian Pacific Language Academy; Kanazawa Junior High School is partnered up with Pacific Beach International Baccalaureate Middle School; and Yokohama Municipal Kanazawa High School is partnered up with Mission Bay High School.

Furthermore, the Yokohama Board of Education has newly establish an Office of International Division to focus on its overseas exchanges. On September 12th, Yokohama Municipal Kanazawa Senior High School Principal Masahiko Miura and English instructor Mr. Satoshi Yuchi will arrive in San Diego to attend the Society’s annual luncheon at Admiral Baker Clubhouse, and then tour their San Diego partner schools and better know our city.


New Partnership with Yokohama BOE

The San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society has recently partnered the Mission Bay cluster of the San Diego Unified School District with Kanazawa Municipal Schools in Yokohama thanks to the support and cooperation of the Yokohama Board of Education.

Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy Principal and SDYSCS Board Member Mr. Edward Park, with the support of the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society, has made multiple visits to Yokohama in order to realize this partnership.

The purpose of this binational school-to-school partnership is to develop mutually beneficial ties in the form of educator training exchanges, collaborative projects, and virtual classrooms connecting students and teachers across the Pacific.

Students and teachers alike can work together to develop best practices in distant education, team curriculum design, foreign language learning, and integration of multimedia technology in the classroom setting; the possibilities are endless!


SDYSCS Welcomes Kanazawa Educators

On March 17, we welcomed Mrs. Hikawa and Mrs. Amino, two teachers from Kanazawa Senior High School in Yokohama who visited San Diego in order to further discuss the the San Diego-Yokohama educational collaboration and the possible creation of a new youth exchange program.

They visited our fantastic schools and toured our beautiful city during their short stay, learning about the Japanese American community in San Diego and the history of its sister city relationship with Yokohama.

Among their stops were the Yokohama Friendship Bell on Shelter Island, the Cabrillo Monument, Gaslamp Quarter, Old Town, Coronado Island, and the USS Midway.

The Yokohama delegates took a breather during their busy tourist itinerary and got down to business: they signed a partnership agreement with Mission Bay High School Principal Remillard, made a school tour of Crown Point Jr. Music Academy, and also attended the opening reception of the new Japanese Friendship Garden Tea Pavilion.

In this whirl of activity our Yokohama guests also got time to shop for souvenirs and were seen off on a direct JAL flight to Japan in time for the next day of school.

In the span of three days, this delegation was moved by the warm welcome of San Diegans, the long history of ties between San Diego and Japan, and the novelty of local educational methods. Mrs. Hikawa and Mrs. Amino expressed excitement at moving forward with the school partnership, well reciprocated by everyone they came in contact with!


Barnard’s Lunar New Year Festival

Principal Park kindly invited SDYSCS to participate in Barnard’s Lunar New Year Festival held at their school.

Thanks to the generosity and support of our Members and their friends, we were able to set up a mochi tsuki area where children could try their hand at pounding mochi and also have a taste of some mochi varieties, present a kimono fashion show with an array of intricate and colorful kimonos, and hold a judo demonstration by students from Migoto Dojo.

It was a great opportunity to participate in a community event and share a part of the Japanese culture.

The SDYSCS would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the generosity to those that volunteered their time and efforts to share a piece of Japanese culture to children and parents of Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy.

Kimono Rental Yuko & The San Diego Kimono Club
The San Diego Kimono Club and Kimono Rental ‘yuko’ San Diego closed out the LNY festivies with a beautiful kimono fashion show to with over 20 models! Special thanks to Marumi Fujiki, Yuko Niwa and Koji Kuninaga.

Migoto Judo
Migoto Judo’s rousing demonstration ended with a bang as Principal Park joined the fun by taking a few falls to the enjoyment of the audience. Speacial thanks to Sensei Roland Fernando and Caroline Rasing.

We would also like to thank Yuko Kawakyu for providing us with their personal usu and kine set. Kokugo Gakuen for providing us with our Matsui Happis and Azunakai’s Manami Nakayama for manning our table.



By Peter Rowe –

SAN DIEGO — Del Cerro resident Kaneko Bishop’s efforts to introduce Americans to Japanese culture have made her a well-known figure in San Diego.

And in Tokyo.

During ceremonies in the Japanese capital this month, Bishop will receive one of the government of Japan’s most prestigious decorations: The Order of the Rising Sun, with Gold and Silver Rays. She was cited for contributing “to the promotion of regional relationship between Japan and the United States.”

Kaneko Oshima Bishop, 83, was born in Nagoya, Japan. Since moving to San Diego in 1972 with her husband, H. Kenneth Bishop, she has been prominent in the Japanese-American community. A master of the Japanese tea ceremony and ikebana, the art of flower arranging, she is president of the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society. Co-founder of Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden, she has served on the San Diego Human Relations Commission, the San Diego International Affairs Board and the Mingei International Museum’s board of trustees.

While she’s demure and soft-spoken, Bishop is known for her ability to get things done. After an earthquake and tsunami devastated northeast Japan, she led a fundraising campaign that netted $10,000 for relief efforts.

But citizen diplomacy, as Bishop practices it, is a two-way street. When San Diego County was ravaged by wildfires in 2003, residents of Yokohama sent a $17,000 donation.

“The citizens there know San Diego,” Bishop said in a 2006 interview, “and take a special pride in San Diego being a sister city.”

Established in 1875, the Order of the Rising Sun is the Japanese government’s oldest decoration. Bishop’s conferment ceremony will take place May 15.

Peter Rowe • U-T Original article Below


Kaneko Bishop Awarded Commendation of the Consul General

Mrs. Kaneko Bishop was awarded the Commendation of the Consul General for her contributions in the promotion of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and America.