No products in the cart.


P.O. Box 122842
San Diego CA 92112-2842

+1 760 444 4164

Tag: San Diego Yokohama


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



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