In 1989, in recognition of the hundredth anniversary of both Shichigahama Town and the "Takayama International Village," established in the Meiji era as a summer resort for foreigners, Shichigahama sent its first investigative delegation to Plymouth. Plymouth (located in America, in the State of Massachusetts) was identified as a promising candidate for Shichigahama's Sister City due to its similar geography, industry, and population.
In August of the following year, ten high school students accompanied Mayor Akama on a goodwill trip to Plymouth, in which they were able to experience American culture via a week-long homestay. Acting as goodwill ambassadors, the children of Shichigahama made a meaningful impression on the people of Plymouth, and soon both towns decided to enter into a "Friendship City" arrangement. In October, after a scant two months, Headman Thompson led a goodwill visit to Shichigahama, wherein the "Sister City Pact" was concluded. A new history of international relations had begun.
October 3rd, 1990
Plymouth, Massachusetts – Shichigahama, Miyagi
The Town of Shichigahama in Miyagi Prefecture and The Town of Plymouth in the State of Massachusetts are coastal towns surrounded by beautiful scenery.
Shichigahama and Plymouth hereby institute a long relationship of international exchange.
Official delegations, as well as middle and high school students from Shichigahama to Plymouth have established a foundation for our future relationship.
In order to encourage and advance the cultural exchange between our two societies, by means of economics, education, culture, sports, etcetera, we hereby establish a Sister City relationship, to the necessary end of mutual understanding.
Henceforth there will exist a Sister City relationship between the citizens of Shichigahama, Miyagi Prefecture, in Japan, and the citizens of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the United States of America.
On October 3rd, 1990, in the Town of Shichigahama, in Miyagi Prefecture, we sign our agreement below.
Plymouth, located in southern Massachusetts, on the east coast of America, is a resort town of about 60,000 people, some 60 kilometers from Boston and 320 kilometers from New York City.
In 1620, Puritans who had fled England aboard the Mayflower landed in the New World. They named their new home Plymouth. Blessed with beautiful nature and the bountiful ocean, and now full of museums in which the earliest sights and artifacts of American are preserved, Plymouth, known variously as the "Birthplace of America" and "America's Hometown," greets a great number of tourists each year flocking to its famous locales.
On September 6th, 1620, a group of 102 Puritans set out from Plymouth Bay in England and began their journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Their boat, the Mayflower, weighed a mere 180 tons. Nevertheless on December 21st they finally made landfall in the New World (the southeast of what would be Massachusetts, in America). What awaited them were the harsh New England winters, illness, and insufficient food supplies. Less than half the population survived that first winter. The people's hopes soon turned to despair. However, the Indian Chieftain Massasoit stretched out his hand in friendship to the survivors. Before long the Pilgrims had signed a treaty with the Indians, and had been taught a great deal about the cultivation of corn, the methods by which to catch fish and harvest maple syrup, and other skills essential to life in the New World.
In the autumn of 1621, land cleared by the Pilgrims bore rich fruit, and the residents of Plymouth found themselves once again hopeful. They prayed for a bright future, and to that end invited some ninety Indians, including Massasoit, to a special day of thanks, where was held a great banquet. This was the beginning of "Thanksgiving," one of America's most famous holidays.
In coming years more and more pioneers arrived from England, and pushed out into the New World. The colonies gradually expanded as well, building the foundation for contemporary America. The story of Plymouth is thus no less than the story of America itself.