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Shichigahama Town Guide

Sister City Plymouth

Introduction to our Sister City, Plymouth; History of our Relationship

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.

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Date of the Signing of Sister City Pact

October 3rd, 1990

 

Text of the Sister City Agreement

Agreement of Sister City Association

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.

  • Alba Thompson, Plymouth City Administrative Council Member
  • Imao Akama, Mayor of Shichigahama

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Snapshot of Plymouth

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.

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History of Plymouth

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.

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History of Sister City Relationship with Plymouth, Massachusetts

October 1989
  • Deputy Mayor Kamata leads a ten-person exploratory delegation on a courtesy visit to Plymouth
August 1990
  • Shichigahama sends first group of ten middle and high school students overseas
  • Mayor Akama leads a formal delegation of eleven people on a visit to Plymouth
  • A "Friendship City" pact is signed (8/18/1990)
September 1990
  • The Boards of Selectmen of Shichigahama and Plymouth approve a plan to declare "Sister City" status
October 1990
  • The Plymouth Chairman leads an eleven-person goodwill delegation to Shichigahama
  • "Sister City" status is made official (10/03/1990)
September 1991
  • To recognize the first anniversary of the Sister City agreement, a delegation of seven people tours the commercial industries of Plymouth
July 1992
  • Shichigahama welcomes its first group of six student visitors from Plymouth
August 1992
  • Shichigahama sends second group of fourteen middle and high school students overseas
July 1993
  • Shichigahama welcomes second group of thirteen student visitors from Plymouth
  • Twenty-three residents of Plymouth, including Head Selectman, attend the opening ceremony for the Shichigahama International Village
September 1993
  • An all-female delegation of ten members travels to Plymouth
August 1994
  • Shichigahama's third student delegation, now at seventeen participants, goes to Plymouth
October 1994
  • One student from Shichigahama takes part in a study-abroad program at Plymouth North High School
May 1995
  • Shichigahama welcomes one foreign student, who studies at the International Village
June 1995
  • Shichigahama sends an official delegation of twenty-four to participate in Plymouth's 375th Anniversary celebrations
  • Shichigahama welcomes one long-term student, who is enrolled at Tagajo High School
May 1996
  • Shichigahama participates in America-Japan Week
June 1996
  • Shichigahama welcomes one foreign student, who studies at the International Village
August 1996
  • Shichigahama sends one student to study at Plymouth North High School
  • Shichigahama sends fourth delegation of seventeen students to visit Plymouth
August 1997
  • Shichigahama welcomes fourth delegation of nine students from Plymouth
July 1998
  • Five residents of Shichigahama are invited to the Plymouth Harbor Festival
August 1998
  • Shichigahama sends fifth delegation of eighteen students to visit Plymouth
August 1999
  • Shichigahama welcomes fifth delegation of twenty students from Plymouth
  • One student from Shichigahama enters Plymouth North High School
August 2000
  • Shichigahama sends sixth delegation of eighteen students to visit Plymouth
  • In celebration of 10 years being Sister Cities, three people go on a goodwill visit to Plymouth
  • The “Agreement on the Plymouth – Shichigahama Exchange Student Program” is approved (8/11/2000)
  • Two students are sent to Plymouth North and South High Schools
June 2001
  • Shichigahama welcomes the sixth delegation of seventeen students and educators
September 2001
  • Two students are sent to Plymouth North and South High Schools
July 2002
  • Shichigahama welcomes one student for a short home stay program
August 2002
  • Shichigahama sends the seventh delegation of fifteen middle-school students to Plymouth
July 2003
  • Shichigahama welcomes the seventh delegation of thirteen students from Plymouth
July 2004
  • Shichigahama welcomes one student for a short home stay program
August 2004
  • Shichigahama sends the eighth delegation of eleven students to Plymouth
June 2005
  • Shichigahama welcomes one student for a short home stay program
August 2005
  • Shichigahama welcomes the eight delegation of thirteen students to Plymouth
  • Shichigahama welcomes one long-term student, who is enrolled in Tagajo High School

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