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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.

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

●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 culture 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.

●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 Wampanoag 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 the 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.

●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 its first group of ten middle and high school students overseas
•Mayor Akama leads an eleven-person formal delegation on a visit to Plymouth
•A "Friendship City" pact is signed (8/18/1990)

September 1990
•Plymouth’s Boards of Selectmen and Shichigahama’s Town Council approve a plan to declare "Sister City" status

October 1990
•The Chairman of Plymouth 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 its second group of twelve middle and high school students overseas
•Shichigahama sends six architects and planners of the town’s craftsman union to visit Plymouth to conduct a survey prior to the construction of Plymouth House

July 1993
•Shichigahama welcomes its second group of thirteen student visitors from Plymouth
•Twenty-three residents of Plymouth, including the Chairman of Plymouth, attend the opening ceremony for the Shichigahama International Village, or Kokusaimura

September 1993
•An all-female delegation of ten members travels to Plymouth

August 1994
•Shichigahama send its third student delegation of seventeen participants to Plymouth

October 1994
•One high-school student from Shichigahama takes part in a study-abroad program at Plymouth North High School

May 1995
•Shichigahama welcomes one foreign exchange 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

August 1995
•Shichigahama welcomes its third group of twenty-four student visitors from Plymouth
•Shichigahama welcomes one long-term exchange student who enrolls in Tagajo High School

May 1996
•Shichigahama participates in America-Japan Week

June 1996
•Shichigahama welcomes one foreign exchange student who studies at the International Village

August 1996
•Shichigahama sends one high-school student to study at Plymouth North High School
•Shichigahama sends its fourth delegation of seventeen students to visit Plymouth

August 1997
•Shichigahama welcomes its fourth delegation of nine students from Plymouth

July 1998
•Five residents of Shichigahama are invited to the Plymouth Harbor Festival

August 1998
•Shichigahama sends its fifth delegation of eighteen middle and high school students to visit Plymouth

August 1999
•Shichigahama welcomes its fifth delegation of twenty students from Plymouth

August 1999
•One student from Shichigahama enrolls in Plymouth North High School

August 2000
•Shichigahama sends its sixth delegation of eighteen students to visit Plymouth
•In celebration of the tenth anniversary of 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 its 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 high-school student for a short homestay program

August 2002
•Shichigahama sends its seventh delegation of fifteen middle-school students to Plymouth

July 2003
•Shichigahama welcomes its seventh delegation of thirteen students from Plymouth

July 2004
•Shichigahama welcomes one high-school student for a short homestay program

August 2004
•Shichigahama sends its eighth delegation of eleven middle-school students to Plymouth
•Mayor Watanabe and Chairman Abe visit Plymouth as a goodwill delegation
•Shichigahama accepts one long-term exchange student who enrolls at Tagajo High School

July 2005
•Shichigahama welcomes one high-school student for a short homestay program

August 2005
•Shichigahama welcomes its eighth delegation of thirteen students from Plymouth

August 2006
•Shichigahama sends its ninth delegation of six middle and high-school students to visit Plymouth
•One university student joins the delegation as well

July 2007
•Shichigahama welcomes its ninth delegation of fifteen students from Plymouth
•Five Plymouth representatives, including Chairman Quintal, join the delegation

July 2008
•Shichigahama welcomes one high-school student for a short homestay program

August 2008
•Shichigahama sends its tenth delegation of five students to visit Plymouth
•One university student joins the delegation as well

June 2009
•Shichigahama welcomes one high-school student for a short homestay program

August 2009
•Shichigahama welcomes its tenth delegation of ten students from Plymouth

August 2010
•In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of being sister cities, Shichigahama sends a delegation of seven people to visit Plymouth

October 2010
•In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of being sister cities, Plymouth sends a goodwill delegation of ten people, including former Plymouth Chairman Quintal, to visit Shichigahama

September 2011
•As aid for the recovery from the Great East Japan Tsunami and Earthquake, Plymouth donates $100,000 (7,500,000 yen) to the town of Shichighama

August 2012
•Shichigahama sends its eleventh delegation of seven elementary and middle-school students to visit Plymouth
•Three representatives including Deputy Mayor Taira, Chairman Sato, and a representative standing in for the Head of the Board of Education also join the delegation to Plymouth

August 2013
•Shichigahama welcomes its eleventh delegation of eight students and three attendants
•Three representatives from Plymouth including a Selectman visit Shichigahama

August 2014
•Shichigahama sends its twelfth delegation of five elementary and middle-school students to visit Plymouth
•Superintendent Takeda also joins the delegation to Plymouth

August 2015
•Shichigahama welcomes its twelfth student delegation of twelve people from Plymouth
•Six representatives from Plymouth, including a Selectman, visit Shichigahama and participate in a ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of being sister cities

August 2016
•Shichigahama sends its thirteenth delegation of nine elementary, middle, and high-school students to visit Plymouth
•Mayor Terasawa and six others, including members of Shichigahama’s town council, the Superintendent, educators, and members of the Shichigahama International Association visit as a goodwill delegation

August 2017
•Shichigahama welcomes its thirteenth youth delegation of sixteen students
•A goodwill delegation of seven, including Plymouth Chairman Tavares, visit Shichigahama

August 2018
•Shichigahama sends its fourteenth delegation of fourteen elementary, middle, and high-school students to Plymouth
•A goodwill delegation including Chairman Omachi and three educators also visit Plymouth

August 2019
•Shichigahama welcomes the fourteenth delegation of fifteen students
•A goodwill delegation of four, including the Plymouth Secretary of Education, as well as three others visit Shichigahama

October 2020
•The town of Plymouth has its 400th Anniversary, but celebratory events are cancelled due to the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
•The Shichigahama delegation’s planned trip to Plymouth is cancelled. The trainings and exchanges with Plymouth by the youth delegation are conducted remotely.

2016 Shichigahama Delegation - At Plymouth Plantation

2016 Shichigahama Delegation - Farewell Ceremony

2017 Plymouth Delegation - Welcome Party

2017 Plymouth Delegation - Amphitheater Group Photo

2018 Shichigahama Delegation - Pool Party

2018 Shichigahama Delegation - Receiving a peice of Plymouth Rock

2018 Shichigahama Delegation - Farewell Ceremony

2019 Plymouth Delegation - On top of Town Hall

2019 Plymouth Delegation - Kendama Workshop