Clearwater Guiders find welcome in Japan

Two Girl Guide leaders travel to meet group that visited Canada in 2014

A welcoming party stands at the foot of the steps at Hamamatsu Railway Station in Japan on April 1 (not an April Fool’s Day Joke!). Pictured are (back

The story began in England in the summer of 1990. Along with two other Guiders and seven teenaged Pathfinders from the Kootenays, I attended an International Girl Guide/Girl Scout camp near Aylesbury, England. Here, in our sub-camp, we became friends with Akiko Nishikawa, then 19 years old, from Hamamatsu, Japan. Two years later, Akiko came to the Kootenays for a hiking/camping trip.

Through her mother, Asako Nishikawa, we have kept in touch over the intervening years. Asako sent calendars, pins and trinkets depicting Girl Scouts in Japan and photos of their troupe.

A few years ago I passed these along to Guider Jean Nelson of Clearwater, along with Asako’s address. Soon, letters were being mailed back and forth between Clearwater’s Girl Guides and members of Troop 24 in Hamamatsu. Yoriko Hokai, also of Clearwater, was invaluable in assisting with translations and more.

jpn houseJean’s next achievement was in arranging for four of these Girl Scouts and one leader to come from Japan to attend a large Girl Guide camp in Enderby in 2014. After this camp, called SOAR, the girls and their leader, Naomi Yamamoto, came to Clearwater for home-stay. Their activities were reported in this newspaper on July 31, 2014. One of the girls, Manaka, is Akiko’s daughter.

“Want to go to Japan?” Jean and I said to each other about a year ago. Emails went back and forth arranging this connection with our “Sisters in Guiding” in Hamamatsu. It all came true as seen in the photo of the welcoming party. These are the four girls who came with Naomi to BC; Akiko and I had no trouble recognizing each other. Fusako, with her considerable skills in English, helped in making all the arrangements.

Shown in a separate photo is Asako Nishikawa  – who had been outside the station making sure her car was not towed away. Once our luggage was aboard, she drove us to the thoughtfully prepared welcoming ceremony with more girls and leaders. Following that, we went to her traditional Japanese home where Jean and I stayed – sleeping on the floor on futons.

 

Many more enjoyable events involving girls and leaders continued for the next few days. It feels as if the circle has been completed.

Inset photo: Asako Nishikawa stands in the backyard of her family’s traditional Japanese home in Hamamatsu, Japan. Clearwater Guiders Kay Knox and Jean Nelson stayed there near the start of a recent two-week visit to Japan.

 

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing senior couple found

A senior couple from the Lower Mainland have been reported missing

Recycling workshop at Clearwater Library

TNRD to hold workshops at libraries across region

Clearwater RCMP weekly police report

Clearwater RCMP responded to 41 calls for service over this past week

Editor, The Times:

Proportional Representation could save our democracy

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

B.C.’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Most Read