(Dublin, Ohio) – Delegates from Mashiko, Japan will get a taste of Ireland while visiting Dublin during the world’s largest three-day Irish festival.
From August 6 – 10, Mashiko’s Vice Mayor Hiroshi Houshito and Superintendent Ryoichiro Oka will explore the City along with renowned artist Ikuzo Fujiwara and his wife Takako Fujiwara of Fujiwara Earthen Studio.
In addition to the Dublin Irish Festival, the delegation will visit with officials from the City of Dublin, Dublin City Schools, Washington Township and Dublin Arts Council as part of a Friendship City exchange.
The City of Dublin and Mashiko, Japan signed a declaration to become Friendship Cities at a community reception December 15, 2015 in Dublin. Since then, the two communities have discussed numerous cultural exchange opportunities, to be coordinated by the Dublin Friendship Association consisting of residents and representatives of Dublin civic organizations.
About the Friendship Cities
The partnership marks Dublin’s first official international cultural exchange. The agreement states that Dublin and Mashiko will participate in at least one exchange annually, in areas such as education, local government, business or the arts. Friendship City relationships are generally less formal than those between Sister Cities, with the potential to evolve to that status.
The two communities first connected in early 2015, when then-Mayor Michael Keenan visited Japan in an effort to strengthen economic relationships and expand Dublin’s international presence. Keenan and Mashiko Mayor Tomoyuki Otsuka found a cultural exchange would be mutually beneficial, and began developing an agreement.
Mashiko is a town located in Haga District, Tochigi Prefecture in Japan. With a population of approximately 25,000, Mashiko is known for its pottery or mashikoyaki. The art form has even made its way to Dublin through exhibits by artist Masayuki Miyajima at the Dublin Arts Council.
Dublin’s Japanese ties are reflected throughout the community. Dublin is home to 2,200 Japanese nationals, the highest population in the state. Twenty-five Japanese businesses in Dublin employ nearly 500 people.
In another shared connection, Dublin Taiko drummers and Mashiko’s Tenjin Kaze no Kai taiko group – of which Mayor Otsuka is a member – both studied under renowned Taiko Master Eitetsu Hayashi. One of Mayor Otsuka’s childhood friends, Isao Yamakawa, is a Mashiko native and current resident of Dublin actively involved with Dublin Taiko.
About the Dublin Irish Festival:
Irish attitude is all you need to experience the Dublin Irish Festival in Dublin, Ohio, USA. For 29 years, the first weekend in August has been reserved for what is now the largest three-day Irish Festival on the planet. More than 100,000 guests are expected to attend. With 7 stages, 65 acts and more than 535 performers, there is something for everyone. Visit www.DublinIrishFestival.org for details.
Sarah McQuaide, Public Information Officer
614.410.4523 – Desk
614.593.9438 – Cell