YAMANASHI PREFECTURE, JAPAN
SISTER STATE AGREEMENT
"When you look at Japanese traditional architecture, you have to look at Japanese culture and its relationship with nature. You can actually live in a harmonious, close contact with nature - this very unique to Japan."
– Tadao Ando
Population: 880,000 people
Area: 4,465 sq.km
Religion: Shinto, Buddhism
Major Attractions: Mt. Fuji, Southern Alps national Park, Shosenkyo Gorge
Government: 50 executive bran headed by governor; legislative branch composed of a Prefectural Assembly
In 1959, a typhoon devastated Yamanashi Prefecture. In response, Iowa sent 35 breeding hogs and 100,000 bushels of corn to help with the recovery – an event that is famously known today as the Iowa Hog Lift. (Further information about the Iowa/Yamanashi Hog Lift can be found in this 1988 account by Michael E. Delaney.)
Yamanashi and Iowa would become Sister States in 1960 by a formal agreement, signed between Governor Norman Erbe of Iowa and Governor Hisashi Amano of Yamanashi. This agreement marked Iowa's very first Sister State relationship.
The people of Yamanashi and Iowa continue to grow and nurture this relationship. Over the years there have been exchanges in students, nursing, agriculture, young professionals and even bacon! The list of exchanges is endless and it continues to grow.
To connect further with Yamanashi Prefecture, visit the website for the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago.
Recent & Upcoming Delegations
Sept 9 - 30, 2018
Aug 17 - 7, 2018
Ten Yamanashi college students are spending 3 weeks in ESL courses and job shadowing
Aug 12 - Aug 27, 2018
Ms. Aimi Shimizu is touring many Iowa universities and colleges to learn how to improve Yamanashi higher education
July 31 - Aug 5, 2018
Yamanashi students and teachers are visiting different high schools and touring Iowa
Mar 10 - 16, 2018
I-LEAD and Iowa Corn International Study and Leadership Program held in Japan
Feb 16 - 19, 2018
Yamanashi businessmen are visiting the Iowa BaconFest in order to see how it can be implemented in Japan
Jul 26 - 31, 2017
Yamanashi High School students are experiencing Iowa culture through home hosts and touring Iowa
Meet the Leadership
Chuck Safris has served on the Yamanashi Committee in various positions over the last 15 years. He grew up in Des Moines, graduated from Roosevelt and attended Iowa State University. Chuck then graduated in 1963 and went on to the US Air Force for seven years where he served in Vietnam.
Chuck then returned to Des Moines and worked at Iowa Power and Light Co. (Midamerican Energy) in Management. He retired as assistant VP of Telecommunications and Data Services.
Chuck is interested in natural science including fossils and minerals. He enjoys canoeing, camping and bicycle riding and serves on several other community volunteer committees, including Living History Farms.
Cover image from Flickr user T-Mizo
Map from 123rf