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Tolling Kobe Bell Honors Friendship

Karin Zaugg Black, former president of Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association, and her son Sam, ring the Kobe Bell at the 22nd Kobe Earthquake Remembrance Ceremony on Jan. 16. Photo courtesy of Brian Chu Photography

By The North American Post Staff

Local community members gathered on Monday at Kobe Bell at Seattle Center for the 22nd-year anniversary remembrance of the Kobe Earthquake. The ceremony reflected and honored over 6,000 victims killed by a magnitude 7.4 mega earthquake on Jan. 15, 1995, in Kobe, Seattle’s first sister city. The Kobe Bell roof was also renewed as a symbol to celebrate the 60th anniversary for both cities’ friendship.

Attendees included Consul General Masahiro Omura, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim, Kobe Trade Information Office Director Tetsuya Sometani and other community members. Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America led the blessing ceremony.

A moment of silence was given at 12:46 p.m., which is the same time in Seattle that the earthquake occurred 22 years ago. Each participant tolled the bell to mourn the thousands of victims.

In celebrating the 60th sister city anniversary, Mayor Ed Murray visited Kobe last year while Kobe Mayor Kizo Hisamoto and his delegation will visit Seattle later this year.

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The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.