Home Community Federal Way, Hachinohe Celebrate 25th Year as Sister Cities

Federal Way, Hachinohe Celebrate 25th Year as Sister Cities

Photo by Federal Way Public Schools

By Bruce Rutledge, the North American Post

Federal Way and Hachinohe, a port city on Japan’s northeast coast, celebrated 25 years of sister-city relations this year in a creative way that got residents in both cities involved in making art.

The celebration kicked off with an exhibit called “Hidden Gems” at the Federal Way Performing Arts & Events Center that featured photos taken by Hachinohe residents. During the exhibit, which ran through December 5, fourty Federal Way high school students attended a workshop on “photo deco” techniques, where photos are decorated with sequins and other artsy elements. The photo deco technique is popular in Japan.

The Federal Way students each decorated a photo they took and a photo by a Hachinohe resident; these photos were then sent to Hachinohe, where they will be featured in an exhibit at the end of January. After that exhibit ends, the photos taken by the Federal Way high school students will be returned and put on display at Federal Way City Hall.

Federal Way and Hachinohe formed their sister-city relationship in 1993. In 1990, the Hachinohe International Exchange and City Promotions Association was formed to find good partners for sister-city relationships. At the time, Japan was abuzz with the idea of “internationalization,” and many midsize cities began looking for closer relationships with cities overseas. At one point, the mayor of Tacoma suggested that Hachinohe and Federal Way would be a good match. The sister-city deal was quickly sealed after both cities hosted exchange visits.

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Bruce Rutledge worked as a journalist in Japan for 15 years before moving to Seattle to found Chin Music Press, an independent book publisher located in Seattle's historic Pike Place Market.