Katsuura City

On November 1, 2014, 20 Friendship Blossoms dogwood trees were planted at the Municipal Cultural Center in Katsuura City, Chiba Prefecture. In 1869, the U.S. steamship Hermann was shipwrecked off the coast of Katsuura resulting in the loss of 210 Japanese soldiers and 20 Americans. Buddhist memorial services were held yearly for the Japanese victims of the wreck, but not for the Americans. In 2013, Katsuura Mayor Saruda held a memorial for both the Japanese and American victims at a meeting of the “Association to reveal the Black Ship Hermann to the World”, of which he is chairman. A representative from the American embassy was present and future memorials are planned to commemorate the victims of both nationalities to strengthen ties between Katsuura and the United States. The planting of these dogwood trees is another step to further that cause of international relations.

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