"Japan-Alaska Sister City Town Pride FESTA" held on January 26

On January 26, the Consular Office in Anchorage held an online "Japan-Alaska Sister City-Town Pride FESTSA (Presentation/Judgment Event)".
This event was held for the purpose of promoting economic exchange and tourism between Japan and Alaska. The Consular Office advertised submissions of works created by citizens and organizations in Japan and Alaska that introduce "town pride" such as shopping street, tourist attractions, traditional culture etc. The event, held on January 26, was attended by 37 Japan-Alaska sister city residents, and 24 pieces of "town pride" were presented for two and a half hours.
Later, as a result of a strict examination by six judges, the following works were selected from 1st to 3rd place.

(Honorific titles are omitted below. Thank you for your understanding.)
1st place: Hiroyasu Noguchi, Teshio Town Local Vitalization Cooperator, in collaboration with the Teshio Seijo Haiku Club, Michiyo Ueda and Ryo Ueda
Title: “Haiku: Depicting the Rich Nature of Teshio”
This video introduces the activities of the Haiku Club, which was started by Teshio Town residents in the 1960s and continues to meet once a month, and how the beautiful nature of Teshio Town is delicately depicted using the words “kigo” that express the seasons.
2nd place: Jaimeson Roa, Palmer High School
Title: “Ichi-go Ichi-e (Once in Lifetime)
This is a video of the Palmer-Saroma Town sister city exchange, which depicts how 10 students and 2 teachers from Palmer Junior High School and Palmer High School in Palmer City enjoyed a visit to Saroma Town, Hokkaido, in June 2023 and stayed at home for 18 days, and other stories of exchage.
3rd place: Megumi Morikawa Beams – The Alaska Japanese Club
Title: “Connections between Taishi in Hyogo and Teshio in Hokkaido, Japan, and Homer City, Alaska, the United States”
The art project is about the exchanges between Homer Elementary School children and Japanese students through online class sessions. Peace themed drawn and painted banners illustrate a friendship without boundaries created by Homer Elementary School students to sister city Teshio Town, and Homer-Teshio sister city 40th anniversary in 2024. The work consists of photos and text, also explaining the process of making the Taiko drums scheduled to be used at the anniversary event this year.
(The Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage decided to present the prize below.)
Japan-Alaska Historical Hero Award: Mr. Mikio Ueoka (Chairman of the Jujiro Wada Memorial Association)
Title: "Matsuyama (Ehime Prefecture)-Alaska Relationship through Jujiro Wada (1875-1937)"
The historical hero Jujiro Wada's adventures in Alaska, his accomplishments such as the discovery of the dog sled trail, Jujiro's love for his mother, and the musical about Jujiro's life, which was performed in Alaska in 2015 by Mikan-Ichiza. The work is consisting of a number of photographs and text that also introduces the establishment of the Jujiro statue at Seward City Seaside Park in 2016.
In addition, the following works were presented at the event:
・Hiroko Harada (Slides with narration explaining the accomplishments of Montgomery Dickson, a victim of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and various events took place at the Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture)
・Taishi Nakajima (A collection of photos that conveys the charm of Alaska created by the author, who works as a veterinarian in Fairbanks, Alaska. A message from the author to his close friend who lives in the sister city, Monbetsu City)
・Dale Walther (Photographs of Alaska's nature and 12 English haiku that describe them - Haiku collection)
・Kevin Co (Ginkgo seeds that survived after the atomic bombing in Hiroshima were presented to the citizens of Homer (Rotary Club members), and the grown ginkgo trees were donated to the public library with the “Sadako Sasaki'' exhibition. Photo collection explaining the process)
・Ikenobo Ikebana Classroom Anchorage/Alaska Branch (A work that explains in detail the biweekly Ikebana class taught by Kay Gatlin with photos and explanatory text)
・Suzuki Junko Hovey (Video and audio work that vividly depicts the early morning work at “Great Harvest Company,” an Anchorage bakery, and the charity work carried out by Great Harvest Company, based on interviews conducted at the work site)
・Daisaku Yamamoto (A work that introduces the familiar and beautiful nature of Alaska with a large number of photographs and explanatory text)
・Kai Thomas (A work consisting of landscape photographs and explanatory text of Anchorage that introduces various creative light--ups to enjoy the Alaskan winter, which is thought to be filled with mere long dark days.)
・Barbara Bachmeier (A work that provides a professional explanation of the rare beekeeping industry in Alaska, explains the differences between the beekeeping industry and honey in Alaska and in Japan. It also mentions mutual exchange and business promotion between the two.)
・Hiroko Harada (This video piece describes a Japanese language teacher Alex Salov, who passed away in 2020, and who was the vice president of the Japan Alaska Association, and his activities and achievements through interviews with students and narration.)
・Keizo Sugimoto (The work describes Alaska with interesting photos and writings, such as photos he took with a resident when he visited Little Diomede Island, located near the border with Russia, which is difficult for ordinary Japanese people to visit.)
・Akiko Sugimoto (The author explains stories about her current haiku creating activity in Alaska, which started by chance, and, in May 2024, it will be her 100th participation in the haiku collection, and the existence of readers in remote areas of Japan inspires her creations. A written work that introduces the author's activities in Alaska with interesting and encouraging text)
・Rex Hovey (A work that arranges 6 photos taken of ice fishing, a popular pastime in Alaska in winter, which are arranged on the basis of an aurora photo)
・Sami Hovey (Tourism promotion video capturing scenery and trails at Eagle River Natural Center near Anchorage to explain to Japanese people the possibilities for winter sports activities in Alaska)
・Towa Yazaki (Author, 1st grade junior high school student of the Anchorage Japanese School, explains his work that was submitted to the school logo design contest held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the school's founding. The logo work, which is an arrangement of Salmon, the Japanese and USA flags, won 3rd place. The work explains his story through photos and text.)
・Joy Merry (Photograph work depicting the "Onigiri Action" in which 4 students from Palmer High School taught 115 students from Palmer Junior High School how to make onigiri balls)
・Hiroko Harada (The work explains a story about the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, which performed the Alaska State Song online in hopes for the people's good health during the COVIUD-19 pandemic, and its conductor, Randall Graig Fleischer, who passed away shortly after the performance.)
・Emily Reich (Palmer High School students held an origami class during Christmas to promote Palmer-Saroma sister city exchange. A work consisting of photos and explanatory text introducing the event)
・Kazue Mori Walther (A work consisting of various photographs taken of the winter mountains and trees of Alaska that can be seen from her home)
・Dale Walther (Video work that collects various views from the train window travelling from Anchorage to Seward and tourist attractions such as the Alaska Sea-life Center in Seward.)