Japanese history and culture will take center stage in New Brunswick on Friday and Saturday during the 30 anniversary of the city's "Sister Cities" arrangement with Fukui, Japan.
The Sister Cities program pairs international cities together for the purpose of diplomacy, student exchanges, and shared programs. New Brunswick's also has a sister cities arrangement with Tsuruoka, Japan, a city in Hungary and a city in Ireland.
The schedule of events is as follows:
- 2-3 p.m. Friday, March 1: A presentation on Kusakabe Taro by Yasuko Ito Watt, Emeritus Associate Professor of Japan Language at Indiana University-Bloomington. Kusakabe Taro was the first Japanese student to attend Rutgers College and died in 1870, two weeks before his intended date of graduation. He was also the first Japanese student to graduate from an American college. His grave is located in Willow Grove Cementary on Morris Street. The lecture will be held at Alexander Library, 169 College Ave.
- 10 a.m. Saturday, March 2: A Buddhist ceremony will be held at Taro's grave in Willow Grove Cemetery on Morris Street.
- 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday, March 2: A Japanese culture program will showcase calligraphy, origami, Kimono dressing, Japanese dance and flower arranging will be held at the First Reformed Church, 9 Bayard St.
All events are free and open to the public and hosted by the New Brunswick Sister Cities Association.