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Blast From The Past A Taste Of Japan

Open Day Gives Blast From The Past A Taste Of Japan

Sunday, May 13, will see the much-awaited inaugural Open Day take place at the Hutt Minoh Friendship House.

The historic 1904 building, originally named Norbury, which overlooks the city from its Normandale Road site, has been extensively restored by the Hutt City Council and Hutt City's International Co-operating City Minoh, Japan. It was officially opened in May 1999. The forthcoming Open Day is being organised by the recently appointed Hutt Minoh Friendship House Management Committee and will coincide with the first official visit to Hutt City by the new Mayor of Minoh City, Isao Kajita.

The purpose of the House is to provide exhibitions and information on various aspects of Japanese culture so that people can experience, learn and understand the Japanese way of life. It is also a place to facilitate exchanges and on-going friendship between the people of New Zealand and Japan. The Open Day will begin with an invitation-only official opening and speeches. Activities for the general public will get under way at noon.

Activities will include demonstrations of Japanese cooking, kendo (Japanese sword fighting), taiko drumming and obon dancing, with a chance for the public to "have a go" at the kendo and taiko. There will be displays of bonsai and ikebana (a traditional Japanese style of flower arranging) as well as information on the fascinating history of the House and on groups in the community involved in cultural exchange with Japan. A competition is being run through local colleges to design a logo for the Friendship Trust. Entries will be on display at the Open Day. Admission to the day is free and refreshments will be on sale.

Members of the public are encouraged to take the shuttle, which will be running from the Bridge Street bus stop up to the House, or alternatively to make the 5 minute walk from Bridge Street across the Normandale Bridge and up the stairs from the Jubilee Park entrance to the House. The Open Day is expected to wrap up at about 2.30pm.

Hutt Minoh House Friendship Trust

The Hutt Minoh Friendship House Trust has been established to manage the Hutt Minoh Friendship House. Members of the Trust are as follows - Lower Hutt Mayor John Terris (chairperson), the Mayor of Minoh City (recently elected Mayor, Isao Kajita, is expected to take up his place on the Trust in May), Ngatata Love (Wellington Tenths Trust), Sumio Miyata (Minoh Association for Global Awareness), Wellington City Councillor Judy Siers and Porirua City Councillor Murray Woodhouse.

The Management Committee was appointed by the Trust to carry out the day-to-day management tasks and to promote the House. Chaired by Anne-Marie Beeler (Secretary of the Normandale Residents' Association), the Committee's members are Glenda Barratt (City Councillor and President of the Hutt Sister Cities Foundation), local historian Rosemary McLennan, Gary Cleaver from Hutt City Council's Property Division and Ariana Smith who is the International Relations Co-ordinator for Hutt City Council and also Secretary to the Management Committee.


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