The official relationship between Richmond and Daito Town, the predecessor of Unnan City, started in 1995. This connection was rooted in the relationship that Earlham College had with Daito Town since 1986 as a base for its students to have a rural experience in Japanese culture. Since 1999, around 7 junior high and high school students in Daito Town have been dispatched to Richmond almost every summer to deepen interaction during their homestay experience. Then in 2004, Unnan City was founded through a municipal amalgamation which included Daito Town. In 2014, the relationship expanded the City of Richmond and Unnan City becoming Sister Cities.
Unnan City is in Shimane Prefecture, western part of Japan. Unnan has a rich natural environment of forests, rivers, and waterfalls that project calmness and softness. The legend of Yamata-no-Orochi in Izumo Mythology took place in Unnan. It is a great area to experience and learn about the traditional culture of Japan. Unnan City is also famous for its organic farming methods to produce vegetables that are fresh, safe, and tasty.
Delegates of Unnan planted two Fountain Weeping Cherry Trees on the east side of the the Richmond Municipal Building in 2012 and 2014. These trees symbolize connective beauty, our environment, and our international relationship between sister cities.
Eight middle and high school students from Unnan visited in August 2016 and made fantastic memories in Richmond. During their visit, they toured the Municipal Building, Police Department as well as Fire Station One.
Eight students from Unnan visited in the summer of 2018.
Mayor David M. Snow, Valerie Shaffer with EDC, and Professor Dyron Dabney with Earlham College visited Unnan in November 2018 and met the Mayor Hayami. They built new friendships and maintained the on-going collaborative efforts.
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