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10/20/02 - Tyler

Japanese Visitors Enjoy Sister City of Tyler

On their last day before leaving, several citizens of Yachiyo City took the time to take a guided tour of the Tyler Zoo. For several of them, this was a return visit to our Rose City. Michio Sugo, President of the Japanese Sister City Organization, said through an interpreter, "Every time we come, our relationship together gets deeper and deeper."

The visitors experienced not only East Texas, but also East Texas hospitality. Sugo said, "We really appreciate that we had the opportunity to visit members of Sister City Tyler people, and had the opportunity to visit them in their individual homes."

They all seemed to enjoy their time in Texas. One of the travelers, Michio Kobayashi, explained his fascination with Texas culture, and its eastern parallel. "When you say Texas, you think of John Wayne. When we think of John Wayne, we think of a gunman. When you say gunman, we feel the same as samurai in Japan."

Kobayashi is a sixth degree master of kendo, one of the arts of the samurai. While in East Texas, he bought a cowboy hat as a tribute to the western lawmen, whom he considers the samurai of Texas.

The Japanese delegation came away impressed with East Texas, and East Texans. "All the kindness and welcome that we received from Tyler people," Sugo said, "We really really have nothing more to say than, thank you very much."

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