BATH — If sushi, samurais, ninjas, anime and manga float your boat, the Bath-Tsugaru Sister City Exchange Program may be worth checking out.
Bath’s next trip to Japan will be July 31 to Aug. 11. Students and adults from the Bath area travel there each summer to visit Tsugaru City, where they stay with host families, tour the area and take part in local festivals.
An informational meeting will be held in the home economics room of Bath Middle School, 6 Old Brunswick Road, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12.
The friendship was born out of a shipwreck. Poor weather battered the Cheseborough in 1889, running the Bath-built vessel against a shoal a mile from the shore of Skariki, a small Japanese village. Townspeople managed to rescue and care for a few crew members, which fostered a strong connection between people who might not otherwise have met.
That goodwill led to a delegation of officials from Shariki – which later merged with four other villages to form Tsugaru City – traveling to Bath a century after the wreck to propose a formal sister-city relationship. The proposal became a reality in 1993 with the signing of a declaration of the relationship.
The program still goes strong, with Bath holding its second annual Japan culture weekend last March.
Financial aid for the trip may be available, and is determined by merit, need and interest.