Fort Wayne joins Japanese ‘Sister City’ in virtual festival

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Sister Cities International announced Friday that it will join Sister City Takaoka, Japan in a traditional three-day festival for the first time virtually.

Takaoka is Fort Wayne’s first Sister City, and since 1977 the two cities have enjoyed sharing cultures through student, community and economic exchanges. This weekend, Fort Wayne continues to share in Takaoka’s culture in a new way, the press release said.

“Takaoka city is the hometown of the Man’yōshū or ‘The Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves’. It is the oldest collection of ancient Japanese poems compiled in 759 CE. To honor this heritage, every October the people of Takaoka celebrate the Man’yō Festival. The main event in this festival is a poetry reading of the full 20-volume anthology which includes 4,516 poems. This recital takes 3 days and nights,” the release said.

Normally, a water stage is constructed in Takaoka’s beautiful Kojo Park for the three-day poetry recital, but due to the pandemic the recital will take place virtually this year through a collection of video recordings. Due to the virtual event, Fort Wayne is now able to participate in the event.

Members the community and the Japanese Saturday School have recorded 23 poems of the anthology in Japanese to celebrate, the release said.

Fort Wayne’s video segment will be broadcasted on Oct. 3, during the first half of Man’yoshu reading.

Man’yōshū or ‘The Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves’ live stream

Due to the 13-hour time difference, Fort Wayne’s segment will start early in the morning at 2:45 a.m. EDT. Everyone who participated in the recording will start appearing at 3:30 a.m.

The festival in will be broadcast on Japanese television, and the live stream will be available on Takaoka’s Man’yō Festival YouTube channel.

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