Inviting Art contest winners to Japan from Sarajevo.
Time flies, and our Cherry Blossom Project meets its 15th year.
The cherry trees we have donated are now blooming in 6 cities in Bosnia i Hercegovina.
Ambassador Ogawa says that our cherry trees are loved much by people in
the country, and some other cities express their hope to get some trees
from our project.
In 2014, we started an art contest for children from 7 - 15 in the theme
of Peace under the cooperation of Sarajevo City. This year, it is 20 years
since BiH and Japan established diplomatic relations. At this meaningful
occasion, we wanted to invited three contest winners, and a lady who has
helped our project for a long time. We started the preparation in last
During the preparation period, we searched for a method to decrease the
cost, preparing necessary documents, buying award goods, contacting to
Sarajevo City. Before visiting there in April, I fell ill and seemed that
I could not go. But somehow I recovered and could go there. Three cities
out of six where we planted trees we visited to do after care , and we
could really hold the Art Contest of Peace. Ambassador Ogawa offered us
a place and also offered Ambassador Prize, directly choosing the winner.
Three winners were selected, and we went to the school of each winner to
make an award ceremony.
After we came back to Japan, much preparation was necessary. Tickets, documents,
visa, parents' consent, and so on. Thanks to Ambassador Ogawa, things went
well and children could really come to Japan.
| Welcome to Japan!
At Narita International Airport
They arrived at Narita on June 30th.
The lady who takes care of the girls is Ms Vajka Kazic.
Three girls are Dzejla Subacic (13), Hena Skaljic (12), and Zerina Muminovic
4 of them are Japanese, the members of our Group Ipil Ipil, including me.
|Sanbonyanagi Primary School
On July 1, we visited Sanbonyanagi Primary School in Nagano Prefecture.
This school supported BiH when the newly born country first participated
in Olympic games in Nagano. Last year, we exhibited the pictures of the
winners of the contest here in this school.
This day, the whole school warmly welcomed the girls from Sarajevo.
| The Royal Dog Hachi in front of Shibuya Station
Third day was a sightseeing day. Seeing around Tokyo.
The famous dog Hachi, that waited for his dead master at the exit of Shibuya
Station for many years. Meiji-Jingu Shrine, Fashionable Harajyuku Street,
This night, we had a party at my house, with some members of our group.
| Garden party at Yoyokaku
The 4th day. We went to Kyushu. 9 hours' travel to our destination Karatsu. During the train journey it was raining on and off.
At Higashi Karatsu Station, a big smile of Harumi Okochi welcomed us. We are invited to stay at Yoyokaku. Harumi offered 2 nights' stay to make the girls experience Japanese style accommodation.
Girls hurriedly changed into swimming suits and run down the beach , jumped
in the sea!
The night's party was a barbecue, prepared by Harumi and some of my highschool
mates. Two Principals of primary schools were invited too. Harumi's two
little grandsons entertained the Sarajevo girls.
After eating, children went down the beach again to enjoy fireworks. It
must be a memorable night for the girls whose country faces the sea at
only one narrow place.
Fifth day. We visited Taishi Primary School in Karatsu, where the pictures
of Sarajevo children were exhibited last year. Looking round the school,
visiting every class, and in one class girls learned how to write a Chinese
character "Heart" in black Japanese ink with a brush. They were
artistic and wrote character like a picture.
| At Taishi Primary School
In the sixth graders' class, they discussed about the theme of 'Atomic
bomb and peace'. Dzeila talked how important Peace is.
They played games together, and enjoyed friendship between two countries.
A farewell card, written in Bosnia language, sent away the happy girls.
After that, we visited the Mayor of Karatsu, whom I met some years ago when BiH Ambassador visited Karatsu. Prof. Inaba, who is the Chairman of the Educational Committee asked many questions. Mayor's gift pleased the girls. We went around some spots in the city, and the scenery from Karatsu Castle impressed them much. White sand beach, green belt of pine trees, sea, town,... these were viewed from the top of the Castle.
After lunch, they went back to Yoyokaku, and jumped into the sea again.
It was only a short while, but they enjoyed their sea thoroughly.
Next destination was Hiroshima. Here they once again studied about Peace.
On July 6, they left Narita International Airport, with a heartful memories
of Japan. They will never forget this journey.