July & August 2010
- Ikata and Red Wing held their annual summer exchange program. 2010 marked the 8th Ikata Homestay and the 14th Red Wing Homestay. 10 Red Wing students explored Tokyo and Hiroshima before coming to Ikata to spend nine days with their Japanese host families, and eight Ikata students, held up in Tokyo for two days, spent seven days with their American host families before exploring Minneapolis and St. Paul.
- The Ikata CIR launched a blog geared toward students and host families participating in this year's summer exchange program. Check out The Flying Mikan!
- On March 15th, 12 people came to a "kraslice" workshop, where they learned to make colorful and decorative hollow Easter eggs in the drop-pull method used in the Czech Republic.
- The Ikata International Exchange Association held a board meeting on February 3rd to discuss this summer's exchange program. It was tentatively decided that the Ikata group will tour Minneapolis instead of Honolulu or Los Angeles this year.
- A group of elementary school students from the Misaki area got together with the CIR to bake Valentine's Day cookies on February 13th.
- December 4th saw the annual illumination ceremony at Ikata's nursing home, Tsuwabuki House. (Tsuwabuki is the name of Ikata's town plant.)
- On December 19, children and parents gathered in the community center to learn about "Winter Festivals" from the Philippines, America, India, and Israel through crafts, games, and food samples.
- The principals of Ikata's three junior high schools were given information about the 2010 Sister Cities International Young Artists/Young Authors Showcase, the theme for which is "Your World..." It is hoped that many more of Ikata's young people will be inspired to enter the contest this year.
- Ikata received news that junior high school student Saya Shinguchi received honorable mention at the international level of the Sister Cities International Young Artists Showcase competition. Her piece was titled "Striving for Human Rights" and can be viewed at the Sister Cities International website.
- The search function was adjusted so that you should now be able to jump to a page quickly just by entering a keyword such as "Seto," "Misaki," "garbage," "driving," etc.
The 2009 Exchange Program between Ikata and its sister city Red Wing was canceled at the end of May due to fears of the impact of the H1N1 virus on the cities and people involved through international travel and contact.
Other summer events in Ikata continued as usual:
- Sunday, July 26th - Kinahaiya Ikata Festival and fireworks (main summer festival in Old Ikata)
- Friday, July 31st - Machimi festival and fireworks
- Sunday, August 2nd - Seto Hanayome Festival and fireworks (summer festival featuring a bridal fashion show)
On Wednesday, July 29th, Ikata welcomed two new ALTs (Assistant Language Teacher) from the JET Programme to its schools.