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Kurashiki, Japan

The 3rd of 21 street lamps to be installed as part of Mischa Kuball’s Solidarity Grid.
Its installation was celebrated in November 2013.

The people of Christchurch’s sister-city Kurashiki, in Japan’s western Okayama Prefecture, have donated one of the streetlamps currently located in the historical Bikan area to the Solidarity Grid.

The Bikan area is known for its faithfully maintained white-walled merchant storehouses that are located on streets once crowded with carts. Previously a busy area of trade and industry, the area’s historical character attracts galleries, coffee shops and tourists.

The year 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of the Christchurch/Kurashiki Sister City relationship. Kurashiki has been involved intimately in the rebuild of Christchurch and donated $300,000 to Christchurch’s earthquake recovery. The donation of the streetlamp will be a further symbol of the support of Kurashiki for the rebuild of Christchurch.

Kurashiki's Mayor Ito visited Christchurch in mid-November 2013 and, while here, she dedicated her city’s streetlamp, which was installed on Monday, 18th November.

“I am thrilled that we’ve been able to participate in Christchurch’s Solidarity Grid project by gifting a streetlamp from Kurashiki’s historical tourist spot, the ‘Bikan Area’,” said Mayor Ito. “Christchurch and Kurashiki formed the first sister-city relationship between Japan and New Zealand and we now welcome this milestone 40th anniversary.

“We send this streetlamp as a ‘light of hope’, representing the friendship between our two cities, and as a symbol of recovery from the Christchurch earthquake. I hope for a quick recovery for Christchurch and that the bonds of friendship between our cities continue long into the future.”