In September of 2013, Kamome boarded a ship for Japan and in just under a week, found its way back to Takata High School. This exchange formed a bond between Rikuzentakata and Crescent City. Takata and Del Norte County High Schools became Sister Schools in 2014 and students from each school have traveled to visit the other. The students share their cultures during these visits, exploring language, cooking food and experiencing traditions.
The students at Del Norte County High School demonstrated that a simple gesture can make our big world seem smaller and friendlier. And that kindness from a stranger goes a long way. Takata High School students and the Rikuzentakata community have shown true resilience, rebuilding their lives after tragedy. These two unlikely places have built a strong connection that is strengthened by every visit and cultural exchange. And it is all because of one little boat’s voyage across a vast ocean.
You can purchase this inspiring tale, Kamome. A Tsunami Boat Comes Home, at the Crescent City – Del Norte County Visitors Center or online. With messages on preparedness, community and kindness partnered with beautiful illustrations, it is a great memento for your visit to Crescent City and all of Del Norte County.
Officials from both communities continue to build the relationship, resulting in the mutual signing of a Sister City Agreement. The story continues to develop as relationships grow and strengthen. The California State Senate and California State Assembly both recognized the Sister City relationship in open session in January of 2019. Mayor Futoshi Toba of Rikuzentakata, who lost his wife in the tsunami, stated that this relationship has given him hope for the future of his community, and especially his children.
Travel opens your eyes to new worlds and new ways. It is an opportunity to recharge, and sometimes, to heal. Travel builds connections to places and people you never expect. A tiny boat from Japan showed Crescent City just that. We hope you will visit Del Norte County to experience the Story of Kamome for yourself.
The Planting of the Redwood Gift Tree from Crescent City, California in Rikuzentakata, Japan
To learn more about the 2011 and 1964 Tsunamis that hit Crescent City, California take the self-guided Tsunami Walking Tour through Crescent City complete with interactive audio and video, and see the high-water marks on surviving structures along the way.