Okazaki, Japan Friendship

Stone Temple

In a corner of Irvine Terrace Park overlooking the Harbor and the Ocean in Newport Beach stands sculptures and benches dedicated to the friendship between Newport Balboa Rotary and the Rotary Club of Okazaki South in Japan. Dominating the viewpoint is a stone temple, presented in April 1984 by the Rotary Club of Okazaki South to the Citizens of Newport Beach. You can also track the history of the friendly relationship between Okazaki, Japan and Newport Beach, California. 

In the area adjacent to the playground, you will find three benches, dedicated in the memories of Wendell Fish, Robert “Moe” Hamill, and Masao Kato. These three Rotarians initiated an annual exchange of junior high school students between those two communities, which continues to this day. Additionally, the resulting connections were formalized in November 1984 with the designation as “Sister Cities”.

2020 Okazaki Student Exchange Program Application

To its left is a statue of Tokugawa Ieyasu, a native of Okazaki who became the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which united and ruled Japan from 1600 until 1868. This statue was presented by the Rotary Club of Okazaki South to Newport Beach in 2014, celebrating thirty years of Friendship.

Stone Lantern

To its right of the temple is a Stone Lantern, presented by The Rotary Club of Okazaki South to the Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa in June 1989 upon celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of its charter.

Ringing these memorials are six Japanese Black Pines, similarly dedicated to the City and to its Citizens.