Duluth Mayor presented with historic letter from the sister city in Japan

The daughter of former Duluth Mayor George D. Johnson, Barbara Auerbach presented Mayor Emily Larson with an original letter written by the mayor of Ohara, Japan that was sent to Mayor Johnson in 1954. The letter tells the tale of the Japanese Peace Bell’s return voyage from Duluth.

Ohara is Duluth’s sister city. The two cities established their sisterhood status back in 1990.

During World War II the Japanese Peace Bell was stolen from a temple in Ohara, Japan. And eventually found its way to Duluth. A member of the Japanese delegation later visited Duluth and recognized the bell which sparked the mission to get it back to Japan.

The presentation place at Enger Park, where a replica of the bell is displayed.

Mayor Emily Larson spoke on its significance: "It feels important now as we experience the the increasing fragility in the world to really pause and to celebrate the connections that we do have and sister cities helps remind us why we need to pay attention to people around the world. Why? Why it’s important to look outside of Duluth in Minnesota, in the United States, to be reminded of who we are and who we can be and how we are in covenant with one another."