Japanese Sister City Program

Japanese Garden

In 1984, the Higashimurayama Friendship Club presented Independence with a Japanese Garden and provided eight gardeners to supervise construction. With the help of the independence Park Department, individual and corporate gifts, the garden was built at the southeast corner of City Hall. In 1985 Mayor Ichikawa, Mayor Potts and citizens from both cities dedicated the Garden to lasting friendship and enduring peace.

On January 20, 2007, a special rededication ceremony was held at the City Japanese Garden. On a day very similar, almost thirty years prior, the Sister City relationship became official. It was an awesome feat to convince people that they could become family with the hometown of President Harry Truman and the vision of Lana White, the persistence of Carolyn Weeks and the will power of Dick King the cities united.

The Japanese garden at the southeast corner of Independence City Hall was donated to the Sister City to honor those founding men and women from both Independence and Higashimurayama. Over the years a plaque had been damaged and a new stone replaced it in commemoration of the completion of the Japanese garden and is engraved with two languages.

The rededication was to officially rename the former Friendship Garden in memory of former Mayor Reiji Kumaki and to honor the two public servants who acted to establish the very special sister city relationship that exists between Higashimurayama City and Independence.

The garden was trimmed by Koji Morimoto in preparation for this important time when co-founder, Dick King, had passed away and the 30th Anniversary was quickly approaching.

In 2008, Alumni Student Emily Collins found the Japanese Sister City another JSCC Friend, Buck Buchan, who directed a garden clean-up day. Citizens of the community are welcome to participate in the Garden Day each October. So many years of history has stood between the two cities, the founders of the commission and the people that volunteered their time to make it a very strong and loving relationship. The Sister City Commission hope that the park brings beauty and peace to those that visit it.

Garden Features