Local farmers present mikans to M.C. Perry
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Matthew C. Perry Elementary School hosted the 6th Annual Mikan Presentation at the school’s gymnasium at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Feb. 1, 2016.
The local Iwakuni Agricultural and Societal Cooperative Associations presented 20 boxes of mikans to M.C. Perry Elementary School. Mikans are orange citrus fruits that resemble tangerines and are a symbol of Japan’s agricultural export business. Various farmers from Suo-Oshima Island provided approximately 2,000 mikans to the students and staff.
“I am happy to be here because the students are very appreciative for the presentation, and it was very well received,” said Motoi Yoshimura, leading board director and union president at the Yamaguchi Oshima Agricultural Cooperative Association. “The farmers worked very hard to produce the delicious mikans, and I hope that everyone here in the community remembers the mikans.”
The event provided students and staff the opportunity to strengthen their bond with Iwakuni residents. The students offered their guests gifts to show their gratitude.
“This is a good opportunity for our Japanese guests to come in and have the chance to see the base, school and also to share a little piece of what they do for us,” said Larry Wahl, a psychologist at the M.C. Perry School District. “Opportunities like this are an important part of building cultural friendship and it’s very important that we’re good ambassadors to promote this friendship.”
Students and staff at the elementary school attended the presentation. A couple of students spoke and read poems on stage to their peers and then recited them in Japanese to the local farmers as a sign of appreciation.
“I like the mikans,” said Kenji Brunson, a M.C. Perry fifth grader. “My favorite part about them is their sweetness, and I was very happy to be a part of this presentation.”
Yoshimura and the other farmers plan to continue these presentations in the future in hopes of building better relations between the community and the base.