September 18, 2020
Mr Shingi Tsukahara, President , Society of Descendants
of the First Japanese Embassy to the USA, 1860
Dear Mr. Tsukahara,
I had the high honor of meeting you in 2016 when you visited Washington, DC for the dedication ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard.
I wish to convey to you and members of the Society of Descendants of the First Japanese Embassy to the USA my deepest appreciation for the crystal memento placed in an elegant blue velvet box and the framed photo of the delegation taken at the Washington Navy Yard in 1860 shortly after the delegation arrived. I appreciate the warm messages conveyed in the engravings. The clock on the crystal will ensure that the 97 year old recipient will not miss his appointments.
The Society has conferred upon me a prestigious recognition that will be displayed along with Foreign Minister Maehara Seiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Award received in 2010 and the kyokujitsu-sho received in 2013. I am deeply honored and grateful for this third major recognition from Japan.
I am looking forward to a special occasion to open the bottle of Columbia Valley, WA Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot. It will be consumed with appreciation, slowly and thoughtfully.
In keeping with the mission of the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA), in which I am serving, it is my hope that the Society continues its good work that will strengthen the bond of friendship between the governments and people of Japan and the USA.
/s/Terry T. Shima
Cc: Mrs. Mariko Miyahara (firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Takashi Muragaki (email@example.com)
万延元年遣米使節子孫の会 会長 塚原辰二殿
さらに、いただきましたワインColumbia Valley,WA Chateau Ste Merlotは今後皆様への感謝の念と共にゆっくりと想念しながら楽しみたく思います。
Terry T. Shima
Dear Mr. Terry T. Shima,
Greetings from Japan. I am touched to receive your message appreciating our small token of gratitude.
In May 2016 our society was able to visit Navy Yard in Washington DC for the inauguration of the monument commemorating the visit of the first Japanese Embassy in 1860. We are grateful for your immense efforts to make this possible.
This is the first Japanese monument constructed in Washington DC and it remains as our greatest pride forever.
It is very nice of you to utilize our gift of crystal clock and we believe it will mark passage of time as a bond between Japan and the United States of America. We are to play a role of mediating bridge between two countries.
We are praying for your continuous support for our society. I hope you will have pleasant days without straining yourself in spite of the unstable weather experienced in both countries.
Mr Tsukahara, Thank you for your thoughtful and kind letter.
It is most generous of you to take the time from your busy day to write a letter to me. I did very little to get the plaque placed at the Washington Navy Yard.
The person who made that event happen was Admiral Harry Harris, who is now Ambassador to South Korea. Admiral Harris’ mother was Japanese and he was born at the Yokosuka Naval Base.
Prior to his Seoul assignment, Admiral Harris was stationed in Honolulu as Commander of American forces in the Pacific. He introduced Mr Muragaki to US Navy officers and Mr. Muragaki used his negotiating skills to get the job done.
With best wishes for your, Ms Miyahara and Mr Muragaki’s, good health and success,
Terry T. Shima