Updated at 2022-08-09
Over the past seven years, Taoyuan City has continued to strengthen its international exchanges, raise its international visibility, and gradually enhance the international perspective of the public and private sectors to create business opportunities. To date, it has forged alliances with 33 cities around the world, laying a solid foundation for city diplomacy. In addition to sharing governance expertise, it also maintains ties through various exchange activities.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, international cities have only been able to communicate with each other online through video conferencing. The "Meet Our Friendship Cities in Taoyuan" Exhibition had participation from 14 sister cities and friendly cities from five countries in Asia, the Americas and Europe. Commemorative gifts and wonderful products from various countries were on display, enabling visitors to the Taoyuan exhibition to enjoy a taste of cities overseas and feel the glow of warmth and friendship from afar.
Miyagi Prefecture is located in Japan’s northeast. Matsushima is one of the Three Views of Japan and a major tourist attraction in the prefecture. The four seasons see spring cherry blossom, summer sun, autumn leaves turning red, and winter hoarfrost. In addition to the beautiful scenery, tourists love to trace the steps of Date Masamune, the Warring States military commander, and to taste the world-renowned Sendai beef. Miyagi was deeply affected by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake but has revived with the support of Taiwan and other international friends.
The exchange between Taoyuan City and Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture blossomed during the pandemic. When COVID-19 first spread across Japan, Taoyuan, which is home to many mask producers, immediately donated medical masks. Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan met Governor Yoshihiro Murai of Miyagi Prefecture online for the first time on October 18, 2021, and the two sides exchanged their views on the future.
The kokeshi is a traditional wooden Japanese doll made in Miyagi Prefecture. It was first made as a souvenir in the hot spring resorts in the Tohoku region of Japan and proved very popular with children. On display are two types of kokeshi: the Naruko doll squeaks when the neck is turned, while the Togatta doll has a large head and a small body. Together with the Sakunami, Yajiro, and Hijiori types, the Naruko and Togatta dolls were designated national traditional crafts in 1981.
Sendai-hira is an ancient fine silk fabric that was first woven by the imperial weavers of the Sendai Domain (the ancient name for the government). It was used for knitting hakama (kimono pants), happi (a traditional Japanese coat), and Noh costumes. The exhibits here are a wallet and a business card holder made of Sendai-hira.
Tsutsumi-yaki is the traditional pottery of Miyagi. In the Edo period, most vessels were fired in the Sendai feudal lord’s imperial kiln, which was the first of its kind. This work is boldly painted with the distinctive black-and-white “sea cucumber glaze.”
Shiroishi paper originated under the industrial policy of Sendai Domain during the Edo period and was an alternative source of income for farmers in winter, when the land lay fallow. The paper surface is uneven, the pattern plain, and soft and solid to the touch.
Musubi Maru is the promotional mascot for tourism in Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture. His face is made of rice balls of Miyagi Prefecture rice and he’s wearing the helmet of Date Masamune, a famous Japanese general during the Warring States Period. Musubi Maru likes to eat saury, a specialty of Miyagi Prefecture that goes well with miso soup.
Matsukawa Daruma is the main school of the traditional Miyagi craft Sendai papier-mache dolls. With its gorgeous colors and vivid expression, it is a much-loved mascot.