–submitted by Frank Stein; photos by Rob Stroud
Club members Sharyl Kato and Majid Sarmadi organized a beautiful evening dinner and Japanese cultural program at the Sushi Muramoto Restaurant on March 27. The food, in buffet-style, was artistically arranged. Rotarians and their guests attending mixed with members of the Japanese community in Madison.
Jo Oyama-Miller presented an excellent overview of the relationship between the sister cities of Madison and Obihiro which was formed in 2003. Because of this relationship, there have been a number of inter-cultural exchanges between the two cities. One of the commonalities between the two cities is the mutual interest in organic farming. There are plans to establish an all-year farmers market in Madison with the help and experience from the Obhiro community. Another common interest is in community mental health. A vocational rehabilitation program centered around organic farming in Obhiro has been established as a model program.
Matt Morris, one of the chefs in the Muramoto Restaurant, told us about his experience spending 7 weeks learning Japanese cuisine and sharing his knowledge of American cooking.
We also were shown the kimono (Sharyl Kato shown at left with a traditional kimono) and some of the newer versions where the obi is already tied. We had a lively discussion of the do and don’ts in the Japanese culture and the significance of bowing and eye contact. All in all, it was a delightful evening of good food, camaraderie, education and cultural exchanges.