International News & Resources

The Worthington International Friendship Association is committed to staying connected and providing relevant cultural information and resources during this time of social distancing. We invite you to learn more via the links below and continue to check back as new content will be added on an ongoing basis. 

WIFA-SIFA Joint Program - Held Virtually December 16/17, 2020

zoom opening slide (post event)The Worthington & Sayama International Friendship Associations held their first-ever live virtual program, bringing Worthington and Sayama citizens together to share cultures and conversation. The program, which took place in Worthington on December 16, 2020 and in Sayama on December 17, 2020 due to the 14-hour time difference, featured a Sayama cooking expert who shared a traditional Japanese dish that is prepared for the New Year’s holiday. She demonstrated the customs of the preparation and presentation for the New Year’s celebration meal. Worthington shared the sights, sounds and experiences of a traditional Worthington holiday season with community and neighborhood holiday lights and decorations, and family traditions such as baking Christmas cookies, hanging stockings and other family traditions. There was an opportunity for questions and answers and additional conversation after the program. View the program in its entirety here.

We are continuing to connect virtually with our friends in Sayama and plan to bring our members another joint program featuring musical performances from students in both Sayama in Worthington. This program is tentatively scheduled for the evening of Saturday, March 13, 2021. More information will be shared when it is available.

Japan’s Blue Impulse Aerobatic Team Salutes Medical Workers

Flying out of sister city Sayama, Japan’s Iruma Air Base on May 29, 2020, the Japanese Blue Impulse aerobatic flight team few across Sayama and the Tokyo area as a show of respect and appreciation to medical personnel who are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Watch the video here:

Read the news story in The Japan Times

The Blue Impulse team also performed at the 2016 Iruma Air Show. Watch the complete video here. 

golf flyerTokyo 2020 Olympic updates

Although the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed, there is still a lot of planning and anticipation building for when athletes and fans from across the globe can come together for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Sister city, Sayama, Japan is hosting the golf events. Keep updated through the links below.

Ikenobo Offering

Ikenobo Society of Floral Art, or Ikebana, is located in Kyoto, Japan, at a Buddhist temple called Rokkakudo. Rokku is the word for the number six because the temple has six sides. The school of Ikenobo is over 550 years old. One of the temple ikebana traditions is to have a flower arrangement on the front of the temple, something like altar flowers in church.

The video below shows a particular ceremony performed on April 17, 2020, to offer flowers more formally as part of a public prayer. Both the Headmaster of the school, Sen-ei Ikenobo, and his daughter, the Headmaster Designate, Senko Ikenobo, participate in this offering, side-by-side. In addition, they explain in Japanese, with English subtitles, the meaning of what they are doing. We hope you will find this video interesting and encouraging, as all of us are concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


More coronavirus related information and inspiring stories being shared during this global pandemic