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Zimmerli Art Museum Hosts Exhibit Celebrating Japan-Rutgers Relationship

Historical Relationship Dates Back More Than a Century
Sister Cities
New Brunswick has four sister cities, including two in Japan. Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—From September 22 until July 31, the Zimmerli Art Museum on Hamilton Street will host Meiji Photographs: A Historic Friendship Between Rutgers and Japan.

The exhibit will take place from 12 pm-5 pm, on the forth Sunday of every month, at the Kusakabe-Griffis Room of the museum.

The photographs were all taken in Japan during the Meiji period, which spanned from 1868 to 1912. 

The exhibit includes work from numerous European and American photographers, such as Felice Beato, an Italian-British photographer, and one of his former assistents, Kusakabe Kimbei. 

Japan and the City of New Brunswick have long had a strong relationship amongst each other. 

From 1867 to 1870, Kusakabe Toro, a samurai from the Japanese village of Fukui, attended Rutgers College, and became among the first Japanese to attend an American University.

During his education, Kusakabe Toro studied mathematics and science. 

However, he passed away soon before his graduation, and was posthomously awarded his college degree and acceptance into Phi Beta Kappa. 

Since 1982, New Brunswick has been the Sister City of Fukui and Tsuruoka in Japan.  Government officials and schoolchildren often take trips to meet their counterparts oversees. 

For example, 5th grade students in Livingston Elementay School are eligible to enter an exchange program in Fukui, while Japanese students of the equivilant grade level come to New Brunswick. 

As we reported last month, Shinichi Higashimura, the Mayor of Fukui, Japan visited New Brunswick as part of the Sister Cities program.

Higashimura spoke at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and toured the city.  He also attended a lecture and exhibit at Rutgers' Alexander Library, and visted the grave site of Kusakabe Toro at New Brunswick's Willow Grove Cemetary.