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 About the Author of "Dan in Japan" Last updated 
19 Mar 1999 

Item Information
My Name Daniel Laursen
My Location Japan Map
Surrounding Prefectures Map
Shiga Prefecture and Hikone City Map
My Timezone GMT+9
14 hours ahead of EST or
13 hours ahead of EDT (during daylight savings)
My Stay 02 Jan 1999 - 21 Apr 1999

What is Shiga Prefecture? What is Hikone? 19 Mar 1999
A prefecture in Japan is like a state in the USA. Shiga prefecture has what's called a "sister state" relationship with the state of Michigan. Shiga and Michigan exchange political and educational information and people. The weather and surroundings of the two ares are supposedly similar as well (from my experience, I suppose they are). Shiga prefecture is located just north of Kyoto.

Some cities in Shiga prefecture have "sister city" relationships with cities in Michigan. Hikone has such a relationship with Ann Arbor. There's a park in Ann Arbor called Gallup Park. If you ever visit, you might see this stone commemorating the relationship.

In Hikone, about 10-11 years ago, Shiga prefecture funded the larger part of a project to build a university in Japan to house Michigan students who wanted to study Japanese. In exchange, the state of Michigan would accept and place Japanese exchange students into Michigan colleges. Thus, JCMU was founded. And that's where I am now.

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