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
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.