The Friendship Bell in San Diego

Aug 26, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Part of the Centennial Celebration is in recognition of the formal relations and friendship between the United States and Japan, which started in May of 1958, when the citizens of Yokohama presented this Friendship Bell to the citizens of San Diego.

It also served to mark the establishment of the sister city relationship between San Diego and Yokohama, which was the first such affiliation on the West Coast.

Standing 6 feet high and weighing in at almost two and one-half tons, the Friendship Bell is rung by being struck with the large wooden ram that’s pictured.

Added to the Friendship Bell Pavilion, The Girl in the Red Shoes, pictured on the bottom left, was presented as a gift to the citizens of San Diego to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Yokohama, Japan.

At the dedication ceremony, on June 27, 2010, the Chairman of the Yokohama-San Diego Friendship Committee, Masayuki Suzuk, said, “It is our hope that the statue will continue to strengthen bonds between our ports, cities and countries.”

Sculpted by artist, Munehiro Komeno, the three foot tall young girl is holding a rose, which represents Yokohama and a carnation–which symbolizes San Diego.

With history, culture, creativity, and symbolism as part of the human experience, public art is everywhere–you just have to look for it.

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