Friends of Lawrence

Hiratsuka Journal Home Page Project

FOL Member Profiles

The FOL group in Hiratsuka was founded in September, 1995 as a counterpart to the Friends of Hiratsuka organization in Lawrence. At monthly meetings of the HIEA editorial committee, we discussed the intent and purpose of the relationship, then decided on a trip in October, 1996 for Hiratsuka citizens to come see Lawrence for themselves.

E-mail connection: Shortly thereafter, we created a Hiratsuka - Lawrence Mailing List so citizens could pass information along and begin making new friends. At this time, approximately 50 people are signed up. Do join the fun, or send a message to the FOL-FOH list.

At this time, we are working to spread the word about the relationship, and its' possibilities to the wider community in Hiratsuka. At the June 21 HIEA International Festival, there will be a Lawrence Booth set up with pictures and memorabilia of Lawrence; additionally, three computers with internet connections will showcase Lawrence's online side (and other city/regional/international links).

For Tanabata many FOL people are working on a decoration that will feature Lawrence this year. (Banner, revolving 1-meter tall Jayhawk model, and a Wizard of Oz - themed display, all hanging from a 40-foot bamboo pole, visible to over 1 million viewers)

The Hiratsuka Journal Home Page Project

Started unofficially December 25, 1995, by Kevin Sullivan, as a small Christmas present to Hiratsuka and Lawrence. Given the distance and expense of physical travel, why not swap a few electrons amongst friends? After mentioning this project (in hopes of begging information to put on the page) to Tomio Uchida and Masaharu Okamoto, they quickly rallied some troops for this independent effort to make it quasi-official and the working group was born in April, 1996.

Why "Hiratsuka Journal" for the home page? Well, in Lawrence there is the Lawrence Journal World. And, in the Hiratsuka/Shonan area there is the Shonan Home Journal... so, hmm. Hey! Why not... and so it was. :)

In keeping with our "Journal" motif, we have selected our staff as follows:

Hiratsuka Journal

Masaharu Okamoto, (
Kevin Sullivan, (
Editorial Staff
Akio Kanemaru (
Tomio Uchida (
Yuko Terai (
Shinichiro Kanemaru (
Takashi Sugiyama (
Yayoi Kitamura (
Masanori Naruse (
Keichi Hida (
Hideo Suzuki.

Online Member Profiles

Masaharu Okamoto

is the principal surveyor, Japan representative, for Marine Bureau, Inc, (International Cargo Gear Bureau, Inc, and the Panama Bureau of Shipping, Inc.), which has an office (technically in Oiso) in Hiratsuka. Okamoto-san is a member of Shonan ESS, takes part in the Tanabata International Visitors Salon (IVS), and enjoys classical music.

Kevin Sullivan

is from Lawrence and has lived in Hiratsuka since 4/92 with his wife Connie Roguski (formerly of Kansas University's Applied English Center, now at Kanagawa University) and daughter Mika Claire Sullivan (born Nov. 1, 1995 in Kamakura, Japan). He works as an English consultant for several organizations, and writes. He enjoys reading, fighting his OS/2 computer, and more.

Akio Kanemaru

is the Chief of Culture Promotion Section, Hiratsuka City Hall. He is currently working on an official Hiratsuka Cultural Information page. His hobbies are travel and gardening, especially growing Nadeshiko Pinks and Sunflowers. In 1993 he came to Lawrence as the chief leader of the Hiratsuka youth mission and home-stayed with the Weseman family.

Tomio Uchida

is a computer columnist, consultant, and regularly travels to the yearly Fall COMDEX show in Las Vegas, and to Silicon Valley. Uchida-san also founded the Shonan English Speaking Society, a weekly English club that meets every Friday night since 1962. Shonan ESS coordinates the International Visitors Salon during the yearly Tanabata festival held in early July, publishes the Hiratsuka Friendscope monthly newsletter (now dormant), and has provided staff for the VIVA! Lawrence CATV video exchange project. He visited Lawrence in April 1991, and habitually promotes international events. His theme is "Today America, Tomorrow Japan."

Yuko Terai

spent several years in New York, and now lives in Hiratsuka. She is active in the Hiratsuka International Exchange Association (HIEA) Homestay section, and enjoys quilting. She has already made a Lawrence-Hiratsuka quilt of her own design.

Hideo Suzuki

is a photographer that has traveled to Lawrence and put on several shows since then of his photos. He founded the Shonan Photo Federation, and is actively working with the Lawrence Photo Alliance to exchange pictures of Hiratsuka and Lawrence. He is also the unofficial photographer of the J-League's Bellmare Hiratsuka professional soccer team, and prefers B/W pictures.

Shinichiro Kanemaru

is the son of Akio Kanemaru, and a college student at Keio University in Yokohama. He came to Lawrence on a private trip following high school graduation in 1995, home-stayed with the Haack family, plays guitar, and loves Mac computers.

Takashi Sugiyama

is an Oiso resident who writes articles about Hiratsuka (and Lawrence) for the Shonan Home Journal weekly newspaper. He maintains his Sugiyama-san WWW page, and a Hiratsuka page in Japanese. His hobby is bowling (shumi), and his scores range from "at least 100 to 269..."

Yayoi Kitamura

also lives next door in Oiso, and has created an Oiso home page. She teaches at a preparatory school (Jukyu), writes Macintosh software, and is working on business ideas for the internet.

Keiichi Hida

travelled to Lawrence in the 2nd group of Hiratsuka Jr. HS students in 1991 and home-stayed with the Haack family. He is now attending Polytechnic University in Sagamihara (30m/40km but a 2hr commute door-to-door) and studying Electrical Engineering. He is a member of "Hikoki-gumi-no-kai" (airplane-clouds-club = Contrails Club), an organization of former Hiratsuka students that have travelled to Lawrence. His hobby is amateur radio and call sign is JM1NXX.

Masanori Naruse

has created a very nice Tanabata home page.

Updated: June 20, 1997
C. 1997, Kevin Sullivan,
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