Friendly Agreement between Shibukawa and Dashu
【人間社記者 Li Sheng Feng Kaoshiung報導】 2017-11-13
  • 圖說:Head Abbot of Fo Guang Shan Monastery Most Venerable Hsin Bao, who presided in the consecration ceremony of the Bukouzan Housuiji, also joined in to welcome the delegates. He expressed enthusiasm about the friendly interaction between Shibukawa and Dashu. 人間社記者Li Sheng Feng攝

  • 圖說:Kaoshiung Dashu District Mayor (right) and Shibukawa Mayor (middle) sign the friendship agreement. 人間社記者Li Sheng Feng攝

  • 圖說:Venerable Tzu Jung, President of BLIA Headquarters, explains to the delegation led by the Mayor of Shibukawa about the founding of Fo Guang Shan. He stresses the importance of education to the organization. 人間社記者Li Sheng Feng攝

  • 圖說:Japan Gunma prefecture Shibukawa city Mayor (front left 3rd), President of the Shibukawa Ikaho Spa and Resort Tourism Association (front left 2nd), visited FGS’s Bukouzan Housuiji, together with Abbess Venerable Man Run (back left 2nd), on October 31st. 人間社記者Li Sheng Feng攝

Bukouzan Housuiji situated in Shibukawa City,Gunma Prefecture,Japan . Fo Guang Shan’s headquarters is located in the Dashu district in Kaoshiung, Taiwan. While Shibukawa is known for its magnificent hot springs, Dashu is renowned for the mouth-watering production of fruits, such as pineapples and lychees. On October 31, both cities signed a friendship agreement at Dashu district to signal the start of friendly interactions to promote cultural and tourist exchanges.

Shibukawa’s Mayor, together with Takahiro Omori, the President of the Shibukawa Ikaho Spa and Resort Tourism Association, joined the Abbess of Bukouzan Housuiji, Venerable Man Run, on a tour of the monastery. Venerable Tzu Jung, President of BLIA Headquarters, led the delegates to explain the founding of Fo Guang Shan in 50 years and stressed the importance of education to the organization. Currently millions of visitors have visited Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Kaoshiung and its great works have touched many.

Deputy Abbot of Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Venerable Hui Chuan, added that one can find a Fo Guang Shan temple in each continent of the world and all of them serve a very important function to promote and practice Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s Humanistic Buddhism so that everyone will benefit from its joy and happiness. This is also the primary objective of Shibukawa’s Bukouzan Housuiji.

Head Abbot of Fo Guang Shan monastery Most Venerable Hsin Bao who presided in the consecration ceremony of the Bukouzan Housuiji, also joined in to welcome the group. He was very pleased with the establishment of this friendly relationship between both cities. He quoted a saying that, “Before one attains Buddhahood, one first has to form affinity,” to express his well wishes to the sister cities as they learn from each other through culture and tourism. Such interactions will be beneficial and bring many improvements to its residents.

Most Venerable Hsin Bao and the Mayor Takaki of Shibukawa exchanged gifts to commemorate the important milestone. Later, the delegates from Japan joined to sign the agreement. Dashu District’s Mayor Mr. Yang Xiao Zhi proclaimed that there are three goods in this place: good fruits, good water quality, and even better are its people. He is very proud of the international reputation of its pineapples and lychees as well as the tourist attractions such as the historical Gaoping River Iron Bridge, Gaoping River Cable-Stayed Bridge, Fo Guang Shan Monastery, and Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center. He is optimistic that together with the Fo Guang Shan, this agreement between the two cities will bring about many positive exchanges and benefits to its people.

Shibukawa’s Mayor Takaki also praised the Dashu district. He believes that Shibukawa also shares the same good elements. He feels especially touched as he observed that historical Gaoping River Iron Bridge designed by Japanese engineer Toyoji Ida is still very well preserved. According to the Mayor, Kaoshiung City and the Gunma prefecture had already established friendship agreements previously. However, because of the building of Bukouzan Housuiji at Shibukawa and its headquarters in the Dashu district of Kaoshiung, such were the conditions that led to the discovery of the similarities between the two places. He noted that both are agricultural and full of natural beauty. He encouraged that Taiwanese could start by experiencing their fascinating hot springs and then think about how their citizens could collaborate.

After the signing ceremony, both parties exchanged souvenirs. Dashu district’s Mayor Mr. Yang expressed that besides positive interactions between officials, this friendship agreement will also bring about increased people-to-people exchanges as more Japanese have access to the delicious pineapples and lychees produced by Dashu. As well, it will be an excellent opportunity for Taiwanese to learn from Shibukawa’s budding tourism industry to help them inject a new lease on life to their own tourist attractions.

(Translated by Sock Gee Siew)