The person placed in charge of establishing a campus for the OSU-K program in the early 1990s, recruiting students from throughout Japan, hiring a Japanese office staff and other responsibilities was Mr. Kunio Ibaraki.

Away from work, Ibaraki was an avid grower of kiwi, sometimes called kiwifruit to avoid confusion with the kiwi bird from New Zealand. At harvest time, many of the OSU-K faculty and staff enjoyed the fruits of his labor.

We learned while Mayor Kuriyama from Kameoka was here recently, that he too is an avid grower of kiwi. Mayor Kuriyama is a graduate of Kyoto University’s College of Agriculture and has a great deal of professional experience in the field of agriculture.

For some 25 years he worked for the Department of Agriculture for Kyoto Prefecture. He was the director of that department prior to seeking election as the mayor of Kameoka two or three years ago. In addition to his full-time job as Kameoka’s mayor, growing kiwis and doing other types of gardening as a hobby, Mayor Kuriyama is quite proficient in the martial arts including judo, karate and Shornji Kempo.

Larry Jones is a member of the Sister Cities Council.

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