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Once there were two beautiful lands and two proud peoples separated by great distance and many differences. This is the story of how a wonderful friendship has blossomed between them...

So begins the story of a most unlikely friendship. In 1959 the prefecture of Yamanashi, Japan, was devastated by two typhoons. Richard Thomas, an Iowan who had served in the U.S. military in Japan after World War II, helped organize an "Iowa Hog Lift" that sent 35 pigs flying across the ocean to Yamanashi. Imagine how surprised those pigs must have been when they reached Japan!

That act of generosity laid the foundation for America's first sister-state relationship with Japan. Sweet Corn and Sushi tells the heartwarming story of what can happen when pigs fly and cultural differences are bridged by goodwill.

Sweet Corn and Sushi By: Lori Erickson

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