In 2012, St Ives Town Council, Cornwall, were pleased to welcome the Mayor and other esteemed guests from Mashiko, to visit St Ives for a Friendship Agreement Signing Ceremony in St Ives, Cornwall, to formally mark the start of a Friendship Agreement between St Ives and Mashiko. Click here for details of the Ceremony held at the Japanese Embassy in London.
The link with Mashiko was forged through the Leach Pottery, in St Ives. A friendship founded on a shared passion for pottery, further visits between the two areas have already been enjoyed, with the hope that there will be more in the future.
The strong link between Mashiko and the Leach Pottery was demonstrated after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, which brought destruction of homes and whole areas, affecting thousands of people in Japan. The potters of Mashiko were badly affected, the majority of noborigama kilns were destroyed, and workshops and homes damaged. The Leach Pottery set up an appeal to provide the relief needed at that time to help the potters in Mashiko rebuild their kilns so that they could continue with their work.