- What happened in Yamanashi, Japan, that caused Iowans to send hogs there, and who made the connections to make that possible?
- How did the country and people of Japan show they were grateful for the gift from Iowa?
Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa, Swaim, Ginalie, Iowa Heritage Illustrated, 2001
In a feature article in Iowa Heritage Illustrated from 2001, Ginalie Swaim writes how Master Sergeant Richard Thomas, a Des Moines native who was stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Japan, heard about two terrible typhoons in Yamanashi and mobilized a group of Iowans to replenish hog population, which had been wiped out by the storms. This began a "Sister State" relationship between Yamanashi, Japan, and Iowa. Now, Iowa Sister States has developed connections in nine countries and works to connect agricultural and diplomatic connections between the countries.