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“The Girl in Red Shoes” Public Artwork Unveiled by Port of San Diego

Contact: Dale Frost (619) 686-6461 on .

'The Girl in Red Shoes' bronze sculpture now stands near the Friendship Bell at the tip of Shelter Island. It symbolizes the many decades of friendship between sister ports, the Port  of San Diego and the Port of Yokohama.“The Girl in Red Shoes” bronze sculpture now stands near the Friendship Bell at the tip of Shelter Island. It symbolizes the many decades of friendship between sister ports, the Port of San Diego and the Port of Yokohama.

The artwork was unveiled by Port of San Diego officials and Yokohama delegates on June 27, 2010.

“It is our hope that the statue will continue to strengthen bonds between our ports, cities and countries,” said Masayuki Suzuki, Chairman of the Yokohama-San Diego Friendship Committee.

“The Girl in Red Shoes” was presented as a gift to the Port of San Diego and the citizens of San Diego to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Yokohama, Japan.

There was even a "girl" in red shoes at the dedication. Miyuu Hashima, who traveled from Yokohama, Japan, sang a song that told the story of a nine-year-old Japanese girl, Kimi, whom the statue depicts.

Kimi was an orphan in Japan in the 1920s. An American couple adopted her and planned to bring her to the United States. However, it was later learned that Kimi had tuberculosis and could not leave Japan.

The story of Kimi, of which there are many versions, became a national symbol of goodwill between the United States and Japan.

“Although it is a sad story, the sculpture represents the friendship and respect our ports share,” said Port Commissioner Michael Bixler.  “We are grateful to the people of Yokohama for this lovely work of art. It will be enjoyed by the many visitors and residents that stroll Shelter Island.”

The three-foot-tall sculpture of a young girl holding a rose and a carnation is by Japanese artist Munehiro Komeno. The rose represents Yokohama, and the carnation symbolizes San Diego.

The Port of San Diego’s Public Art department assisted with selecting a location for the sculpture and its installation. The Port of San Diego also provided a red granite pedestal for the sculpture.

The dedication ceremony was organized by Kaneko Bishop, President of the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society.

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