Painting is sign of Norwich pupils’ growing friendship with Japan

The spirit of friendship was clear to see as Chapel Break Infant School in Norwich hosted a special visitor from Japan last week.

Children from Chapel Break – along with pupils from Reepham Primary School – have collaborated on a large joint painting with pupils in Japan to demonstrate the spirit of friendship following the devastating tsunami which destroyed parts of the country earlier this year.

Chapel Break was visited by Shizuka Suzuki, the deputy headteacher of Sakado-Azuma, a school in Japan with which the Bowthorpe infant school has links. Shizuka brought the finished picture over from Japan to show the Chapel Break pupils before taking it to be hung on display in the Japanese embassy in Piccadilly, London.

Japanese children started the picture as a mural to bring colour, flowers and hope to thousands of refugees following the devastation of the tsunami, caused by an 8.9-magnitude tremor around 250 miles from Tokyo in March.

Paula Coombe, business manager at Chapel Break, added: 'Children from Chapel Break, and Reepham Primary, painted pictures of flowers to send to Japan, and made friendship bracelets to send to children.

'Their pictures and some of the friendship bracelets have been added to the picture which is going to be hung in the Japanese embassy in London.'

Dwyer Coleman, primary teacher at Chapel Break, recently visited the Sakado-Azuma School in Japan to help following the tsunami and met with the mayor and other key figures, even appearing on Japanese television.

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Sakado city council had also appealed for sunflower seeds to improve and clean the soil at Fukoshima – where a nuclear power station had problems with radioactive material leaking – and children at Chapel Break Infant donated seeds that will be grown in Japan alongside seeds provided by Uruwa Reds Football Club and Sakado City Council.

Is your school organising an unusual event? Call Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email