Saturday, April 24, 2010

Evansville Needs To Strengthen Its Connection To Japan

If you have ever had time to wonder through downtown Evansville, you will see many things representing many cultures. Of all the things downtown, what one country would you say downtown reminds you of best? I would say Japan. Maybe it's the Pagoda, maybe it's the WWII history, maybe it's the presence of Toyota, maybe it's just me. Although I'm constantly seeing images similar to those found in Japan, I still think Evansville needs to strengthen its connection to Japan.

A few years ago, Evansville took another step forward to strengthening its connection to Japan by obtaining a sister city. Tochigi-Shi, Japan was selected as Evansville's sister city. But what other things does Evansville need to do to celebrate its resemblance to Japan.

First of all, I am a fan of attaching different cultures to different U.S cities such as Egypt to Memphis & Greece to Nashville. Attaching Japan to Evansville is definitely an idea that should be considered on the large scale.

Thinking on the small scale, Evansville needs to do several things. The first thing Evansville needs to do is place a sushi bar on the downtown riverfront. It is unfortunate that an entrepreneur hsa been unable to take advantage of the amazing looking Pagoda to establish a Japanese eatery. A sushi bar should be placed within a few blocks of the Pagoda in order to maximize effectiveness.

Another thing to consider for Evansville is the eventual construction of a Japantown. Most people have heard of a Chinatown but few are aware of the Japantowns found in cities such as San Jose and San Francisco. Although the demographics may not be there yet for a Japantown, they should be if Evansville does a better job of strengthening its connection to Japan.

Lastly, local architects need to consider Japanese style architecture in their designs for Evansville buildings. This will reinforce the Japanese image.

Overall, there will need to be changes both drastic and minor to make Evansville the " Japan of the Midwest." but I think it's up for the challenge.

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