The Sister City Matsue City
In 1994, New Orleans became official sister-cities with Matsue, located in Shimane Prefecture on the island of Honshu. Matsue has a population of approximately 200,000 residents and is known for the beautiful Lake Shinji, Matsue Castle, and Izumo Taisha, one of the oldest and most important Shinto shrines in Japan.
Our two cities are bound by the life and writings of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), known in Japan as Koizumi Yakumo. Hearn lived in New Orleans for ten years, during which he fell in love with the city and its mystique, before moving to Matsue in 1890. Through his books, especially his collection of Japanese ghost stories, Hearn became responsible for expanding the west’s understanding and appreciation for Japanese culture and history. The Japan Society of New Orleans continues his legacy by fostering close ties between his adopted home here in Louisiana and that in Matsue, Japan.
While the relationship between New Orleans and Matsue is most celebrated through Lafcadio Hearn, their cultural ties also include a shared passion for jazz music, gumbo and other New Orleans’ culinary staples, and even Mardi Gras.