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Krystal Roebuck, chairman of Okinawa Enlisted Spouse Club at Kadena Air Base, left, gets a helping hand Saturday from Sachiko Yamada, right, in flipping over an Okonomiyaki pancake on the hot plate. A cooking exchange wass part of the Bilateral Friendship Day at Kadena Town, Okinawa.
Krystal Roebuck, chairman of Okinawa Enlisted Spouse Club at Kadena Air Base, left, gets a helping hand Saturday from Sachiko Yamada, right, in flipping over an Okonomiyaki pancake on the hot plate. A cooking exchange wass part of the Bilateral Friendship Day at Kadena Town, Okinawa. (Chiyomi Sumida / S&S)
Krystal Roebuck, chairman of Okinawa Enlisted Spouse Club at Kadena Air Base, left, gets a helping hand Saturday from Sachiko Yamada, right, in flipping over an Okonomiyaki pancake on the hot plate. A cooking exchange wass part of the Bilateral Friendship Day at Kadena Town, Okinawa.
Krystal Roebuck, chairman of Okinawa Enlisted Spouse Club at Kadena Air Base, left, gets a helping hand Saturday from Sachiko Yamada, right, in flipping over an Okonomiyaki pancake on the hot plate. A cooking exchange wass part of the Bilateral Friendship Day at Kadena Town, Okinawa. (Chiyomi Sumida / S&S)
Toyoko Genka of Kadena Town, front left, oversees her American counterparts, Katherine Perce, center, and Christina Israel, both of the Kadena Officers' Spouse Club, as they work with their chopsticks to make Okonomiyaki pancakes.
Toyoko Genka of Kadena Town, front left, oversees her American counterparts, Katherine Perce, center, and Christina Israel, both of the Kadena Officers' Spouse Club, as they work with their chopsticks to make Okonomiyaki pancakes. (Chiyomi Sumida / S&S)
TyJon Cuffee, 11, a sixth-grader at Kadena Middle School, takes aim at the opposing team Saturday during a dodge-ball game between American and Japanese children during Saturday's Ichariba chode and Bilateral Friendship Day.
TyJon Cuffee, 11, a sixth-grader at Kadena Middle School, takes aim at the opposing team Saturday during a dodge-ball game between American and Japanese children during Saturday's Ichariba chode and Bilateral Friendship Day. (Chiyomi Sumida / S&S)

American and Okinawan children at Kadena Circle in Kadena Town, Okinawa, on Saturday practiced the essence of an old Okinawan saying, Ichariba chode: Once you meet, you are brothers and sisters.

Sports and cultural-exchange events highlighted Ichariba chode and Bilateral Friendship Day, sponsored by the Okinawa Defense Bureau of the Ministry of Defense.

About 200 Americans and Okinawans enjoyed food, music and such games as obstacle races, children’s dodge ball, and tamaire — the Japanese game of throwing balls into a basket.

Inside the community center, about 40 women from Kadena Air Base and Kadena Town shared their culinary skills. Okinawan women offered up yakisoba noodles and okonomiyaki, a Japanese-style pancake containing vegetables and meat or seafood. Americans made potato soup — from scratch — and crisped rice treats.

The cooks made enough food for everyone attending the event.

Music ranged from traditional to contemporary. Children could learn the basics of playing the sanshin — a banjo-like, Okinawan, three-string instrument. And a local youth group performed hip-hop dance music.

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