Edward Sylvester Morse, a self-made expert in zoology, first visited Japan in search of coastal brachiopods. His visit turned into a three year stay when he was offered a post as the first Professor of Zoology at the Tokyo Imperial University. While looking out of a window on a train between Yokohama and Tokyo, Morse discovered the Ōmori shell mound in what is now Ota, the excavation of which opened the study in archaeology and anthropology in Japan, and shed much light on the material culture of prehistoric Japan. His collection of daily artifacts of the Japanese people is kept at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Peabody Essex Museum agreement

First adult visitors from Ota to Salem

Salem and Ota sign Sister City agreement – largely as a result of the connection first established by Morse.  Salem Mayor visits Ota

First visit by Salem school official to Ota to explore groundwork for teacher and student exchanges.

First visit by Ota City government officials.

First Goodwill Ambassador Exchange.

First Teacher Exchange from Salem to Ota.

First trip to Ota by Salem residents

First student trip to Ota

First teacher exchange from Ota to Salem