The Sangatsu-kai choir, performing here on the marae at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, are part of the Wellington-based Sangatsu-kai group. Originally established in 1977 with 15 people, the group now has around 60 members. As well as providing mutual support, members participate in various cultural activities in Wellington. One member, Akiko Ota Omundsen, was one of the first Japanese people to move to New Zealand after the Second World War, when Japan was still regarded as an enemy. She had married a New Zealander, but had to cope with curiosity and sometimes hostility when she arrived in Wellington in 1953. In 2000 she was honoured by Japan for fostering relations between the two countries.
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