For many Americans during World War II, Japan was once the enemy, and thus always the enemy, even after the war was long over.
Not so for Hayward’s Richard Schultz. An army veteran wounded in the battle to take the South Seas island of Bouganville from the Japanese in 1944, Mr. Schultz began as a counselor/history teacher at Hayward High School in 1950. In 1964, as a veteran teacher, he received a prestigious Fullbright Scholarship to study in Japan. During his stay there he visited Sado Island, and met Mr.Kikuchi, (The Japanese don’t use first names.) a teacher at Sado High School. Between them grew an idea, an idea to build international relations between the U.S.A. and Japan. Thus the Sado Exchange Club was born.
In 1971, Mr. Schultz led five Hayward High students to Sado Island, where for six weeks they studied the Japanese language and culture, while experiencing life in a foreign country. The next year, a group of Japanese students from Sado High School crossed the Pacific to Hayward, where they spent a similar time, living with American families, attending classes at Hayward High, and developing an understanding of life in America. So successful was this prograom, that the exchanges continued for the next thirty years, promoting knowledge and understanding between two countries that had been mortal enemies during World War II.
However, all good things come to an end, and by 2003, the staff in both schools had changed, funding had dried up, and the interest and enthusiasm had waned. Until 2013, that is. This year, with the help of a Hayward Rotary grant to the Hayward Education Foundation, the Sado Club is coming alive again. In March, 2013, a contingent from Sado High School will once again journey eastward across the Pacific to live and study in the Hayward comm