While President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinko Abe golfed, signed custom hats, and discussed the threat of North Korea and the future of the Japanese and American relationship, their wives spent the day exploring Japanese culture.
First Lady Melania Trump and First Lady Akie Abe visited a jewelry shop and learned about the cultivation of pearls, before they engaged in a discussion of their own over a cup of tea.
“Wonderful visit [with] Mrs. Abe today!” the first lady tweeted. “Enjoyed conversation over tea & the cultural presentation on the history of pearls.”
On Monday morning, the two women continued to bond with a visit to the Kyobashi Tsukiji school, where they were greeted by about 300 students, who were excited to meet the American first lady.
— Constitutional Drunk (@USSANews) November 6, 2017
In a fourth grade classroom, Melania witnessed students taking a calligraphy and CNNreported that she commented “beautiful characters” as she took in the sight of their work. When asked if she wanted to learn, she reportedly said she would “love to.”
She sat down and according to ABC News, after her first stroke, a female student offered her a piece of advice: hold the brush vertically. The first lady obliged and after another stroke, the student gave her an approving nod of her technique.
About five strokes later, Melania had written the first character for “peace” in Japanese and Akie wrote the second.
Melania Trump attends a calligraphy class of the 4th grader at Kyobashi Tsukiji Elementary School in Tokyo pic.twitter.com/y0SVTT8kUc
— Elliot Wagland (@elliotwagland) November 6, 2017
The message of “peace” between the two nations was also a sentiment expressed by the president, who called the relationship “extraordinary” and said, “I don’t think we’ve ever been closer to Japan than we are right now.”
This is the first time the American first lady has visited overseas with her Japanese counterpart, although the two spent time together during the Abes’ trip to the White House in February.