Saturday, July 21, 2012

Disaster Recovery by "Embalming" the "Miracle Lone Pine" in Rikuzen Takata City, Iwate

The mayor of the city believes the tree is the symbol of hope for the residents for the future, and it has to be standing, dead or alive. 150 million yen or not.

Some residents wholeheartedly agree with the mayor, while others have doubts, particularly about the money supposedly needed to preserve the tree in the standing position. I am rather surprised that the tree gets "embalmed", instead of burned in a religious ceremony and sent to the "heaven" (wherever the pine tree heaven may be) - a traditional Japanese way.

NHK Morioka (Iwate) had the article for about several hours yesterday, now gone. This is part of the article that I copied while it was still at the local NHK website (7/21/2012):


The method of preservation has been decided for the "Miracle Lone Pine" in Rikuzen Takata City that survived the tsunami of March 11, 2011.


The tree will be cut down at the base, and the trunk will be cut into 5 parts. After they are treated with preservatives they will be pierced through with a metal rod. The tree thus preserved will stand in the original location. Rikuzen Takata Mayor Futoshi Toba disclosed the plan in the press conference on July 20.


According to the plan, the tree will be cut down at the base, and the trunk will be cut into 5 parts. After they are treated with preservatives they will be pierced through with a metal rod, and the base will be secured with bolts so that the tree can stand just like when the tree was alive.


The tree is scheduled to be cut down in the second half of August. [After being cut] the tree will be brought to Nagoya City and Kyoto City where the facilities to treat the wood are located. The core will be removed and the tree will be treated with preservatives. It is hoped that the tree will be standing by the end of February next year.


Rikuzen Takata City is asking for donations to cover the cost of preservation, about 150 million yen [US$1.9 million], but as of two days ago the amount collected was 3.5 million yen. The city will keep calling for support.


Mayor Toba says, "Because the tree, having survived the tsunami and standing, is giving hope to the residents, we have chosen this preservation method. The Lone Pine is our emotional support and our hope for future rebuilding of the city. We would like people all over the country to help us preserve the tree."

Mayor Toba, I was told by one of my twitter followers, lost his wife to the tsunami.

I would still say "Let it go, let the tree die a peaceful death" and find hope elsewhere.

On the other hand, it may be a clear sign that the "recovery", much publicized by the national government, doesn't exist, if the residents of one of the areas hardest-hit by the March 11 tsunami have to rely on a dead tree for hope and support.


Anonymous said...

If embalming this tree gives the locals comfort, and if they can raise the money to pay for it, then good for them. No problem.

Anonymous said...

The locals who think the whole thing is too creepy may be pressured into silence. There are those who do think so.

Anonymous said...

Maybe. But I think it is Rikuzen Takata's issue, not mine.

Personally, if they asked me for a donation in support, I would not assist.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they stuff some of the victims of the tsunami and put them around the tree to keep it company? This like most "miracles" is totally fabricated pap for the weak minded. Anyone with the least amount of common sense would know the money would be better spent giving aid to the victims who actually survived.

Anonymous said...

Donate instead to Ishihara, so that he can buy Senkaku Island.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't they cut it down,fashion it into a shiny red phallus,and then batter down the doors of the Diet with it?

Anonymous said...

This will make a great story for the 9th grade junior high english textbook boo hoo story, read over and over at recitation contests by innocent know nothings reciting cant.

Same as it ever was. " Whohoho Jaaapan, what are you doing? Jaaapan where are you going?'

Anonymous said...

oh wow, this comment thing doesn't work thru tor ...
*sigh* anyways while they're at it, maybe they can erect a warning marker made from concrete and super-strong rebar like only the japanese can make? maybe put a warning on it:"don't build here. this is a tsunami prone area?"
maybe for good measure they can get a depleted fuel rod from tepco to put inside to deter people who don't believe the writing but maybe fear radiation? it'll last ...

Janick in Tokyo said...

A dead tree
At 150 million yen*
How much for
A child's
Thyroid ?

*almost 2,000,000 US dollars
or 1,600,000 euros

Janick in Tokyo said...

Compare this to the survey made by ASAHI.
Excerpt: "Mothers who evacuated with their children from Fukushima Prefecture following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant are facing economical and emotional hardships, a new Asahi Shimbun survey showed."
(ASAHI interviewed 222 mothers in difficulty who evacuated on a voluntary basis, which means that they get no help or very, very little help (I know one such case: the mother received about 40 000 yen once and for all for her child).
I advise the people in Rikuzen Takata to forget their already dead tree and use the x'tra money to help those families. Please. The children are no dead yet.

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