Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Miracle Lone Pine" in Iwate Prefecture Getting "Resurrected" After Embalming

Embalming the dead is so unlike Japanese, and maybe that's why I find this endeavor by Rikuzen Takata City officials strange.

The tree, before it was cut down, looked like this.

I wrote about this pine tree in Iwate Prefecture that survived the tsunami of March 11, 2011 but died later as the result, and the 150 million yen restoration project by hollowing out the tree and embalming it with resins so that they could put the tree back where it had been standing, as the beacon of hope for the city residents. (They don't have the money, by the way. They are still waiting for your donation.)

NHK reports (2/12/2/13) the first segment of the embalmed, dead tree has been installed on a concrete base:


The miracle lone pine of Rikuzen Takata City was the only pine tree that survived the tsunami in Takata Matsubara that had had 70,000 pine trees, but it was later found to have been dead. In order to preserve it as a monument, it was cut down in September last year.


To restore the tree, the core was removed from the tree and replaced by carbon rod in a factory outside the prefecture. On February 12, the work to place the treated trunk back to where the tree had been standing started in earnest.


Installation of the bottom part of the trunk, about 4.5 meters in length, started at about 9:30AM on February 13. It was lifted by a crane, and the workers carefully placed it in the concrete foundation.


Yoshihisa Suzuki, chairman of the local "Takata Matsubara preservation association", said, "To see the lone pine return as an artificial monument, I have a mixed feeling. But I want it to give courage and hope to the disaster victims."


Next month, the work will be done to connect the remaining trunk and branches and leaves that are recreated using special resins. By the second anniversary of the disaster on March 11, the tree will be restored to its original form.

After nearly two years, Rikuzen Takata still look like this, and the residents want to embalm a pine tree to give them hope. Photos are from this blog, as of December 2, 2012, as the author of the blog visited Rikuzen Takata.

Disaster debris mountain:

Civic Hall, before the March 11, 2011 tsunami:

Civic Hall, today:

The blog author asks, "What has the government been doing? What have we been doing since March 11, 2011, to leave the city like this?"

The answer is that no one wants to see the reality. (So let's embalm the pine tree.)


kintaman said...

That dead and embalmed tree is as fake as any chance there is of "reconstruction" or "resurrecting" the area since 3.11.

Everyone should just drop and leave these contaminated areas and move south. It it is finished, let it go.

Anonymous said...

more warped japanese thinking, leave the town in a mess spend 150million on a fucking tree and get the evacuees to pay their own lunch .....

Anonymous said...

At this point, nobody is impressed with the Japanese government's handling of the disaster.

I wouldn't be surprised if government in other countries pulled the same shit. Humans love denial.

Anonymous said...

I dont know. If you are familiar with JHS English Textbooks, this is a great 'We are a victim' project.
A Mothers Lullaby.
In the north of the city of Hiroshima, an old tall tree stands by the roadside. It has seen many things around it. One summer night a mother and her child heard a lullaby that night too. It was a sad lullaby.
his tree of Rikuzen could be a new story for the textbook. (heaven knows they need a new tune). Also many students cold go visit it and place hours and hours worth of paper cranes around it, pray and see the Tsunami Museum. They can re-invent how the culture of victimisation can be replayed and replayed without looking at the underlying causes of Hiroshima, Nagasaki or Fukushima, WWll or anything else. This tree could become a symbol of hope. They could follow it up with what happened to the population thereafter and see how the people were treated. Speech contests could be won and kids could get a badge or a pat on the head whilst eating radition based bentos-all baseless rumors, of course. Then they could go back home satisfied and happy, swith on the lights and give not a care about where the power comes from. Besides, they have tests to think about. Tests for high school and beyond, careers and their future paradigms.
I say bring on the tree. I can almost see the plastic replica omiyage on a keychain (made in China) and the bean cakes crackers boxes for friends and family.

wren said...

Embalming the dead is so unlike Japanese

On the internet these guys are famous. Of course, they were not embalming the dead, I suppose.

The failure rate was very high.

It's sad to see pictures of that city. I thought redevelopment was moving along quickly in most places.

It looks like an embalmed city of the dead. That failed.

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