28 Décembre 2017
December 28, 2017
Tsunami-hit area bids farewell to ‘lone pine of Kashima’
By SHINTARO EGAWA/ Staff Writer
MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture--The only pine tree that survived the 2011 tsunami on a beach here and became a symbol of resilience was cut down on Dec. 27.
A ceremony was held on the beach in the city’s Kashima district to bid farewell to “the lone pine of Kashima.”
“We received great strength and moral support from you,” Kazuo Goga, 77, leader of a volunteer group that worked to preserve the tree, said in a speech at the ceremony.
The tree was one of tens of thousands planted along the beach for 3 kilometers north to south as a windbreak forest.
However, the Great East Japan Earthquake spawned a tsunami that washed away many of the trees on March 11, 2011. Other trees later died after being submerged in seawater for a prolonged period.
The sole survivor itself was visibly growing weaker.
The decision was made to fell the pine tree because the entire coastal area is scheduled to be tidied up for the creation of a new disaster prevention forest.
Wood from the tree will be used mainly for nameplates on the home of local residents.
Miracle pine tree' cut down
A pine tree that survived the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in eastern Japan and became a symbol of hope for local residents has been cut down.
The 25-meter-tall tree in the city of Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture was known as the "miracle pine tree". It was the only pine in the coastal forest to survive the tsunami.
Locals have been carefully trying to preserve the tree located in the district of Kashima.
But authorities decided to cut it down because of damage it suffered after being submerged in seawater after the tsunami. The area will be replanted with trees to create a disaster-prevention greenbelt.
About 100 local residents took part in a ceremony to bid farewell to the tree on Wednesday.
A community representative, Yoshito Kamada, said the memories of the tree will live on forever.
The lone tree was then cut down with a chain saw, 6 years and 9 months after the disaster.
The wood will be used to make nameplates for residents.