Stone monument honoring Iitate village unveiled in Shibuya(渋谷「までい」石碑除幕)

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From left, Kazuo Komatsubara, Norio Kanno and Masahiro Imamura at the unveiling of the stone monument(石碑の除幕を喜ぶ(左から)小松原理事長、菅野村長、今村復興相)

 The association to promote the Shibuya Koen-dori shopping district in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, has established a stone monument carved with the words "Madei life" in a flowerbed in the shopping district.
 Madei life is the catchphrase for development in the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, which the association has supported since the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. It means "in a polite way" or "from the heart" in the local dialect.

 東京電力福島第1原発事故後、飯舘村の支援に取り組んでいる東京・渋谷公園通商店街振興組合(小松原一雄理事長)は2日、同商店街の花壇に同村の村づくりテーマ「までいライフ」の文字を刻んだ石碑を建立した。「までい」は「丁寧に」「心を込めて」という意味が込められている同村のスローガン。

 At the unveiling ceremony, association head director Kazuo Komatsubara expressed his desire to continue supporting the village as the sixth year anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake approaches. "We want to back up the village of Iitate and Fukushima Prefecture for years to come," Komatsubara said.

  同日の除幕式で、小松原理事長は「これからも飯舘村や福島県を長く支援していきたい」と述べ、震災から間もなく6年が経過しようとする中でも変わらぬ支援の気持ちを表した。

 The 50-centimeter-square monument is located in a flowerbed in front of Rakuten Cafe near the Hachiko Exit of JR Shibuya Station, where many young people and foreign tourists come and go. Hidemitsu Tsukakoshi and other members of the association decided to set up the monument in one of the busiest downtown streets in Tokyo in a bid to ensure the disaster-stricken area is not forgotten.

 石碑は縦横50センチの大きさで、多くの若者や外国人観光客が行き交うJR渋谷駅ハチ公口からほど近い、楽天カフェ前の花壇に設置。、同組合の塚越栄光さんらが被災地を忘れない、風化させないとの願いを込めて東京屈指の繁華街に置くことを決めた。

 Norio Kanno, the head of Iitate village, and Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura attended the ceremony. Cyclamens cultivated by students at Fukushima Prefectural Soma Agricultural High School in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, were planted around the monument.

 除幕式には菅野典雄村長が参加したほか、今村雅弘復興相も駆けつけた。石碑の周りには、相馬農高(南相馬市)の生徒たちが栽培したシクラメンを植えた。

 Hachiko statue awaits villagers' return
 At the ceremony, Kanno introduced the idea of using a statue of Hachiko made of iron wire, which the association presented to the village in 2013, at a ceremony commemorating the lifting of evacuation instructions scheduled for March 31.

 避難解除式典で「ハチ公」活用へ
 飯舘村の菅野典雄村長は2日、東京での石碑除幕式の席上、来年3月31日予定の同村避難指示解除の式典で、渋谷公園通商店街振興組合から2013(平成25)年に贈られた「忠犬ハチ公」のオブジェを活用する考えを示した。

 The wire statue is 1.6 meters high, 1.5 times the size of the famous statue of Hachiko in front of JR Shibuya Station. The association donated it to symbolize the wait for the return of villagers who left, as Hachiko awaited the return of its owner in front of Shibuya Station.
 The wire statue is now located in Iitate Home, a special nursing care home for the elderly in the village.

 「忠犬ハチ公」のオブジェは、渋谷駅前のハチ公像の1.5倍の大きさとなる高さ1.6メートルの鉄のワイヤ製。ハチ公が渋谷駅で飼い主の帰りを待ち続けたように、村民の帰還を待ち続けてほしい、と同振興組合が寄贈。現在は村の特別養護老人ホーム「いいたてホーム」にある。

 Kanno said: "The evacuation order will be lifted on March 31. I'd like to put the wire statue of Hachiko at the entrance of the village office to welcome as many returning villagers as possible. Hopefully, such a ceremony will take place."

( Translated by The Japan News )

 菅野村長は「来年3月31日に避難指示解除になる。役場の玄関にハチ公のオブジェを置いて一人でも多くの村民を迎えたい、そんなセレモニーをしてみたい」と述べた。

 【 2016年12月3日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】