'Miracle pine tree' in Kashima to fall(かしまの一本松...永遠に 12月27日伐採)

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Kazuo Goga, chairman of a group seeking to preserve the miracle pine tree(「寂しいが、新たな観光地にする区切りになれば」と話す五賀会長と「かしまの一本松」=13日午前、南相馬市鹿島区南右田)

 A lone pine tree in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, that miraculously survived the tsunami after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and became a symbol of reconstruction, will be cut down on Dec. 27. The tree is dying and there is a project to build a new forest for damage prevention.
 "I feel sad and disappointed, but the tree's offspring is growing [in another location] from its branches and seeds. The lone pine tree will continue to represent the heart and soul of the people afflicted by the disaster," said Kazuo Goga, 77, the chairman of a group to preserve the miracle pine tree.

 東日本大震災の津波に耐え、復興の象徴となっていた南相馬市鹿島区南右田の「かしまの一本松」が、12月27日に伐採される。防災林整備や、枯死などの理由から伐採される方針となっていた。かしまの一本松を守る会の五賀(ごが)和雄会長(77)は「寂しく残念な思いだが、枝や種から子孫が育っている。一本松はこれからも被災地の心のよりどころであり続ける」と話した。

 The felling of the tree has already been scheduled. Known as "Kashima's lone pine tree," it is located in an area in the Kashima district where the quake-triggered tsunami claimed the lives of 54 people and washed away all 70 houses.
 Now, nearly the whole area has been designated a hazardous disaster area, where construction of new residences is not allowed.

  一本松がある南相馬市鹿島区南右田は津波で行政区の全70世帯が流失し、54人が犠牲になった。現在は地区のほぼ全域が住居を新築できない災害危険区域に指定されている。

 According to Goga, the tree is about 25 meters tall and about 200 years old, making it a witness to lives in the area for a long time. The pine trees that used to stretch for three kilometers across the area were either washed out to sea or died as a result of the 15-meter-high tsunami. The lone pine was the only one to withstand the tsunami. Local residents tried to preserve it as "Kashima's hope," in conjunction with their efforts for disaster reconstruction.

 五賀会長によると、一本松は高さ約25メートル、樹齢約200年で、長らく地域を見守ってきた。南右田に約3キロ続いた松林は津波で流失や枯死したが、唯一、一本松は高さ15メートルの津波に耐え、地元住民は復興へ歩む姿を重ねる「地元の希望」として、一本松を保全する方法を模索してきた。

 But the tree's condition deteriorated from around the autumn of 2014, with its leaves becoming discolored. In addition to the tsunami, high tides and the retention of rainwater have apparently aggravated the tree's condition.
 The group sprayed an activating agent to try and keep the tree from dying. They also entrusted its branches and seeds in January 2015 to the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, in an attempt to preserve the tree's offspring.
 The offspring has developed steadily and will be planted in a corner of the forest for damage prevention that the Fukushima prefectural government plans to develop in the area.

 しかし、2014(平成26)年秋ごろから、葉の変色が目立ち始めるなど状態が悪化。津波に加え、高潮や雨水の滞留が影響したとされる。枯死を避けるため同会は活力剤を散布し、15年1月には茨城県つくば市の森林総合研究所に枝と種を託し、一本松の「子孫」を残す取り組みを進めてきた。子孫は順調に芽生え、県が同地区で計画している防災林の一角に植樹される予定だ。

 ◆Recycled into timber products
 According to Goga, the group will utilize the lone pine tree after it is cut down, planning to make nameplates and ocarinas, based on the tree's condition. There has also been discussion about building a memorial park where the tree is currently located. The tree will also be lit up on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 just before it is cut down.
 Goga said the park "will become a place to connect people from the area who are now dispersed and to hand down lessons from the disaster to future generations."

  ◆表札やオカリナに加工へ
 五賀会長によると、伐採された一本松は同会が活用することになっており、状態を見て表札や木製のオカリナに加工する計画。同会は一本松が立っている場所に記念公園を整備しようと協議を進めており、伐採日直前の12月23、24の両日には、一本松のライトアップを行う方針だ。五賀会長は「ばらばらになった地域のつながりを結ぶ場として、震災の教訓を後世に伝えていく」と話した。

 Even now, visitors come one after another from inside and outside Fukushima Prefecture to see the lone pine tree, which is regarded as a symbol of reconstruction.

( Translated by The Japan News )

 復興のシンボルに位置付けられた一本松には今も県内外からの訪問客が絶えない。

 【 2017年11月14日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】