Teacher who died day after graduation ceremony remembered（天国の先生に届け 同僚らが文集作製）
Former colleagues and students of a teacher who died the day after the graduation ceremony at a high school in Fukushima City have expressed their gratitude to her by putting together a collection of essays and a photo album from the ceremony and other school events.
Ikuko Hidaka, who died of cancer at 60 on March 2, attended the graduation ceremony at Fukushima Higashi High School despite her grave condition.
On April 11, Hidaka's former colleagues visited her house in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, to present the album to her husband, Hiroshi, 66, a former principal of Soma High School in the prefecture.
"She used her last ounce of strength to attend the graduation ceremony after a long fight with cancer," Hiroshi said tearfully as he held the collection to his chest. "My wife really fought the good fight."
According to her husband, Hidaka was diagnosed with cancer about 20 years ago, and continued teaching while fighting the disease. Her cancer worsened in the summer of last year just as she was about to reach retirement age, and she started a regimen of anti-cancer drugs. However, Hidaka put on a brave face in front of the 40 third-year students of Class No. 7 and the rest of the school to keep them from noticing her struggle.
Hidaka made it to the gradation ceremony on March 1, but was in such bad condition from that morning, she had to lean against the wall to walk down the school hallway. It took all of her will and energy.
At the ceremony, Hidaka led her students into the venue and managed to read out all of their names without incident, sending them off to the next stage of their lives. Afterwards, she conducted a final homeroom in the school's infirmary, where she informed the students that she was suffering from cancer.
After the students had gone home, Hidaka vomited blood and was taken to a hospital. She passed away in the afternoon the following day.
Three teachers who were colleagues of Hidaka's at Fukushima Higashi until March this year -- Kyoko Shibukawa, 52, now at Motomiya High School; and Akiko Saito, 52, and Shigeko Coombs, 46, both at Hobara High School -- felt the need to inform her family of her life as a teacher. They took the initiative to collect photos, messages and other memories from former students and their parents and guardians.
"All I can do is to thank the teachers," Hiroshi Hidaka said. "Through the collections of photos and messages, I could learn about my wife's daily life at Fukushima Higashi High School that I had never known."
（ Translated by The Japan News ）
【 ２０２１年４月１３日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】
- New Kitakata ramen developed to appeal to foreign tourists（訪日客向けの喜多方ラーメン開発）
- Aizu-Wakamatsu students come together with teahouse project(会津若松の生徒、茶室プロジェクトに集結)
- New hotel to be symbol of reconstruction（復興のシンボルとなる新ホテル）
- Radiation-resistant cameras to be produced in Fukushima（耐放射線カメラ、福島県で生産へ）
- International flights to Fukushima to resume after 13-year hiatus（福島の国際定期便、13年ぶり再開へ）
- Fukushima association to create base for parents of children with disabilities（障害児の親へ拠点作り）
- Real shell mound from Jomon period goes on display in Minami-Soma（南相馬で縄文のリアル貝塚展示）
- Japanese man opens restaurant to provide free meals to residents of war-hit Ukraine city（日本人男性が戦禍のウクライナに無料レストラン開店）
- Tohoku-inspired wristwatches tick to area recovery（東北復興の時を刻む腕時計）
- First hydrogen-powered school bus rolls out in Namie（浪江町に初の水素燃料スクールバス）