Iwate: ‘Miraculous lone pine’ stump and root network to go on tour

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The stump and root network from the “miraculous lone pine” is seen in Rikuzen-Takata, Iwate Prefecture.

RIKUZEN-TAKATA, Iwate — The stump and root network of the “miraculous lone pine,” a tree that survived the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011, attracted visitors in Rikuzen-Takata, Iwate Prefecture, as the 11th anniversary of the disaster neared.

The lone survivor from a grove of about 70,000 that had hugged the city’s coastline, the tree began to wither the following year, prompting the city government to preserve it as a symbol for restoration work.

The tree’s preserved trunk and branches were displayed at Takatamatsubara Memorial Park, but the stump and root network were kept in storage.

The 10-meter-wide and 2-meter-deep root network was on show until Feb. 13 at a michi-no-eki roadside station set up at the park as part of the stump’s first public exhibition in Rikuzen-Takata.

“Other pine trees had roots that were almost as big as the [‘miraculous lone pine’],” said a municipal government official. “Even so, they were washed away by the tsunami. We hope that visitors [were able to] realize anew how powerful the tsunami was.”

The stump and root network can next be seen in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, where it will be displayed at the Kioi-Seido hall from March 11 through February next year.