SENDAI (Kyodo) — Planting of trees will begin in March on Mt. Amba in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, to build a wood in memory of the victims of the March 2011 quake and tsunami.
The site will be the first such memorial forest to be built in disaster-hit areas as proposed by the central government’s Reconstruction Design Council, sources familiar with the situation said.
About 10 such woods are expected to be created in areas devastated by the disaster.
Tadao Ando, architect and vice chairman of the council, is among the people who came up with the idea of memorial woods in order to promote awareness of the threat of tsunami by planting and growing grass and trees on higher ground, where people will evacuate in the event of tsunami.
“Mt. Amba will be the starter. I hope it will pave the way for reconstruction as a hope for the people who suffered from the disaster,” Ando said.
Trees that bloom in spring will be planted, the sources said.
The 239-meter Mt. Amba is a popular symbol of Kesennuma, offering a panoramic view of the city, and was an evacuation site for many local residents in the March disaster.
Construction of memorial woods is currently being planned in six locations including Mt. Amba, as well as Otsuchi in Iwate Prefecture, and Minamisanriku, Onagawa and Watari in Miyagi Prefecture.
According to the National Police Agency, the death toll from the disaster stands at 15,844, with 3,450 remaining missing as of Jan. 10.
(Mainichi Japan) January 20, 2012