The tsunami-ravaged city of Rikuzentakata cut down the lone pine tree that survived the March 11, 2011 tsunami and came to symbolize hope for disaster survivors.
The words 'cut down' do not seem appropriate in this case but rather 'put a tree to rest.'
It is said that the spirit of trees called "Kodama" has dwelt in trees since ancient times.
This miracle lone pine tree could have also kept delivering silent words of hope to people overwhelmed by tragedy.
It was a powerful source of encouragement for disaster survivors, but in December of last year it was confirmed by experts to have died because its roots had been exposed to too much briny seawater.
As there was danger of the tree collapsing in a typhoon or from lightning, the city government decided to make it into a less dangerous monument.
The tree is to be returned to its spot here in February next year, after the work is finished.
This pine tree has a strong meaning in many ways.
My favorite artist Seiji Fujishiro recently completed his artwork "陸前高田の奇跡の一本松 (Miracle Lone Pine Tree in Rikuzentakata)", which is now exhibited in Ginza Kyo Bun Kwan.
I can't find any words to tell my deep emotion.
Do Kodamas lead every victim's soul to heaven...?