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The Miracle Pine Tree Light-up

Challenges in Tohoku Reconstruction

People worldwide help preserve the

The Takata-Matsubara coastal pine forest in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture is known by citizens and tourists from inside and outside the prefecture as a scenic spot with beautiful white sands and green pines. Pine trees were planted about 350 years ago, and since then the forest has been carefully protected and preserved by citizens. In fact, Takuboku Ishikawa and many other Japanese poets appreciated the beauty of this forest in their poems.

The giant earthquake and tsunami that hit Rikuzentakata on March 11, 2011 resulted in nearly 2,000 dead or missing, and completely destroyed the city's center and coastal area. While most of the approximately 70,000 trees in the Takata-Matsubara pine forest were washed away, a lone 170-year old pine tree withstood the deadly tsunami and was dubbed the "miracle pine." But even this "miracle" tree suffered irreversible damage from exposure to seawater, and was confirmed dead by April of the following year.

The City of Rikuzentakata decided to create a replica of the pine tree to serve as a monument and a symbol of recovery that gives hope to disaster survivors. Its cost was borne by donations collected from around the world to preserve the "miracle pine."
However, the surrounding area was virtually devastated. There was complete darkness at night with no available lighting.

The The "miracle pine" lit up in the Takata-Matsubara forest

Initiatives

Lighting up the

Today, the "miracle pine" shines brightly at night. The tree lighting project was planned and executed by the Youth Section of the Iwate Electrical Engineering Contractors Cooperative. To illuminate branches and leaves 27.5 meters high, the ultra-narrow light angle LED floodlight technology developed for the SKYTREE was employed.

"After the earthquake, power outages occurred in many places and we had to work hard to restore service. When the lights came on, everyone was delighted and thanked us," says Takunori Kanno, then chief of the Youth Section. "I felt our task as electrical contractors was to 'light up.' So the first thing that came to mind after I heard about the lone pine that survived in the coastal forest was, 'We should light up this tree.'" Nevertheless, there were concerns that the pine tree, which was already weakened, might not be able to bear the weight of illumination devices. So a decision was made to give up the project.

Later, after hearing that a replica of the tree would be made and preserved as a memorial, Mr. Kanno, on behalf of Iwate Electrical Engineering Contractors Cooperative, offered to light up the tree for the city. Mr. Kanno thanks Panasonic for providing the helping hand they needed. "They cooperated with us in designing the floodlight's luminous intensity distribution, selecting LED lighting fixtures, and even preparing presentation materials," he recalls. "In the end, the city officers sensed our enthusiasm and approved the light-up of the pine tree as a city project. Although we had to face numerous challenges, with the support of the Youth Section and others, we were finally able to turn on the lights and pray for those who died in the earthquake, while giving hope to survivors."

Lighting up 27.5-meter-high branches and leaves with ultra-narrow light angle LED floodlights Lighting up 27.5-meter-high branches and leaves with ultra-narrow light angle LED floodlights
Illumination carefully designed not to spoil the trunk's original textureIllumination carefully designed not to spoil the trunk's original texture
Ultra-narrow light angle LED floodlights for branches and leavesUltra-narrow light angle LED floodlights for branches and leaves
LED floodlight for the trunk (custom color) LED floodlight for the trunk (custom color)

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Global Home Eco Solutions Company > You are here:Panasonic's Solutions > containsThe Miracle Pine Tree Light-up