Creating Forests in Tsunami-Damaged Shrine Grounds400 Volunteers to Plant 3,000 Trees

Time: May 3, 2015 (Sunday) 13:00 – 15:30 (sign-in from 12:00)
Location: Yamada Shrine (Isonoue, Kitaebi, Kashima-ku, Minamisoma)

The Nippon Foundation and Yamada Shrine, which had its main building destroyed and grove washed away by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake, are holding a tree planting event to restore the woods on the shrine grounds.

The event is part of the Nippon Foundation’s Shrine Grove Resuscitation Project, which it has carried out since 2012 as one activity to support reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami, and this will be the project’s second location in Fukushima Prefecture. This project is being carried out at shrines in the three prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, as part of a plan to revitalize the groves that protect shrine grounds, and the tree-planting is being overseen by Akira Miyawaki, director of the Japanese Center for International Studies in Ecology. By restoring the groves of the shrines where local residents gather, we aim to revitalize local communities.

Approximately 400 local residents and other volunteers are expected to participate on the day of the tree planting. We plan to plant 3,000 trees comprising 25 varieties, including tabunoki (Machilus thunbergii), shirakashi (Quercus myrsinaefolia; bamboo-leaf oak), and akagashi (Quercus acuta; Japanese evergreen oak) in a roughly 615 square meter area within the shrine grounds. The Nippon Foundation is providing ¥6.8 million for ground and soil improvements needed to plant the trees, and has also given the shrine ¥174.6 million for the reconstruction of the shrine’s main building.
The day’s activities will also feature greetings by various people involved with the project, and performances of a local traditional performing art.

Time: May 3, 2015 (Sunday) 13:00 – 15:30 (Sign-in from 12:00; rain or shine)
Location: Yamada Shrine (Isonoue, Kitaebi, Kashima-ku, Minamisoma)
Support Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines), Fukushima Jinjacho (Fukushima Shrine Agency)
Supervisor Akira Miyawaki (Professor Emeritus, Yokohama National University)
Opening ceremony, silent prayer, greetings
Traditional performances
Explanation of how to plant trees
Art performance
Tree planting
Conclusion (scheduled)

* Past locations of the Shrine Grove Resuscitation Project:

June 2012: Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture 3,300 trees
August 2012: Watari, Miyagi Prefecture 1,100 trees
April 2013: Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture 2,300 trees
May 2013: Watari, Miyagi Prefecture 2,100 trees
July 2013: Watari, Miyagi Prefecture 2,500 trees
April 2014: Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture 3,500 trees
April 2014: Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture 700 trees
May 2014: Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture 3,000 trees
July 2014: Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture 2,500 trees
May 2015: Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture  
June 2015: Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture  


Public Relations Section, Communications Department
The Nippon Foundation