Yesterday saw the opening ceremony for the new Fukushima Garden, designed by Kyoto landscape gardener Yasuo Kitayama, in Holland Park. It was very well attended – positively heaving with people in fact.
There were speeches from the Japanese Ambassador and the ‘Fukushima Ambassadors’ – two schoolgirls and a farmer from Fukushima. Two British students presented Japanese flags with messages of support; two Japanese Olympic athletes (swimmer Izumi Kato and Olympic boxer Katsuaki Susa, both from Fukushima) helped plant a rhododendron (it was the first time I’d seen their Olympic uniforms – a restrained grey striped jacket with blue shirt and white trousers).
Then we all milled around greeting friends until I sneaked off to the cafe for a quiet cup of tea. When I came back the crowds had gone and the garden was the peaceful haven it was designed to be.
Here are some of my memories of the day.
Never give up Fukushima! – ふくしまは負けない明日へ！