When the surge hit the coast in Rikuzentakata, the 27m monster was the only one of a forest of nearly 70,000 trees to survive and remain standing. Months later, the pine eventually died due to its newly barren surroundings, but not before it could be chopped down and have its trunk dismantled for preservation.
Now, a fortified sculpture consisting of the remaining pieces, augmented with fake branches and leaves moulded from the original placed on top, has been installed at the tree’s tsunami-worn home.
The tree’s leafy toupee stands 8m tall and weighs over a tonne alone, to say nothing of the rest of the towering monument, which has been assembled over the past week or so. But now it stands completed as a reminder both of everything that washed away — and everything that didn’t.