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Flowers assert ‘life’ at 2005 derailment site

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The kanji character meaning “life” is seen in a field in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, on Friday in this photo taken from a Yomiuri Shimbun helicopter.

The Yomiuri ShimbunAMAGASAKI, Hyogo — A kanji character meaning “life” formed of the white flowers of daikon Japanese radish plants can be seen in a field near the site of a deadly derailment accident in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, in 2005.

Local residents planted the radishes to mourn the 106 passengers whose lives were claimed by the accident on the JR Fukuchiyama Line. April 25 will mark the 13th anniversary of the accident.

The kanji character made of flowers is located about 300 meters southwest of the accident site, and can be easily seen from trains running on the line. Local farmer Michio Matsumoto, 82, started to create it in 2009, hoping that people would give thought to the accident and the importance of life by seeing the flower character.

Another kanji, with the meaning of “living,” has been created near a rail line about 150 meters north of the accident site by Hirofumi Hagimoto, 64, an acquaintance of Matsumoto. Hagimoto started making the character in 2015, using seeds he received from Matsumoto.

After discussing the matter with Matsumoto, Hagimoto started working on the flower character, hoping that bereaved families and survivors of the accident who suffered injuries would face life the best they could.

Photo caption: A kanji character meaning “life” is seen in a field in Amagasaki, Hyogo, on Friday in this photo taken from a Yomiuri Shimbun helicopter.Speech

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