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Nanae’s good stories 07

Volunteering for Onuma

May the wishes of a volunteer who loves Onuma reach as many people as possible.

There is a thin, circular monument three meters in diameter on the Nishi Oshima islet in Lake Onuma. The phrase the “birthplace of the song Sen no Kaze ni Natte (I am a Thousand Winds) is inscribed at the center of the monument.

Writer Man Arai was inspired by A Thousand Winds, an English poem whose author is unknown, and wrote the song Sen no Kaze ni Natte in a log house by Lake Onuma. It is said that he completed the song while feeling the winds blowing through a forest of Onuma.
This mosaic monument is made of andesite from Nanae, and its height was made low so that the structure would blend in the surrounding scenery.

The monument was erected on April 25, 2006 at the place the song was created. It is on the way to the Oshima trail, and this place in a rich natural environment has become well known as a spot to enjoy panoramic views of Mt. Komagatake and Onuma.

This spot has been protected by a local volunteer. Commonly known as Hashi-san, Tatsuaki Hashimoto is an Onuma resident and volunteer who always welcomes visitors with a gentle smile. Hashi-san watches over children on the way to and from school at a crosswalk every day, and has been cleaning the area around the Sen no Kaze ni Natte monument 365 days a year, whatever the weather, since the completion of the monument. A video documenting his activities won first prize in a video contest run by Dutch airliner KLM in February 2013. The video selected from entries from various Asian countries was highly praised.

KLM video

We hope Hashi-san’s warmth and day-to-day efforts will reach people all over the world.

Coverage cooperation: Tatsuaki Hashimoto