5 – The Twin Pine

“The Pine of Takekuma is truly an amazing sight. The trunk forks into two just above the ground,
confirming that this is just how the old tree must have looked. I thought immediately of the priest
Nōin. Long ago, a nobleman, newly appointed to serve as Governor of Mutsu, had felled the
tree and used the wood as pilings for a bridge over the Natori River. Nōin wrote in a poem, ‘No
trace is left now of the pine’. I was told that, generation after generation, the pine had been felled,
yet a new one replanted. After perhaps a thousand years, the present pine is still quite perfect in