The ‘wind phone’ heals

about 1 year ago
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There are many different ways in which different people deal with their grief. But this one is Japan is truly unique and in many ways, healing.

After the devastating tsunami struck Japan, one small coastal town, Otsuchi was hit by 30-foot waves and 10% of the population died. But even before that, in 2010, Itaru Sasaki lost his cousin. He could not quite understand how to deal with his grief. So he built a glass-paneled phone booth in his hilltop garden with a disconnected rotary phone inside for communicating with his lost relative, to help him deal with his grief. He would ring his cousin’s number and his words would "be carried on the wind" as he spoke to him.

And when the tsunami hit in 2011, word spread about the wind phone and many people started coming to make a call to the people they had lost.  It is believed that 10,000 visitors journeyed to this hilltop outside Otsuchi within three years of the disaster.

Visitors dial in their relative’s number and catch them up on their current life or express the feelings necessary to move on. Some find comfort in the hope that their relative might hear them. Or merely talking aloud sometimes helps clear the heart.

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