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Sendai, Japan

The 6th of 21 street lamps to be installed as part of Mischa Kuball’s Solidarity Grid.
Its installation was celebrated in November 2014.

A unique and symbolic street lamp from Sendai, Japan was installed and unveiled as a part of Mischa Kuball's Solidarity Grid in Christchurch, on 9 November 2014, at a special dedication ceremony with a mayoral delegation from Sendai as well as Mayor Lianne Dalziel, of Christchurch.

Sendai’s streetlamp more than a regular Japanese streetlamp; it features a bronze cast statue of the founder of Sendai, Date Masamune, who founded the city in 1600. Date Masamune was an extraordinary tactician and only had one eye, meaning he was often referred to as “the one-eyed dragon”. The statue is placed eloquently between two lights atop the historic streetlamp and displays Masamune riding a horse and prepared for battle.

On 11 March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and a giant tsunami struck the Tohoku region, tragically taking over 15,000 lives, with thousands of people losing their homes in Sendai alone. In light of this, the Sendai streetlamp is not only a gesture of solidarity for Christchurch but also one of understanding and compassion in a time after a horrific natural disaster. Sendai is moving forward with their reconstruction with support from all over the world and wants to share their experience and lessons learnt from the disaster while contributing to the development of disaster reduction worldwide.

The Mayor of Sendai, Emiko Okuyama, said: “The city of Christchurch sustained great damage from a large scale earthquake just a month before we were hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake. We are very grateful to have received an invitation to participate in the Solidarity Grid project from the people of Christchurch, our friends, as we move forward together, towards our respective recovery. I sincerely hope that Sendai’s streetlamp that will help light the downtown of Christchurch, will be passed down to future generations for many years to come, as a symbol of the bond between our cities, progressing together towards recovery.”

The City of Sendai is located approximately 300km north of Tokyo and is the centre of economy, industry and culture for the Tohoku region in Japan. The city is often called the “City of Trees” due to its beautiful natural environment and the Zelkova trees that line its streets. 

With special thanks to the City of Sendai and Mayor, Emiko Okuyama and The Sendai Station Square Mall Promotion Association