Iwate gets ‘space pumpkin’ seeds


The offspring of pumpkin seeds taken to space by former astronaut Naoko Yamazaki aboard the shuttle Discovery were delivered Wednesday to a board of education in Iwate Prefecture, with the aim of instilling hope in children affected by the March 2011 quake-tsunami calamity.

An official of the Matsudo Municipal Government in Chiba Prefecture handed the seeds to an official of the Iwate prefectural board of education with a message written by Yamazaki, a Matsudo native. The message read, “I present these seeds as ‘seeds of hope.’ Please never give up.”

Atsuko Fujisawa, an Iwate official who received the seeds and the message, said: “I think they will help children have hope for the future. We will work hard throughout the prefecture by also putting efforts into education related to reconstruction matters.”