National

Quake victims' giant blanket gains Guinness record

Kyodo

A crochet blanket measuring 464 sq. meters created for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the initiative of a German knitter has been recognized as the world’s largest by Guinness World Records.

In a bid to provide warmth and comfort to people affected by the natural disasters in the Tohoku region, Bernd Kestler asked people over the Internet and by other means in April 2012 to send crochet squares 20 cm in size. Kestler eventually collected more than 11,000 pieces.

Together with people affected by the disasters as well as volunteers, Kestler, a resident of Yokohama, stitched together the thousands of pieces in a gymnasium in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in September.

Their efforts yielded a blanket that far exceeded the size of the previous record-holder, which had an area of 306 sq. meters.

The massive blanket was later divided into smaller blankets that were distributed to disaster survivors living in temporary housing.

Upon receiving recognition by Guinness in January, Kestler expressed his pleasure, saying he could not have accomplished it without the help of people in the disaster area.