Virus-related closure at Fukushima school brings forth blooms


Teachers and other staff at a Fukushima Prefecture junior high school temporarily closed by the coronavirus pandemic got a surprise when they noticed a sports field that is normally bustling with students has become carpeted with pink flowers.

“I have never seen the schoolyard covered by flowers,” said Masakazu Watanabe, principal of Yoshima Junior High School in Iwaki, currently closed along with all other schools in Japan to help contain the coronavirus’ spread.

“The power of nature is amazing,” he added.

The absence of people apparently let the tiny pink flowers, believed to be the sand spurry species, grow freely to cover the schoolyard, one of the largest in the prefecture.

According to the school, the flowers, along with weeds that have also taken hold in the yard, will be removed before the school reopens.

The school is scheduled to be closed until May 20 with Japan under a nationwide state of emergency.

Your news needs your support

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.

Coronavirus banner