If not for chance, this story would not exist.
One day in February of 2012, I had an appointment in Osaka. We were to meet along a little alley to the east of Sonezaki-dori Shotengai in Umeda. 乬Hoppo乭(Northward), said the person. I figured that the place would serve food from Northern part of Japan, but the owner乫s name was 乬Hoppo乭. The reason why I went to this place was to meet Mariko Kobayashi, a blues singer.
There were a lot of parts that came together at the start of writing this charity book. It was March 1st of 2012. Because the first Fukushima Hameln PJ Joint Night was being held in a couple of weeks, I went there to ask her to sing blues at the party.
The food there was so good, and the place was very cozy. Ms. Kobayashi kindly agreed to perform, and everything went fine.
After we got a bit tipsy, I found out that one of the regulars of the place is an editor and publishes 乬Hoppo Bunko乭. I was offered the chance to write a story for the booklet. I accepted the offer on condition that Hoppo Bunko should donate all proceeds to the Hameln Project.
When I first found out about the miracle tree in Takatamatsubara, it was at the Okuribi Bonfire of Kyoto in the year before last. Both the pine tree and the place stayed in my mind since then. Once I started to write the story of Takatamatsubara, I found it easy to write. After I sent the manuscript to the editor who had introduced herself as a regular of 乬Hoppo乭, very sweet words were sent me back from her. 乬When I proofread this beautiful story, I feel as though my soul is healed.乭 Her words encouraged me. 乬If I write a charity book and am able to sell it, I might be able to collect donations.乭 That乫s how I thought.