Reito Adachi

Reito Adachi

Reito Adachi

When I reflect on my relaxing but all-too-short visit to Kansas City, the sister city of Kurashiki, I am instantly transported to the backyard of one of my host families. The background was so spacious that it seemed like a forest to me. While sitting in the shade of the trees every morning, I contently watched squirrels scurrying about the trees and hummingbirds hovering from one flower to another. The host parents, Jun and Clint, were knowledgeable about birds and flowers and told me a lot about them. One fine morning as I was gazing upward into a huge sugar maple that towered above me, the following famous quotation by Warren Buffett sprang to mind: “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
Adachi1 
Adachi2 
Adachi3 

If you have shade, it is because some kind soul planted a tree long before you got there. The person who planted the tree probably did not know that you were coming. Nor did this person expect to spend any time under its shade. It was planted for anyone and everyone to enjoy. This simple act exemplifies selflessness.
Adachi4 
Adachi5 
Adachi6 

The warm welcome we received from the members of the Heart of America Japan-America Society during our stay in Kansas City was another example of selflessness. I was delighted to learn from the society members that they had also received the warmest possible welcome during their previous visits to Kurashiki. I am deeply impressed that the sister city relationship between Kansas City and Kurashiki has continued to develop for over forty years on the basis of mutual friendship and through countless acts of kindness. In this sense, all the people who have devoted themselves to developing this relationship are great “tree planters.”
Adachi7 
Adachi8 
Adachi9 

This summer, another seven high school students visited Kansas City (eight in all if I am counted among them ^o^;). Symbolically speaking, the students are just saplings now; in time, they will grow into large trees with spreading branches and give shade to people who come from far and wide. I believe they will help maintain the wonderful relationship between Kansas City and Kurashiki and continue to build upon it.
Adachi10 
Adachi11 
Adachi12 

感想
 引率者 安達 励人

 ホームステイでお世話になったジュンさんとクリントさんご夫妻のご自宅には,小さな森のような広いバックヤードがあり,朝の木陰に座って鳥や草花の名前を教わったり,リスが遊びまわる様子を眺めたりした穏やかなひとときが,鮮明に記憶に残っています。ある朝,立派な枝を広げたサトウカエデの大木を見上げていると,「今日,だれかが木陰に座っていられるのは,遠い昔にだれかが木を植えたからだ」という言葉を思い出しました。
Adachi13 
Adachi14 
Adachi15 

 いつかやって来るかもしれないどこかの誰かのために木を育てることは,欲得抜きの献身的な行為だと言えます。今回カンザスシティでお世話になった中部日米協会の方々は,私にとってまさにそういう善意の人たちでした。一方で,中部日米協会の方々は,自分たちが倉敷を訪れた時に,同様の温かい歓待を受けたことが忘れられないと口々におっしゃいます。今回の訪問で最も大きい感慨は,こうした相互の友情と厚意が,40余年の倉敷市とカンザスシティ市の姉妹都市関係のなかに息づいていることでした。たとえて言うなら,これまで両市の関係を築いてこられたお一人おひとりが,先述の「木を植えた人」なのだろうということです。
Adachi16 
Adachi17 
Adachi18 

 今年カンザスシティを訪れた7人の高校生は,さしずめ新たに植えられた7本の苗木でしょうか。この若い7人(もし私を含めてよければ8人?)が,将来どこかの誰かに「木陰」を提供できるような人になることが,お世話になったすべての方々への一番の恩返しなのだと考えます。