Date of activity: January 29, 2016
A tree planting ceremony honoring Nobel Prize in Physics recipient Professor Takaaki Kajita, Director of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, took place on a patch of land adjacent to the western side of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research at the Kashiwa Campus of the University of Tokyo on Friday morning, January 29, 2016.
Nearly 40 people were present at the ceremony, including Director Kajita, his wife Michiko, University of Tokyo President Makoto Gonokami, the executive vice presidents of the University and the directors and deans of the Institutes and Graduate Schools located on the Kashiwa Campus. Following opening remarks from President Gonokami, Director Kajita planted a Chinese Pistache tree.
After planting the tree, Director Kajita gave a brief speech, saying that "This tree will certainly grow big and strong, and I will strive to make my research activities 'grow' bigger and stronger along with it. I want to continue contributing to learning and the further development of the University of Tokyo."
The Chinese Pistache tree is known as the "tree of learning." This tree is connected to Confucianism, and in ancient China, shaku (wooden batons carried only by the elite) made from this species of tree were bestowed upon those who passed the Chinese higher civil service examinations.
The ceremony ended on a friendly note, as Director Kajita and some of his guests posed for a commemorative photo with the tree in the background.