Tom Musco offered to design and build a structure that would link the Hardy School garden to an outdoor classroom. A Japanese style gate was suggested for its esthetic appeal and its connection to the many Japanese families whose children attend Hardy School.
After consulting with Japanese parents in the school community Tom designed the gate pictured here.
It was during the final stages of the planning for the gate that the March 11, 2011 earthquake struck off the coast of northern Japan. In the terrible hours and days after the quake and tsunami the Hardy communitytried desperately to contact family and friends back home in Japan. When all were found to be safe, the school community focused on fundraising and outreach efforts in support of the people of Japan.
As work on the gate neared completion, Tom suggested that it be dedicated to the bonds of friendship and caring between the Japanese and Hardy communities, and the school community agreed.
The gate was made from white cedar logs milled into timbers by Tom’s son-in-law Joshua Doub. The arched timber is black cherry milled by Josh from Tom’s woodlot in Royalston.
The kanji symbol, “kizuna” means “the bonds between people”. It was chosen in Japan as the Kanji of the Year 2011. Tom’s carving of “kizuna” was added to the gate during the May 2012 dedication ceremony to symbolize the strong bonds between the Hardy School community and their Japanese families, both here and back home.
Hardy Principal Deborah D’Amico and Mr. Ryota Kikuchi made the formal dedication of the gate. The dedication reads:
“We, the Hardy School Community, hereby dedicate this Japanese Gate to the strength and courage of the Japanese people and to our ties of friendship and caring which reach beyond distance and time.”