Thanks to Buddhist monks, about 8 million sunflowers have been planted to absorb radioactive ingredients in the soil and water. Where were they planted?
In 2011, the Fukushima nuclear plant experienced meltdowns and explosions after an extremely powerful earthquake on March 11 of that year. The violent shaking caused failure of the cooling systems, making for an awful nuclear incident.
Japan was already suffering from the damage inflicted by the quake and resulting tsunami. It got even more miserable when radiation made its way beyond the immediate area of the power plant. It eventually settled into the ground and water in a heavily agricultural area.
If there can be any silver lining to this series of disasters, it can be found in the actions of Buddhist monks who dedicated themselves to helping those in need. Their goals were to lift the spirits of the poor people whose lives had been changed by the nuclear disaster, and also to do something that would lessen the damage caused by the radiation.
So they grew 200,000 sunflowers and gave out many more seeds. There were soon about 8 million sunflowers growing in Fukushima. It is believed by the monks that sunflowers absorb radiation from the ground and the water.
It is hoped that the good deeds of the Buddhists will allow Japanese involved in agriculture to continue with their livelihoods without having to live in fear of excessive radiation.