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Drawing with the Students of Futaba Future School! Hirono Thermal Power Station Mural Art Project

Final Part:
Everyone's Mural, Finally Completed!

30 January 2024

The project to paint a mural with students from the Futaba Future School began on August 20. During the two workshops held, participants of different positions and ages expressed their thoughts and gradually solidified the themes they wanted to convey through the mural. In this third session, we finally move on to the actual production phase. What kind of mural will emerge in the large tunnel located within the Hirono Thermal Power Station grounds? We will showcase the mural's creation and its unveiling ceremony!

Uniting Everyone's Opinions! The Final Rough Draft is Decided!

November 20. This project, which began on a hot summer day, has now reached its final stage. On this day, it's time for the unveiling of the final rough draft and the eagerly awaited mural painting experience! As the students' excitement rises upon seeing the provided helmets and workwear, Mr. Eitoku, General Manager of Hirono Thermal Power Station sends his cheers to them.

"43 years has passed since the commissioning of Unit 1 in 1980. It's rare for a power station to have a tunnel within its premises, and this tunnel has become like the 'symbol' of our power station. I would be delighted if this mural becomes something wonderful that can be passed on to the future for eternity."

Finally, the long-awaited presentation of the final rough draft is here! Actually, immediately after the previous workshop, Mr. Yamamoto from OVER ALLs revisited the power station to once again observe the work of the staff. He was accompanied for the day by Ms. Saeki from NANSO-SERVICE, who had expressed during the workshop, "I think this job is cool, and I work with pride." During this visit, Mr. Yamamoto further refined the mural's imagery to express both the coolness of the job and their dedication to safety.

Mr. Yamamoto shares his insights on mural creation as follows:
"When creating a mural, it's essential to remember three key things: 'putting your heart into it,' 'doing it safely,' and 'enjoying it with seriousness.' If you forget these three principles, no matter how skillfully you paint, your artwork won't touch people's hearts. Think of it as your own painting and strive to do excellent work!"

Cold and Heights Are No Big Deal! Creating Murals with a Heart for Safety

Upon arriving at the tunnel, giant murals with spots of color appeared through the gaps in the scaffolding! On-site, the staff from OVER ALLs had already started working in advance for the unveiling ceremony on December 21. First, the participants were divided into two groups and learned how to use and handle the rollers. They received advice such as, "When you want to paint the finer details, use the tip of the roller, and when you want to paint straight lines, try using the base," but there was no hiding the fact that they were somewhat bewildered by the unfamiliar task.

However, all the time spent up to this point was for this moment! They climbed the gigantic scaffolding, which was nearly 8 meters high, with trepidation, and finally, the work began!

"I feel great about being able to paint with all my heart on such a large wall!"
"I never thought I was interested in painting, but it turns out to be quite enjoyable!"
"I'm full of emotion to see the part I painted become a part of the whole artwork."
"The more I paint, the more attached I become. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece!"
At first, everyone was a bit awkward, but they gradually got the hang of it and began to paint with ease. To OVER ALLs' surprise, the exposed concrete surfaces were being beautifully adorned at an astonishing pace.
"I'm amazed at how efficient everyone is. With this many people painting, we might even finish everything today."

Students, teachers, power station workers, and artists. The people painting the mural and those overseeing the safety of the operation were all together.
In the midst of the cold sea breeze, after completing all the planned processes and descending to the ground, everyone's faces were lit up with bright smiles, radiating a sense of "I did it!", which conveyed the fulfillment they experienced throughout the day.

The Mural is Finally Complete! An Emotional Unveiling Ceremony was Held

On December 21, amid an approaching cold wave across the Japanese archipelago, the mural unveiling ceremony was held. On that day, a large number of participants, including JERA personnel, as well as guests such as the Mayor of Hirono Town, the Principal of Futaba Future School, and representatives from collaborating companies, attended the event.

The ceremony began with speeches from Mr. Eitoku and the esteemed guests, and continued with a humorous introduction to the project by Mr. Suzuki from JERA, a member of the workshop team.

Next, representing the students who participated in the mural project, two students shared their thoughts from being involved in this project.

"I've never painted in such a large space like a tunnel before, so actually doing it was a lot of fun."
"I usually paint by myself, but this time, being able to paint a large mural with a lot of people was a very valuable experience."

After the ceremony, everyone moved to the tunnel.
As they walked with anticipation building in their hearts, the tunnel gradually came into view. The scaffolding that had covered the entire mural during the previous work had been removed, revealing the completed mural in all its clarity. The finished mural was meticulously detailed, resembling a photograph. Remarks like, "The resolution has improved from last time" and "The rough draft was great, but the actual mural is even more beautiful!" filled the air with excitement.

Everyone seemed to feel a sense of accomplishment as they each took pictures and shared their impressions with other participants. Afterwards, everyone gathered in front of the mural, and with cheers of "Hirono is the best!!," they took a group photo with their brightest smiles.

"It was so amazing that I couldn't even tell where I painted. I'm really surprised. I even wondered if I actually did the painting myself."
"I'm looking forward to passing through this tunnel every day after work from now on."
"Every time I see this painting, it feels like the local people are cheering us on, and it makes me happy."
"I hope even the students who didn't participate in the creation of this painting will have a chance to see it through a tour someday."
Even after the unveiling ceremony, the participants lingered and gazed at the painting.

Over a period of approximately 4 months, the tunnel mural was created through the collaborative efforts of JERA, Futaba Future School, OVER ALLs, and many people. The mural not only embodies the themes of "Promise" and "LOVE" set for this project but also reflects the thoughts and feelings of each participant.
The power station operates daily to produce electricity "safely," supporting people's lives. For everyone working here, seeing the mural on their way home every day will surely serve as an opportunity to re-realize their dedication to safety.

Finally, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in the Hirono Thermal Power Station Mural Art Project!