Mr and Mrs Kuroki moved to a dairy farm in rural Japan shortly after marrying in 1956. They began their life together, raising two children and looking after a herd of 60 cows for 30 years before their happiness was disrupted, when complications with Mrs Kuroki’s diabetes caused her to go blind.
She became depressed, hiding away inside her house and withdrawing from interaction with other people. She was especially saddened because she and Mr Kuroki had planned to travel together after their retirement.
Her husband began searching for a way to reinvigorate his wife and get her back out into the sunshine that she once loved so much. One day, he noticed a bright fuchsia flower with a strong fragrance growing on the farm, and had an idea.
For the next two years, Mr Kuroki planted thousands of flowers, called shibazakura, all across his land, transforming the property from a dairy farm to an enormous flower garden. He knew that even though his wife would not be able to enjoy the sight, she could most definitely enjoy the fragrance.
What he didn’t anticipate was that his new flower garden would attract tourists from far and wide, who began to show up during cherry blossom season to take a walk through the blankets of fuchsia blossoms.
Mrs Kuroki was indeed lured back out into the sunshine to enjoy the thick scent of her garden, and to chat with her new visitors. 25 years later, the shibazakura on Mr and Mrs Kuroki’s farm still bloom twice a year, attracting 7,000 visitors every March and April. The dairy shed is now a museum for the flowers and the story behind them, and the couple, now in their 70s and 80s, still enjoys daily walks through their fields of pink.