THE PHONE OF THE WIND
If you build it...
My name is Dina Stander. I am a poet, End-of-life Navigator, and burial shroud maker. A few years ago my creative instincts were lit up by a public radio story about the 'Phone of the Wind' and the Japanese gardener who installed a phone booth in his garden, not wired to anything, so that he could continue having interesting conversations with a cousin whose death he was mourning. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami he moved his booth to an open hillside, a more public place so that others could come and talk to people they had lost. Since then, many tens of thousands of people have visited the Phone of the Wind.
This story moved my imagination and my heart, as it has for other creative people around the world. For a number of years I have been traveling with a pop-up Phone of the Wind to share this unique experience. I am honored and excited to partner with LifeForest conservation cemetery in New Hampshire on a permanent Phone installation in their unique woodland sanctuary (Spring, 2021).
On this page I've gathered a slide show of the original 'Phone of the Wind' in Japan and images of other installations inspired by Mr. Sasaki's generosity, along with a link to the first story I heard on This American Life, a full length documentary from Japan, and links to other phones as well as related media and film.
The Phone of the Wind is not a commercial project, in my life it has become an ongoing experiment in radical kinship. I accept monetary donations for materials, and material donations as well, including rot-resistant lumber and interesting old rotary phones if you happen to have one laying around. If you would like to discuss a visiting or permanent Phone of the Wind installation, or would like to brainstorm details for your own project, I welcome the opportunity to connect with you, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have designed a soft-sided portable Phone of the Wind that I can bring to memorial gardens, sculpture parks, conferences, etc.. I am currently in a design process to build site specific hard-sided Wind booths. If you would like one installed in your community or are interested in this process, please be in touch! To read a blog post about my adventure with this work:
The original Phone of the Wind was conceived by a Japanese gardener, Itaru Sasaki, to cope with the loss of a cousin he missed having conversations with. He placed it in his garden. In 2011, after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that swept away so many lives in Japan, he moved the phone to a hillside overlooking the Pacific ocean, so that others could find comfort talking to loved ones who are gone.
The Phone of the Wind in News, Film, and Life
OUT IN THE WORLD
AT THE MOVIES!
Voices in the Wind
Young Haru has spent years adapting to life with her aunt in Hiroshima. But when her aunt suffers a major stroke, she is incapacitated by fear and sadness. Not knowing what to do, she makes the rash decision to travel by herself to her hometown in Iwate. A town which was destroyed in the 2011 tsunami, taking her parents and brother with it. With no money, and nothing with her but her school uniform, she embarks on an arduous journey helped along the way by the kindness of strangers.