Peter Clarkson lives on the coast in Tofino, British Columbia, in Canada, and for some time he has been collecting the debris that washes ashore after last year’s tsunami in Japan. He’s found things like wood, plastic barrels, and polystyrene foam, and used them to build a 7 meter (23 feet) high sculpture in the resemblance of a totem pole. He has come to recognize the Japanese writing on many of the items, which helps him to know where they came from. When interviewed by the Canadian press, he explained his desire to construct something meaningful came from a feeling connectedness. He says finding this debris on the shore reminds him of the link shared between all people who leave near the ocean.
The tsunami in March of last year destroyed much of northern Japan and left almost 19,000 people either dead or missing. Many coastal towns appeared to have disappeared, with homes and buildings completely gone. The remains from these homes and buildings, as well as many personal belongings were all swept out to sea in large quantities. After more than a year, many of that debris is being found on the western coast of Canada and the United States. Earlier this week it was reported that a teenager’s soccer ball was found and identified by couple in Alaska. With the wife being originally from Tokyo, she was able to read the personal messages written on the ball, and now they have plans to come to Japan in order to personally return it to the owner.
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