A fisherman and his family from Rikuzentakata lost so much during the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Katsuo Saito and his wife lost their 43 year old daughter to the tsunami and their livelihood was affected as well when his 20-foot fishing boat was washed away by the raging waters. Two years later, he found out his boat washed ashore 4,500 miles away in Long Beach, Washington.
A government official informed him that his boat was recovered in the US and it even contained five live beak fishes, a specie native to Japan alone. Since Saito did not want the boat back, he donated the “Sai-sho-Maru” to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon. He said he is amazed at how his boat managed to survive its journey to the US, while looking at the pictures sent through the government. He was also presented with some pieces from the boat, including its handle and a piece of rope, which the museum asked to be returned to the fisherman.
The remnants of his precious boat were put in a room in their house, which is filled with family heirlooms and treasures. He put the pieces in a box and placed it in the shrine for deceased family members, which includes their daughter, who was a nurse in Ishinomaki. They told the sad tale of how they walked for three days after the tsunami to look for their daughter. Having parts of the boat back gives them some sort of comfort, although of course they wished they could see their daughter again.
[ via NWCN ]
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