MINAMISANRIKU, MIYAGI PREF. – A fish farm float that was lost from Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, in the March 2011 tsunami and later found on an island off Alaska was delivered Wednesday to its owner.
Sakiko Miura, 63, is believed to be the first Japanese to receive a washed-up item from the Tohoku region sent back from overseas. The buoy used to adorn the front of Miura’s now-destroyed restaurant, Keimeimaru. The object bears the kanji “kei,” part of the name of her husband, Keigo, who died about 30 years ago at age 37.
“It’s like my husband has come back,” Miura said with joy.
The float was found on Middleton Island by local resident David Baxter, 51, at the end of February. It was shipped back to Japan after Miura expressed her desire to reclaim the object.
Miura, whose home also was swept away by the tsunami, now lives in a temporary housing unit in Minamisanriku with her 90-year-old mother. She opened the restaurant at age 50, achieving a long-held dream.
Other tsunami objects found in Alaska, including a basketball from Kesen Junior High School in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, are expected to be returned to their owners in the near future.