Five years after the tsunami, a husband still searches the sea
August 30, 2016 10:31 AM   Subscribe

"Takamatsu went out with [the] regular dive customers -- the ones who dove for fun. They had no idea Takamatsu was searching for a body." [SLNYT] [warning: some graphic details re body decomposition]
posted by trillian (12 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
posted by stray at 11:36 AM on August 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm speechless--that was beautifully written but so absolutely wrenching to read about. What it must be to live it.

"They never found Emi’s cellphone. Hiromi didn’t want to close her daughter’s account, so she wrote a letter to the carrier and asked to keep it open because it was the only way she could communicate with her daughter. The phone company came to the house with a new phone — same number and address — as an offering to the family. Hiromi added the cellphone to the shrine. Emi’s friends text her on her birthday. Hiromi texts her every day. I’m sorry, she writes. I’m sorry."

posted by stellaluna at 11:51 AM on August 30, 2016 [10 favorites]

This was a great but heart-wrenching read.
posted by Kitteh at 11:52 AM on August 30, 2016

Why did I read that?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:19 PM on August 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ohhhh, that was probably the hardest part to read (as if you could really pick one). I made the mistake of reading some of the NYT FB comments (or maybe they were on the story itself) and I was shocked at the unkind, unfeeling things that people were writing. Ugh. I don't know how you could write something like that after reading this -- but then maybe they didn't actually RTFA.
posted by trillian at 12:35 PM on August 30, 2016

Yep. Crying at my desk, but in a good way.
posted by maryr at 12:36 PM on August 30, 2016

Sad story.

I just hope he doesn't injure himself diving to look for her. That kind of goal oriented diving has often been linked to accidents since participants sometimes start to put the goal ahead of their safety. On the other hand he seemed careful and seemed to know that it was somewhat hopeless, so I'm hopeful a tragedy won't create another one.
posted by coust at 1:18 PM on August 30, 2016

posted by domo at 1:45 PM on August 30, 2016

The story was a heartbreaker, and I have tons of respect for these bereaved people who have devoted years of their lives for searching for their loved ones.

Still, if something similar happens to me, I hope my spouse won't do the same. I hope he'll find a way to continue to enjoy the good things and good people in his life, and I hope he'll devote himself to building something sturdy and satisfying and new for himself, instead of risking his own life over and over again underwater, trying to find whatever crab-chewed scraps of underwear, jewelry, and bone remain of me. The bones, jewelry, and underwear will be just fine on their own, whether they're ever found or not.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:21 PM on August 30, 2016 [9 favorites]

The food offerings to the beloved dead who are trapped in the hungry sea were the most affecting. I am going to throw out an article called, Ghosts of the Tsunami. So many lost souls trying to find home.
posted by jadepearl at 7:01 PM on August 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

I recently had a chance to see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (longest running show in Chicago!) and one of the 30 mini-plays was about this husband and wife. It was beautiful and sad and I cried. Heart wrenching.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:37 AM on August 31, 2016


All of it was difficult to read, but the part about the daughter's cell phone just ripped my heart open.
posted by Jade Dragon at 8:10 AM on September 1, 2016

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