Trip to Otsuchi: Day 5

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Today is my last day in Otsuchi. I can’t believe it. I really don’t want to go.

There’s a festival going on today and I know that Nana and Satoko’s moms, Satoko and Ami will be there so I hope I’ll get to go. I’m not sure what the schedule for filming is yet though.

Satoko and Hideaki Kariya

Satoko and Hideaki Kariya

This morning, we’re going down to the harbor where Bob will interview Satoko’s dad, Kariya-san. Satoko and her mom met us there.

A sightseeing boat washed ashore by a huge tsunami sits on top of a building in Otsuchi, Japan, on Monday, March 14.

The Hamayuri in Otsuchi

Kariya-san was the captain of the Hamayuri, the boat that was atop the hostel in the iconic image from the tsunami. We had our goodbye party on that boat in October. I never imagined then what was to happen just a few months later.

Hideaki Kariya, Captain of the Hamayuri

Hideaki Kariya, Captain of the Hamayuri

I think Satoko thought it was kind of funny that her dad was being interviewed for this big news show with all these people and cameras. It was a good interview, such an incredible situation that Kariya-san survived because of chance circumstances. If the boat would have been in Kamaishi, where it normally docks, Kariya-san would have been on it and he would have been killed. It happened to need maintenance that day and so was docked in Otsuchi.

Otsuchi harborI cannot get over the enormous mountains of debris down here. There are piles of fishing nets, pieces of boats. There are a couple of boats in the harbor but I can’t imagine that they can fish for anything as the water is contaminated. You can see across the bay to the area in front of the tsunami gates and there are even bigger piles of debris over there.

The flies are terrible. It’s hot again today and on the hot days the stench is overwhelming. A body washed up here this morning.
Otsuchi HarborOtsuchi HarborOtsuchi Harbor

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