Yasuo Takamatsu lost his wife Yuko to the Japanese tsunami in 2011. Three years later, he is more determined than ever to find the remains of his wife.
In his efforts, the 57-year-old has obtained his diving license and plans on scouring the Tohoku seaboard for her.
“I will find my wife on my own power. I will bring her home,” Takamatsu told Mainichi.
Yuko was 47 when the tsunami crashed into Onagawa. She was at work, and retreated with colleagues to the building’s roof when she felt the tremor.
Years later, only four of the twelve people that were on the roof have been declared dead — the rest, like Yuko, remain missing.
The Japan Coast Guard has conducted three searches at Takamatsu’s request, to no avail.
Last year, Takamatsu decided to take matters into his own hands and begin diving lessons.
Now the widower is certified, but still a beginner. He goes on hours-long dives, accompanied by his 34-year-old instructor.
Whenever Takamatsu grows weary of his search, he reflects on his wife, telling Mainichi, “I think, ‘I bet you want to come home. It’s so sad that you haven’t yet, that you’re still on the bottom of the cold ocean…’ I’ll keep diving as many times as it takes. I’ll get better, a little at a time.”
RYOT NOTE: Even three years after the tsunami, recovery continues in Japan. One of the groups most affected was fishermen whose homes, boats and equipment were close to the water line. Click the action box atop this story help Operation Blessing get fishermen back on the water and Become the News!