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Widower continues diving off tsunami-hit coast in search of wife's remains

By Harumi Ozawa

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Mirai Hayashi

he needs to accept his loss and try to move on with his life, otherwise he could spend the rest of his life on a wild goose chase

No he doesn't. Read this, maybe you've heard the story before:

Early one morning, an old man was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, ”Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

Mirai, it doesn't really matter whether the actual chances of finding his wife are big or small. It's not even necessarily about reality. For most of us, we have graves to visit when we remember our loved ones. Mr Takamatsu only has the sea. It's an expression of love.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@MiraiHayashi let me tell you out of experience: Nobody ever has the right to tell what is right or what is wrong for somebody who has just lost his spouse or children (and yes, three years are still 'just')! So you think the man and Educator60 are lost in romantic notion and it's wrong to act like that? Lol! There is NOTHING else left expect for romantic notion after such a loss! It amazes me every time again how apathetic some people are towards respecting the actions of a grieving person.

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I’m sure he knows at best he will find only her skeletal remains but I know if it were me I would want to find those remains too. Unimaginable horror at the thought of your loved one lying at the bottom of the ocean, never knowing where she is.

I hope he finds her.

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I totally respect Takamatsu efforts in trying to find his wife's remains. Its very heart felt and touching and I do say this out of sincerity. However, lets keep it real. Takamatsu is still in mourning and understandably so, and he is looking for a sense of closure to this ordeal that has turn his life upside down. But going out and searching for bones of a loved one, among wreckage that he could get stuck in, among potentially thousands of other pieces of human remains, without knowing where to look or what to look for is a bit silly.

I think you are probably caught up in the romantic notion that he'll find and be able identify his wife, and take her remains home so that he can get some sense of closure for himself. And I am sure that all of hopes he succeeds. I am just saying that he will need to overcome incredible odds to do this.

I know its easier said than done, but I think he needs to accept his loss and try to move on with his life, otherwise he could spend the rest of his life on a wild goose chase, rather than reflecting on the good times he has when she was alive.

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Logic tells me he should not bother and he will never find her.

But this is not about logic.

Good lord, this is horrendous. I hope he finds her. And I hope he doesn't. He is now doomed forever.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I pray he finds her.

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Educator60 -

I fully agree with you. when these people look for a piece of their loved ones, they are not just looking for a body but could be anything.. a watch, necklace... etc etc... anything. even a small bone... in order to make sure their loved ones are being found and returned home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a sad story.

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I know how he feels. I know how it feels to have received the last text message from your soulmate. After such a loss the world stops to make any sense and you don't care whether you get run over by a bus or the world implodes the next day. It must be several magnitudes more terrible not knowing where his wife's body has gone.

I wish him all the luck in the world to find her! Everyone knows the chances but some things are better left unsaid sometimes.

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I admire his courage and determination. Futile, but admirable.

On another note, I see 'matchwood' is going to be the 'word of the day' for references to the tsunami on JT. Get a thesaurus!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A very sad story, his deep love for her still seems to strike a chord with a lot of people around the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow...poor guy. And being able to find the keitai is pretty amazing. But I gotta say, there is no way that her body would be recognizable after all of these years.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A definite tear-jerker. While it's doubtful he will find her, I hope while he dives and searches, he can find a bit of peace in doing what he is doing, and feel her presence as he swims in the deep.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

True love.All the best.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i'm sure deep down in his heart, he knows that he will never find his wife's body. i wonder if he, in some weird way, feels guilty for not being there for his wife when she died. that feeling of powerlessness motivates him to try to help her now.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I can’t imagine being in this position, but the way she must look now—I’d rather not have that be my last memory of her.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I hope he finds her, to give him closure and peace of mind.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wish him the best as he try's to get closure from this tragedy.

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3 ( +3 / -0 )

First logical question is, are other remains found this way? If so he may actually have a slim chance. While a sad story, it is one of true love and inspiring.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't believe in "true love" and I'm generally cynical about marriage. This guy gives me hope. I wish there was something I could do to help him.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is a tear jerk-er.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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