Soccer Ball From Japanese Tsunami Found in AlaskaBy: Chad Sweely - April 23, 2012
All of us remember the devastating tsunami that ravaged Japan back in 2011. It was such a rough time for the Japanese population; however, a story has recently been released that has given the Japanese hope from these tough times. According to a Yahoo News article, a soccer ball owned by a Japanese native that was lost in the tsunami has recently been found all the way in Alaska.
The soccer ball, found by Alaskan resident David Baxter, belongs to 16-year-old Misaki Murakami from Japan. Baxter found Murakami’s soccer ball (which had Japanese writing, Murakami’s name, along with words of encouragement) while beachcombing on Middleton Island, 70 miles south of the Alaskan mainland. Baxter tells the Associated Press the following quote via e-mail:
“When I first saw the soccer ball I was excited to see it and I thought it was possible it came from the tsunami zone.”
David told the story to his wife, Yumi, who then contacted Murakami (with a reporter’s help) to let him know that the soccer ball that he had lost in the tsunami had been found. Murakami was overjoyed to receive the news about the ball, which had been given to him as a gift in 2005 when he transferred schools. Murakami told public broadcaster NHK the following statement pertaining to his joy of receiving the news about his soccer ball:
“It was a big surprise. I’ve never imagined that my ball has reached Alaska. I’ve lost everything in the tsunami. So I’m delighted. I really want to say thank you for finding the ball.”
The Alaskan couple plan to visit Japan in May to return the ball to Murakami; however, they will not officially meet, because they “don’t want to create too much of a commotion.”