The tsunami of 2011 destroyed much of the City of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture. Takata High School, the local high school in the city was also destroyed. What no one expected was a boat belonging to the marine sciences department of the high school washing up on the shores of northern California two years later.
Kamome, as the boat was named, was found on the shores of Crescent City, California in April 2014. In October of that year, it was returned to Takata High School, and February of 2015, students involved in the clean-up of Kamome visited Rikuzentakata. This has led to a beautiful cultural exchange between Takata High School and Del Norte High School in Crescent City. Three trips have taken place with students from both sides of the Pacific visiting each other.
Vigor Japan's Executive Director, Amya Miller, co-authored a bilingual children's book about the voyage and the friendships built since. Lori Dengler, Emeritus Professor of Geology at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California wrote the English. Amya Miller wrote the Japanese. Amy Uyeki, a Japanese-American artist also from Arcata, California designed and illustrated the book.
All proceeds from the sales in Japan will go to further the cultural exchange between Takata High School and Del Norte High School. The book is available on Amazon.co.jp. Please search under the Japanese name.