‘I Want To Go Home’: Six Years After 3/11

Four years ago, the New York Times published an article about an amazing man – a husband who still searches the sea for his wife five years after the tsunami that killed tens of thousands in Japan.

That man, Yasuo Takamatsu, sadly lost his wife to the tsunami that hit Onagawa in 2011.

On the day of the tsunami, his wife, Yuko, and the rest of her colleagues at a local bank were supposedly swept off the roof of a hospital that was designated evacuation point for the town. The only indication of her whereabouts was a text he received from Yuko that simply said: “Are you O.K.? I want to go home.”

After searching the entire town, he decided to take to the ocean in search of his beloved. “At the age of 56,” he said, “the reason I’m actually interested in learning to dive is that I’m trying to find my wife in the sea.”

Photo by Jon Chan

Since that fateful day, he has been diving in the sea every week in search of her.

Deeply inspired by Takamatsu’s drive and passion, local author Wesley Aroozoo felt an urge to meet him, hear from him; it took him months before he successfully made contact. Eventually he managed to spend time with Takamatsu in Onagawa in the summer of 2015.

Along with translator, Miki Hawkinson and cinematographer, Jon Chan, Wesley began his novel about Takamatsu’s inspiring story. Two years later, the novel entitled ‘I Want To Go Home’ is finally complete.

Photo by Jon Chan

It is a dual-language novel in both English and Japanese, a first for local publication house
Math Paper Press. ‘I Want To Go Home’ will launch in September in Singapore and will be available at Books Actually and its web store.