Message in a bottle

19 Sep

In March 2006, the sixth graders at an elementary school in Kagoshima, Japan wrote notes and put them into glass bottles along with photographs or whatever they decided.

Then they dropped the time-capsule bottles into the ocean.

This was done because in Japan the school year ends in March and sixth grade is the last year of elementary school…so those kids would move onto to junior high school the following month.

It took five-and-a-half years but last week an American sailor with the U.S. Navy found one of the bottles washed up on shore in Hawaii.
Inside was a note written by, then twelve-year-old, Saki Arikawa that said it was an “elementary school graduation memory”, a few origami cranes and a photograph of Saki and her classmates.

The photo of Saki Arikawa and her sixth-grade classmates that was in the time-capsule bottle

When a news reporter contacted Saki Arikawa to tell her that the bottle had been discovered in Hawaii, she said it was an “incredible miracle” because she had long given up hope that it would ever be found by anyone.

Saki and her classmates are all seventeen years old and will be graduating from high school next March. But after the news of the bottle’s discovery, Saki had a reunion with her sixth grade teacher and some of her classmates…all of whom had not seen each other since March 2006.

Now, Saki said, she would like to meet the kind American sailor who found her bottle.

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10 Responses to “Message in a bottle”

  1. Dan Tsukasa / 司 ダン (@Dan_Tsukasa) September 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Thats pretty cool, though I don’t see how finding the bottle makes him a ‘kind American’ just makes him a man who found a bottle, though he did report it to the authorities(im assuming he reported it somewhere).

    Thats quite nice though, I wonder how many other bottles will be found eventually.

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 20, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

      >I don’t see how finding the bottle makes him a ‘kind American’ …though…im assuming he reported it somewhere

      His kindness, I believe, was that he treated the letter, origami and photograph respectfully and carefully. And, as you mentioned, he reported his finding so that the author in Japan could be notified.

      >I wonder how many other bottles will be found eventually.

      Hopefully, they will all be found by someone sooner or later.

      Like

  2. gigihawaii September 20, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    Yes, this bit of news about the message in the bottle appeared in the media in Hawaii, too. But, 3 other bottles have been found in the past 5 years — 2 in Alaska and 1 in another part of Hawaii. Hope the schoolgirl and the sailor do meet someday.

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 20, 2011 at 2:46 am #

      >this bit of news…appeared in the media in Hawaii, too.

      Yeah, that makes sense since the bottle washed up there.

      >3 other bottles have been found

      I read that, too. I believe that the difference is that those other bottles were discovered not so long after they were dropped in the water.

      Speaking of Japan-related news in Hawaii…a big news story here in Japan is of an American former Navy sailor who killed his Japanese wife in California after she inherited a lot of money. He bought himself numerous cars, trucks and boats with his wife’s inheritance…and then he moved to Hawaii.
      (He had also swindled his own parents out of US$140,000 by telling them that he was diagnosed with cancer (which was untrue)).
      Was that story on the news there, too?

      Like

      • gigihawaii September 21, 2011 at 2:10 am #

        I am not sure. I usually avoid reading stories like that.

        Like

      • tokyo5 September 22, 2011 at 12:48 am #

        >I usually avoid reading stories like that.

        It was a big news story here the day it broke (a few day ago).

        Like

  3. Anonymous September 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    You have a great blog. I wish I’d found it earlier. It’s very informative and is now on my list of favorites!
    We’ve lived in Japan for about 2 1/2 years now, and have about 6 months left before we move back stateside. We have LOVED our time here in Japan, and I know I will miss it greatly when we leave!

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 20, 2011 at 2:39 am #

      >You have a great blog.

      Thank you.

      >We’ve lived in Japan for about 2 1/2 years now, and have about 6 months left

      Why did you come to Japan for three years? What part of Japan do you live in? Tokyo?

      >…before we move back stateside.

      Which state are you from?

      >We have LOVED our time here in Japan

      I understand that. Japan is a great place to live!

      Like

  4. tokyo5 September 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Unrelated, but today (Monday, September 19) is a Japanese holiday…敬老の日 (“Respect For The Aged” Day)…so this was a “three-day-weekend”.
    Then, from tomorrow until Thursday will be a three-day work-week…and then Friday will be another Japanese holiday (秋分の日 (Autumn Equinox))…so next weekend, will be a “three-day-weekend”, also!

    Like

    • tokyo5 September 22, 2011 at 12:53 am #

      A big typhoon is hitting Japan now.
      It just passed over the Tokyo area…so all is calm here now. But from about 4PM – about 11PM, there was very strong wind and heavy rain all over the Tokyo area.
      Lots of train delays.

      The typhoon is currently is northern Japan (it hit nearly the entire country…starting from the south and heading north.)

      Like

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