A state mayor from a small-town in Washington state, got an awkward postcard from a 77-year-old Japanese man who was asking him to keep an eye out for his possessions which he lost in the devastating tsunami from last year.
“I wasn’t sure about it,” Bill Simpson, the mayor of Aberdeen, told local paper The Daily World. “Is it a joke? But, then I got to think about it, and, I think it’s real.”
Although the message was a little difficult to understand, maybe because the man translated his native language into English, they were able to make out the postcard’s contents. The man, Mr. Saito from Sapporo, Japan, was telling the mayor how he lost his ‘collected surveyed amounts’ library cards,’ during the Japanese tsunami from March 2011. He also wrote that he recently heard that some items taken by the waters were now reaching the Pacific Northwest shores and asked the mayor to keep an eye out for his belongings.
“To your seashore areas, have you been observing the floated materials?” Saito asks according to The Daily World. “If you find some, please let me know any news. I don’t use any electric tools now here, so please, to me by air letter!”
Saito also wishes Simpson well for the approaching Autumn season and “please welcome the new agriculture food together.” The postcard cost 70 yen and it has on it the word ‘nippon’, which according to some stamping collecting guides, it is used for most post-1947 stamps. It was stamped as air mail in Sapporo, Japan, and although it is addressed to the mayor of Aberdeen in Washington State of the United States of America, without any address, it has successfully reached its destination. The postcard was dated August 6th, so it took almost a month to reach Simpson.
“This man felt compelled to write us, looking for what he lost,” Simpson said.
He said that that there weren’t many items found in the Aberdeen area as it is quite difficult for the materials to get into Grays Harbor, due to the currents, but that there has been found plenty of tsunami debris along the coast. Over the past months the state Department of Ecology has sent a special cleanup team between Cape Disappointment and Moclips, which has removed several dumpsters of marine debris.
Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler, Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney and Westport Mayor Michael Bruce said that they were a little jealous because none of them has received any postcards or letters as Simpson did.