September 13th, 2013 | Detroit, Michigan
In the spring of 2011, a devastating combination of earthquakes and tsunami hit Japan’s northeastern coast, costing the lives of more than 22,000 people.
my husband my mother my son my daughter
It also led to an estimated 300 billion dollars worth in damages.
a two-storied house with red tiled roof and snapping shutters
The tsunami caused about 5 million tonnes of debris to be swept out into the Pacific Ocean.
Jenna liked to build sand castles
While most of those debris did sink, some have been washed onto the North American coast. As Japan worked on healing and rebuilding for the past two years, those debris were often returned to their owners as a symbol of bravery and perseverance.
Last Monday, a metal locker was found on the beach of Oahu Island, Hawaii. After local authorities opened the locker, the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu determined that it was once a part of Hana Sh?gakk?, an elementary school in the northeastern town of Tanohata.
Jenna liked to sing in the morning
Most of the town was destroyed in the tsunami. Aside from the locker, no other piece of debris from that area has been found. The items inside, some with name tags on them, were relatively well-preserved and allowed for the identification of the locker’s origin.
sewing those tags on was a pain
It belonged to third-grader Jenna Kubo.
her hair hummed when I ran a brush through it; she had bangs that fell over her eyes and she wouldn’t let me cut them
Inside, there was a pair of sneakers,
she hated gym class
a drawstring bag with two t-shirts inside,
too baggy for her, they used to be mine
and an empty wrapper for fried taro chips.
told her not to eat them; they are very unhealthy
The lock hanging outside the locker is in good conditions,
03-01-22 — a childish idea: one’s birthday is not a secure combination
and scheduled to be on display at Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum.
The other objects, per request of Jenna’s family, has been send back to Japan.
I am keeping them for her.