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Family photo washed away by tsunami returned to owner

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/jpq041511/j30_RTR2L4LA.jpg

The little girl in the photograph is safe, it turns out.
The photograph was spotted at the bottom of Yamada Bay in Iwate Prefecture nearly three months after the great tsunami of March 11 by this reporter and a photographer during a dive.
After The Asahi Shimbun ran a story about it in its June 7 morning edition, the mother of the girl in the photo called to say that it was of her daughter. The photo was handed back to the girl and her family June 10.
http://www.asahicom.jp/english/images/TKY201106110224.jpg http://www.asahicom.jp/english/images/TKY201106110225.jpg
(Left: Moe Inagawa, right, smiles at a photograph that was restored to her, next to her
younger brother Kotaro in Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, on June 10. )
(Right: The photo as it was found on the seabed in Yamada Bay on June 5.)

The girl, photographed just as she was biting into a rice cracker, was Moe Inagawa, 6 years old and living in Yamada, Iwate Prefecture. It was taken last August. The man in the background was Satoshi Suzuki, 36, an uncle living in Ichinoseki. The shot was taken when Suzuki was visiting his family in Yamada.
"I searched for our albums but could not find any," Suzuki said. "I am so happy that at least one print is back."
http://mytown.asahi.com/saitama/k_img_render.php?k_id=11000591105180002&o_id=9467&type=kiji

The tsunami swept away the Suzuki family home, killing Toshiko Suzuki, Moe's grandmother, who was 61. Noriyuki, 68, Moe's grandfather, liked taking family pictures, which Toshiko had organized in albums. She used to say that if an emergency occurred, she wanted to save the family albums first.
"I'm surprised that the picture survived in such a perfect state," said Mikiko, Moe's 34-year-old mother, as she held it.
"It's back after three months in the sea," said Noriyuki, staring misty-eyed at the picture, likely recalling last summer when the whole family was together there.

By TS on Jun 14, 2011
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