The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome
A Tsunami Boat Comes Home
This sweet story, intended for lower elementary grades, is intended to provide a window for discussing earthquakes, tsunamis, marine debris, preparedness and cultural awareness in the classroom and within families.
On April 7, 2013, a little over two years after the magnitude 9 Tohoku-oki Japan earthquake triggered a massive tsunami off the coast of northeastern Japan, a lone boat washed up on the shores of Crescent City, California. The confirmation of the boat as belonging to a high school in Rikuzentakata was first step in an amazing story that has linked two tsunami-vulnerable communities on opposite sides of the Pacific and initiated friendships between high school students in Rikuzentakata. This story is now told in a children’s book to be released by Humboldt State University Press in November, 2015. Co-authored by Humboldt State University Emeritus Geology Professor Lori Dengler and Amya Miller, the Director of Global Public Relations in Rikuzentakata, the book features illustrations by Arcata artist Amy Uyeki.
Psychologists believe that children can cope more effectively with a disaster when they know there are things they and their family can do to keep safe. Providing age-appropriate information will help them to understand what might happen and lessen their anxiety if a disaster does occur.
What People are Saying
“The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome not only represents an extraordinary story of survival, it tells us how the caring from total strangers can bring repair and healing to hopelessness and despair, and how children can model for us a path to world peace.”
– Dr. Satsuki Ina, therapist and specialist working with trauma victims
“I had the great honor of befriending the wonderful and resilient people of Rikuzentakata after the disaster in 2011. The amazing story of Kamome is the story of the genuine friendship between Japan and the United States - particularly between our young people - that became even stronger after the tsunami."
– Former United States Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos
“This is a story of bonds and friendship born from many miracles. Please read it.”
– Mayor Toba, City of Rikuzentakata
“A wonderful children's book, and a beautiful story about high school exchange between students in the United States and Japan, all from one single boat. I very much want children all around the world to read this book.”
– Former First Lady Mrs. Kayoko Hosokawa
“Even in hard times there are people who care. This is a story about high school students on the western coast of the United States who stood up for Tohoku high school students.”
– Megumi Sugimoto, Assistant Professor, University of Kyushu
"This is a must-read story about how a shared disaster and one boat's incredible journey across the Pacific brought together two different cultures who found out they had more in common than they thought... Loved it!"
– Crescent City Mayor, Ron Gastineau
“Through the trials of disaster, this is an amazing story of how the journey of one small boat built huge and lasting bonds of international respect and friendship.” – Rocky Lopes, NOAA/National Weather Service Tsunami Program Deputy
“This story floats on a sea of kindness.”
– Malcolm Margolin, Publisher, HeyDay Books
“The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome has all the ingredients of an epic odyssey - born of tragedy, sustained by suffering, that ends with love and friendship. I highly recommend this book for all ages, as it will become an ageless classic.”
– Dr. Eddie Bernard, Emeritus Director NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
“The illustrations in this beautiful book tell the true story of "Kamome". Children of all ages and adults will learn how the journey of this small boat made a big difference in the lives of people living on two continents separated by the vast Pacific Ocean.”
– Robin Renshaw, Director, Mad River Montessori Preschool, Arcata California
“This book is a wonderful way to educate children about some of the consequences of natural disasters. It also shows that some of life's worst tragedies can be transformed into opportunities to learn about our world and develop new and important friendships. “
– Dr. Rollin Richmond, President Emeritus, Humboldt State University