“You can write on a wall with a fish heart, it’s because of the phosphorous. They eat it. There are shacks like that down along the river. I am writing this to be as wrong as possible to you. Replace the door when you leave, it says. Now you tell me how wrong that is, how long it glows. Tell me.”—“On Shelter” by Anne Carson (via wobins)
The unmarked envelope floated into the living room of the home in northeastern Japan, riding the wave of tsunami floodwaters. Inside, the astounded resident found $40,000 in yen notes.
More money has been found in wallets, paper bags, and other containers swept away from their owners and scattered across a landscape ripped apart by the March 11 earthquake. One woman found $26,000 in a purse she had spotted atop a pile of debris. One police locksmith opened the heavy door of a recovered safe to find $1.3 million in yen notes.
What followed is a testament to a culture of honesty and altruism: The Japanese have turned over more than $48 million in loose cash to authorities.
“People tell me they just want the money to go to its owner,” said Kouetsu Saiki, a Miyagi prefecture police officer who oversees the collection, identification and return of salvaged money and valuables.
It will never be known whether the less altruistic pocketed what they found. But add the $30 million collected from recovered safes, and Japanese citizens and authorities in the three main prefectures damaged by the tsunami have helped salvage a stunning $78 million.