Los Angeles: Parts of a Japanese torii gate and a wooden statue of the luck god Ebisu were found on the US West Coast last week, leaving residents wondering if they were swept to sea from Japan`s Tohoku region after the 2011 Tsunami.
Local residents in Oceanside, Oregon, found what appears to be the top of a torii, a kind of traditional gate usually found at shinto shrines, on March 22 according to Chris Havel, a spokesperson at the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation.
The 5-meter long curved wooden beam still bears traces of red paint. The Parks Department has notified the Consulate General of Japan in Portland and is storing the item.
Four days before the torii find, Nick Sparagno was walking on the beach with his family when his wife, Merrilu, saw something in the surf. She pulled the item to the beach and found it was a carved wooden statue of Ebisu, he said.
"It gives a good feeling to be around," said Sparagno of the nearly 1 meter tall smiling figure covered in algae and a few mussels. Sparagno said that he is curious to know if it is tsunami debris and the story behind it.
Sparagno is considering exhibiting the item in a local museum for the summer. (Kyodo)