Photo/IllutrationThe Nisshinmaru was found in waters off Susaki, Kochi Prefecture, on May 27, more than eight years after it was washed away from Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake. (From the website of the Kochi branch of the Japan Coast Guard)

  • Photo/Illustraion

SUSAKI, Kochi Prefecture--The 2011 tsunami washed away Tomohiro Sato's house. More than eight years after the disaster triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake, his boat has been found--far out to sea about 900 kilometers away.

A Kochi prefectural police patrol boat spotted the capsized vessel on May 27, drifting in waters about 2.3 kilometers from Susaki's coast, the Japan Coast Guard’s Kochi branch said.

Its registration number tallied with the Nisshinmaru, owned by Sato, a fisherman in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.

The 6.5-meter-long boat had strayed along the Pacific coast to reach Susaki from his home in northeastern Japan.

Its engine was gone and the vessel was covered in barnacles.

Sato, 50, farms brown seaweed and sea squirts, and catches fish in fixed nets. He managed to move the other boat he owns in time to protect it from the tsunami, but not the Nisshinmaru.

Sato said he was puzzled by the discovery.

“I wonder why it was discovered now after all these years,” he said. “I imagined it had sunk to the bottom of the sea.”