Shinkawa was rescued by the crew members of Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) Aegis vessel Choukai after he spent two days just staying alive as best as he could in the raging sea. Shinkawa was snatched from the perilous perch on Sunday, after the destroyer managed to find him hanging on to the roof of his former home.
Shinkawa is from the city of Minamisoma, which was one of the worst hit places in the area after the massive earthquake and tsumami hit Japan. When he was found, he was conscious and reported to be in good condition, according to ministry officials.
Shinkawa talked about his brush with death and said that he had been trying to run away from the tsunami when he heard it was approaching. But he forgot something, so tried to go back to his house to retrieve it. At that point the waters had caught up with him and he and his home were washed away. He said he was thankful for being rescued.
Shinkawa’s rescue is one of the many stories of the heroes that are emerging to help Japan triumph over this record setting earthquake, aftershocks and the tsunami that almost cost Shinkawa his life.