Misaki Murakami hardly expected to see his soccer ball again. He lost it last March in Japan's devastating tsunami. It was a special momento from old friends.
"I was transferred to another school after third grade and my homeroom teacher and classmates gave the ball to me," says Misaki.
But more than 5,000 km away in Alaska, a beachcomber found what turned out to be Misaki's ball. More than a year later it washed ashore on tiny Middleton Island where radar technician David Baxter found it. Baxter's wife translated the name of the school written in Japanese and that lead the couple to Misaki.
"I tried to get the ball back to him or his family and I just wanted to help the young man try to piece his life back together," says Baxter.
"I didn't even imagine that my soccer ball would reach Alaska, thousands of kilometres away from Japan. It is my treasure," adds Misaki.
He says he can't wait to get his old school momento back.
"It has been hard to find my own belongings after the earthquake, but I am very happy that my soccer ball has been found and is coming back to me."
The soccer ball is probably the first tsunami object returned to its owner in Japan.