At the beginning of this month, a 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train washed up on the shores of Graham Island, British Columbia. What made this remarkable was that it was owned by Ikuo Yokoyama, who lives in Japan. The bike was washed out to sea amidst the tsunami that hit Japan back in March 2011.
Canadian Peter Mark discovered the Harley at low tide more than a year after the disaster, along with some other contents of a cargo container and it made headlines the world over. Now, after Harley-Davidson have offered to repatriate the bike, Yokoyama has politely declined and requested the bike be preserved in the Harley-Davidson Museum in honour of those who lost their lives or have been forever changed by the disaster.
Yokoyama is still trying to piece together his life after the tragic event and is currently in temporary housing in Miyagi Prefecture.
“It is truly amazing that my Harley-Davidson motorcycle was recovered in Canada after drifting for more than a year,” Yokoyama said, “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to Peter Mark, the finder of my motorcycle. Due to circumstances caused by the disaster, I have been so far unable to visit him in Canada to convey my gratitude.
“Since the motorcycle was recovered, I have discussed with many people about what to do with it. I would be delighted if it could be preserved in its current condition and exhibited to the many visitors to the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to a tragedy that claimed thousands of lives. I am very grateful to Harley-Davidson for offering me an opportunity to visit the museum, and I would like to do that when things have calmed down. At the same time, I would like to meet Peter, who recovered my motorcycle, to express my gratitude. Finally, I would like to thank all people around the world once again for their wholehearted support of the areas hit by the earthquake and Tsunami. I would like to ask them to help convey messages from the Japanese people about the tragedy of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which was a disaster of historic proportions.”
A truly remarkable sentiment, I think…