On March 11, 2011, the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami devastated the coastal communities of East Japan, claiming nearly 20,000 lives. Yasuo’s wife was never found, but his enduring love for her drives him to continue searching the sea. As the Japanese people observe the 12-year anniversary of this tragedy, Director Anderson Wright and Yasuo Takamatsu take a poignant look at the pain of loss, the strength of love, and the beauty to be found in remembrance.

Director’s Vision for ‘The Diver’

Twelve years ago, the fourth most powerful earthquake ever recorded struck Japan. The ensuing tsunami claimed nearly 25,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

Yuko Takamatsu was among those swept away on 3/11. She has never been found.

Since that day, her husband Yasuo has dedicated his life to searching for her. He scoured the Japanese coast until he decided there was only one place left where Yuko could be: the ocean. Every weekend for the past decade, Yasuo has explored the depths of the Pacific, diving into the void to find her.

Yasuo’s search is a meditative practice, an act of grieving, a way to stay close to Yuko’s memory, and an effort to honor the love they shared. His commitment has been steadfast since we first spoke about making this film in 2016 — he says that he will continue to search for her “as long as his body allows.” I’m so grateful that he trusted me to tell his story with The Diver.