Mystery donor gifts tsunami-hit port in Japan with gold bars

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News

About ten days ago, gold bars starting arriving in Ishinomaki, a small Japanese fishing port that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami.

The local fish market received two 24-carat gold bars, totalling 2 kg. Then two tsunami support groups received the same.

The gold is worth more than $250,000 USD.

"Since it was labelled as 'miscellaneous goods,' I casually opened the box," Kunio Suno, president of the Ishinomaki Fish Market Co Ltd, told the AFP.

"I was stunned because what's in there was 24-carat gold in two plates. One was wrapped in brown paper and the other in a page taken from a magazine — both were sitting in sheets of bubble wrap."

Suno hopes to rebuild the fish market, which is currently operating out of makeshift tents, with the donation.

"We are really grateful," Suno told the Kyodo news agency. "These will definitely speed up the recovery process. I hope the sender will contact us so we can say thank you properly."

Sent from an anonymous benefactor — the gold was delivered each time with no message or return address — the golden gifts have been dubbed a "goodwill gold rush."

Three thousand people died and more than 40,000 buildings were destroyed when the tsunami hit Ishinomaki in March 2011.