OCEANSIDE, Ore. – A possible piece of tsunami debris that washed ashore in Tillamook County Sunday may be the most culturally-significant piece of debris we’ve seen on our shores.
It appeared to be the top piece of a temple gate called a “torii”, used to mark the entrance to a sacred place. The Japanese call the top piece a "kasagi".
The 20-foot-long piece was found covered in sea life that birds were eating, according to Judson Randall, who took photos of the piece and shared them with KATU.
Rangers with the Oregon Parks and Recreation department hauled the piece away after inspecting it Sunday.
The boat has some Japanese markings, and officials are trying to determine whether it was washed away in the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.
The boat was covered with barnacles and other marine life.