After the Japanese tsunami of March 11th 2011, a significant number of taxi drivers working in north-east Japan have reported having ghost clients on board that would vanish in thin air after a while. At least seven taxi drivers from the town of Ishinomaki where more than 6,000 people died from the tsunami claimed to have picked-up ghost passengers.
The ghost reports were collected by a sociology student, Yuka Kudo, who interviewed more than 100 taxi drivers for his thesis. The student wanted to investigate if they had experienced something unusual since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The study concluded that the taxi drivers where convinced that they had picked-up normal people until they disappeared from inside the taxi. Another finding is that all ghost passengers appeared to be young. None of the drivers experienced fear, but instead regarded their encounters as events to be remembered and cherished.
In one of the testimonies, a 50 year old taxi driver picked-up a young woman dressed in a red winter coat in the early summer of 2015 near the Ishinomaki station. The woman told the driver “please take me to the Minamihama district”. The taxi driver was surprised as that district was empty after the tsunami and asked her if she was sure that she wanted to go there. The woman replied with a trembling voice; ” Have I died?”. The unusual question made the driver turn to look at her but she had vanished.
In another occasion, a 40 year old taxi driver picked-up a young man in his early 20s. The driver looked at the young man from his rear-vie mirror; the young just pointed forward. After asking the passenger for the destination several times the young man asked to be taken to the Hiyoriyama hill, an area a few minutes drive off the town’s centre. When they got there the passenger just vanished from the back seats.
Some people also reported seeing ghosts standing in line outside shops that no longer exist or in the streets of neighbourhoods destroyed by the tsunami.