Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Hideaki Akaiwa Story, Sanitized For Your Protection

 

First problem with this story: I have no idea if it’s true. Second problem: It’s filled with Code-of- Conduct-violating profanity.

But I checked out the name Hideaki Akaiwa, and it seems to be based on something true, at least. And I really feel that  Ben Thompson–apparently an Internet specialist in badassery–deserves recognition for his account of this, by means of which Hideaki Akaiwa will enter literary immortality. At least in my mind. 

I don’t want anyone on Ricochet to miss this, but I don’t want you to be exposed to profanity, either. Now, Ben Thompson suggests that if you don’t like it, you should turn off your computer and join a convent. But I have a much better idea.

No need to join a convent, you’ve joined Ricochet, where you have all the benefits of Ben Thompson’s story combined with the benefits of a convent–all for the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks! Only on Ricochet will you find this story–sanitized for your protection.  Here it is, family-friendly and rated PG-13.  Enjoy! 

Hideaki’s wife of twenty years was still buried inside the lake somewhere. She hadn’t gotten out. She wasn’t answering her phone. The water was still rising, the sun was setting, cars and [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] were swooshing past on a river of sea water, and and rescue workers told him there was nothing that could be done – the only thing left was to sit back, wait for the military to arrive, and hope that they can get in there and rescue the survivors before it’s too late. With 10,000 citizens of Ishinomaki still missing and unaccounted for, the odds weren’t great that Hideaki would ever see his wife again.

For most of us regular folks, this is the sort of [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] that would make us throw up our hands, swear loudly, and resign ourselves to a lifetime of hopeless misery.

But Hideaki Akaiwa isn’t a regular guy. He’s an [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] insane badass, and he wasn’t going to sit back and just let his wife die alone, freezing to death in a miserable water-filled tomb. He was going after her. No matter what.

How the [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] Hideaki Akaiwa got a hold of a wetsuit and a set of SCUBA gear is one of the great mysteries of the world. I’m roughly twenty hours into Fallout 3 and I’m lucky to come across a [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] vacuum cleaner in that godforsaken post-apocalyptic wasteland, yet this guy is in the middle of a real-life earth-shaking mecha-disaster and he’s coming up with oxygen tanks, waterproof suits, and rebreather systems seemingly out of thin air. I guess when you’re a truly unstoppable badass, you, by definition, don’t let anything stand in your way. You make [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] happen, all the time, no matter what.

Regardless of how he came across this equipment (borrowing, stealing, buying, beating up a Yakuza SCUBA diving demolitions expert, etc.) Hideaki threw on his underwater survival gear, rushed into the [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] tsunami, and dove beneath the rushing waves, determined to rescue his wife or die trying. I’m not exactly sure whether or not the dude even knew how to operate SCUBA equipment, but according to one version of his story he met his wife while he was surfing (which is awesome, by the way), so it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch to say that he already had a little experience SCUBA diving under a more controlled situation. Of course, even if this dude didn’t know how to work the gear I’m certain that wouldn’t have stopped him either – Hideaki wasn’t going to let a pair of soul-crushing natural disasters deter him from doing awesome [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] and saving his family. He dove down into the water, completely submerged in the freezing cold, pitch black rushing current on all sides, and started swimming through the underwater ruins of his former hometown.

Surrounded by incredible hazards on all sides, ranging from obscene currents capable of dislodging houses from their moorings, sharp twisted metal that could easily have punctured his oxygen line (at best) or impaled him (at worst), and with giant [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] cars careening through the water like toys, he pressed on. Past broken glass, past destroyed houses, past downed power lines arcing with electrical current, through undertow that could have dragged him out to sea never to be heard from again, he searched.

Hideaki maintained his composure and navigated his way through the submerged city, finally tracking down his old house. He quickly swam through to find his totally-freaked-out wife, alone and stranded on the upper level of their house, barely keeping her head above water. He grabbed her tight, and presumably sharing his rebreather with her, dragged her out of the wreckage to safety. She survived.

Man, do I [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] hope every word of this story is true.

Hideaki Akaiwa, Ricochet salutes you, especially if it really happened this way–and even if it only sort-of happened this way, Ricochet still [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] salutes you. 

There are 21 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. outstripp Inactive

    First problem with this story: I have no idea if it’s true.

    No way to confirm it. I Googled 赤岩英明 and got nothing. There are other possible kanji, but apparently they don’t produce results either.

    • #1
    • March 23, 2011, at 3:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    outstripp: First problem with this story: I have no idea if it’s true.

    No way to confirm it. I Googled 赤岩英明 and got nothing. There are other possible kanji, but apparently they don’t produce results either. · Mar 23 at 3:08am

    Thanks to the miracle of Google translate, I am relieved to find that there’s no need to sanitize your comment for Ricochet’s protection.

    • #2
    • March 23, 2011, at 3:17 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Lance Inactive
    LanceJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This far removed, it doesn’t really matter if its true or not. I had not put myself into the position of thinking what I would have done if my wife was stuck in a ravaged wasteland alone. I would like to think I would have been able to reach into my own magic pocket and pull out the gear needed to pull off my own search and rescue. I am in every way as dedicated and in love with my wife as Mr. Akaiwa is to his. There is no way he could be more so. As such, if he was compelled to do such a thing, I must be willing to try as well. Myths and legends become myths and legends for a purpose. To remind us of that which should remain alive in our hearts at such times…hope. And instruct us that to take action is the best way we can help keep that hope alive.

    I am a helpless romantic when it comes to things like this. His were not the escapades of a hero. They were the duties of a husband.

    Even if it didn’t really happen.

    • #3
    • March 23, 2011, at 5:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Profile Photo Member

    Ben Thompson’s Books about people like this are a great read if your into people who are Bada**. Although its got a very 20 something gamer cultural influence that some might not understand.

    • #4
    • March 23, 2011, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • Like
  5. dittoheadadt Inactive

    Unbe[expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct]lievable! I so hope it’s true.

    • #5
    • March 23, 2011, at 7:33 AM PDT
    • Like
  6. Humza Ahmad Member
    Humza AhmadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Perhaps more pertinent to our normal topic areas: The Top 5 Most Bad[expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] Presidents of All Time.

    • #6
    • March 23, 2011, at 8:43 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Lance: This far removed, it doesn’t really matter if its true or not.

    I am a helpless romantic when it comes to things like this. His were not the escapades of a hero. They were the duties of a husband.

    Even if it didn’t really happen. · Mar 23 at 5:11am

    Yeah, that’s what got me, too. True or not, it just seemed like a story we all needed to hear. By the way, you shouldn’t read the rest of it, because it’s full of vulgar words, but supposedly he also saved his mother–and then kept going back to save other people.

    Man, I hope it’s true.

    • #7
    • March 23, 2011, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. dittoheadadt Inactive

    Yikes, the “…and then kept going back…” is the part that pushes skepticism into my brain. Surviving one heroic selfless act in the face of myriad unimaginable dangers is a miracle. Surviving multiple times sounds implausible.

    Still, I hope I’m wrong…

    • #8
    • March 23, 2011, at 9:41 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Mark Woodworth Inactive
    Mark WoodworthJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    [expletive-deleted]-A!

    • #9
    • March 23, 2011, at 10:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. anon_academic Member
    anon_academicJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I speak a little Japanese and you may be interested to know that “Hideaki Akaiwa” translates as “Chuck Norris”

    • #10
    • March 23, 2011, at 10:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. John Wilker Inactive
    John WilkerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I been reading Ben Thompson’s documentation of BadA’s for a couple of years now, even bought his book. I’ve looked into many an epic tale he’s told, and all have turned out true. Sure, his reporting is chock full of absurd metaphor and references to nerd culture, but I don’t think the guy would put up something he knew to be fabricated.

    • #11
    • March 23, 2011, at 10:22 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. J. C. Casteel Inactive

    I’ve run this to ground. It turns out she just had his car keys.

    • #12
    • March 23, 2011, at 10:51 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. dogsbody Inactive

    Claire, the LA Times thinks the story is totally [expletive deleted to conform to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct] real. Their headline is pretty lame, but I like this:

    “Not willing to wait until the government or any international organization did, or did not, arrive to rescue his wife of two decades — whom he had met while they were surfing in a local bay — Akaiwa got hold of some scuba gear. He then hit the water, wended his way through the debris and underwater hazards and managed to reach his house, from which he dragged his wife to safety.”

    Not willing to wait until the government arrived. I think Ricochet should create an award for meritorious service and name it after him.

    • #13
    • March 23, 2011, at 11:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. dogsbody Inactive

    anon_academic: Chuck Norris wears Hideaki Akaiwa pajamas.

    • #14
    • March 23, 2011, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. FitzpatrickJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    dogsbody: anon_academic: Chuck Norris wears Hideaki Akaiwa pajamas. · Mar 23 at 11:12am

    They tried to make Hideaki Akaiwa toilet paper, but it wouldn’t take [this allusion to an expletive has been redacted by an editor] from anyone.

    Editor’s note: Here on Ricochet, we use [expletive deleted] instead of any hint of an expletive. We don’t even want to imagine an expletive.

    • #15
    • March 24, 2011, at 2:21 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Chris Johnson Inactive

    I’m willing to believe, and hope that some of this is true. Just enough of it.

    However, much of it is completely fabricated. This did not occur: “He dove down into the water, completely submerged in the freezing cold, pitch black rushing current on all sides, and started swimming through the underwater ruins of his former hometown.” He maybe waded in, referencing known landmarks, but you lose all orientation in swirling currents with no visibility. I dive into murky waters and swirling currents when it has to be done and I’ve done it with some of the best. Nobody, including the best Navy divers I’ve ever worked with, swims in such a situation. You crawl; you pull yourself through, from handhold to handhold. You imagine where you are and envision where the next landmark will be, then reach. There is no swimming done in swift currents and limited visibility and to lose your grip on a handhold is to be swept on a away from your objective.

    • #16
    • March 24, 2011, at 4:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. PJS Coolidge
    PJSJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks CJRun, I had planned to make the point when I got to my hotel tonight. There’s also the matter of the rebreather. This is a VERY technical piece of equipment requiring a lot of training. And you can’t share the mouthpiece like a regular SCUBA regulator. The Wiki page is very informative.

    • #17
    • March 24, 2011, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    CJRun: I’m willing to believe, and hope that some of this is true. Just enough of it.

    However, much of it is completely fabricated.

    Stop it stop it stop it. I don’t want to know the truth about this.

    • #18
    • March 24, 2011, at 8:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. dogsbody Inactive
    CJRun: I’m willing to believe, and hope that some of this is true. Just enough of it.

    However, much of it is completely fabricated. This did not occur: “He dove down into the water, completely submerged in the freezing cold, pitch black rushing current on all sides, and started swimming through the underwater ruins of his former hometown.” · Mar 23 at 4:59pm

    I think a lot of Thompson’s commentary is deliberately exaggerated for effect, and he also might not know the difference between, say, a regulator and a rebreather.

    Based on my very limited experience with SCUBA, I imagine Akaiwa could have used his BCD to keep his head above the water while cautiously picking his way through the debris, swimming underwater only when necessary to enter a building.

    The LA Times account is more believable and–of course–less colorful.

    • #19
    • March 24, 2011, at 9:38 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “No, I don’t know how to swim, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn.”

    • #20
    • March 24, 2011, at 9:43 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. :thinking: no superfluity of n… Member
    :thinking: no superfluity of n…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Well, maybe he didn’t have scuba gear…just the wetsuit.

    • #21
    • March 24, 2011, at 11:01 AM PDT
    • 1 like

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.