Wednesday, February 8, 2017

An Eyewitness Account?
The Norinko Hanasaki Journal

The Tokidoki Notebook
SANDy, Bastardino and Friends

I received this email on my blog address the day after posting the Leland Stanford account. Although this account fills in some blanks in my investigation, I must take every email with a grain of salt. For future reference, and since it seems to encourage accounts from emailers who prefer to remain anonymous, I will not post names or email addresses. Those who want specifics should turn to the media accounts of the Norinko disappearance, but if you are like me, you'll probably find that such accounts are starting to dry up. Which is why I need more direct and indirect accounts from people who are familiar with the situation. Even if you have some history on the tunnel that I have not uncovered, that would be welcomed as well. I'll let this email speak for itself and I encourage this emailer to continue to keep in touch with me. 

The Email
I have been reading your blog about Norinko Hanasaki. She was my friend. I noticed that you don't give out names in your blog. I don't want my name used either. I was on the bus with Norinko that day in the tunnel. I heard lots of voices in the tunnel. They were speaking Chinese and I think Japanese and English but it sounded like old time English so I didn't understand everything. All the other students heard them too. There were about 15 students on the bus, all girls, and they started crying. And the bus was like in slow motion. I was sitting next to Norinko. She was smiling and holding her new notebook to her chest. Then the voices stopped and all lights in the tunnel went off. Someone screamed and then everyone screamed. Even the bus driver. Then we were out of the tunnel. And Norinko was gone. I smelled pee. The bus driver drove into the gas station and called the police. He told us to stay on the bus. He checked the tires and the windows. Then he got back on the bus. Everyone was calling their parents to come and pick them up. That's when I saw Norinko was gone. I looked under the seat and called her name. The bus driver checked his list of students and called out Norinko Hanasaki three times. I told him she was sitting next to me. He came over and he checked under the seat too. He asked me if that was Norinko's book. I knew it was, but it wasn't there before. The seat was empty, but I didn't say anything. Some parents started to pick up their kids. The police came on the bus. He asked me and the other students to step off the bus. A lady policeman asked us some questions , but when the other parents came the students ran to them. The students who didn't have rides home went home with their friends' parents. The lady officer said a detective would talk to them later. Me and one other student waited to hear about Norinko. The bus driver got off the bus first. He was reading Norinko's notebook. The policeman then got off the bus and said that no one was on there. He talked to someone on the radio and he told the lady officer they'd better check out the tunnel. The bus driver told the officers that this was Norinko's book and handed it to the guy. He said there was just a poem in it. I said that the notebook was new. She showed it to me. It was empty. They ignored me. The police left for the tunnel and the driver asked if we still wanted a ride home. We did. It was strange driving home. The driver kept crying real quiet like he didn't want us to hear. The student with me said she peed herself. I told her that's alright. It's okay to be scared. She said she was scared. She was cold, very, very cold. Then I remembered. The voices and the cold came together. And the smell of pee was in the tunnel.

The Heart and Crossbones (Life and Death together)

Bastardino Takes a Bite Out of Death

I think I should tell you about Norinko's book. She came to school that day with a new copy of the Tokidoki Notebook. She liked the Cactus Friends. These are kids and pets who fear the cold and scary world. They believe Evil is everywhere and looking for innocent children and puppies and kittens. To protect themselves, SANDy, the leader, wears a suit of cactus. Its sharp needles keep Evil away. All SANDy's friends and her and her friends' pets also wear cactus suits. SANDy represents water and life, strong and weak. She knows that without the cactus suit, she will be killed, but as long as she wears it, she can protect the water that gives life to kids and plants. Norinko loved SANDy and her dog Bastardino. To her, the notebook was like her cactus suit. That's the way she put it. She said that she was going to write about Evil without being afraid because the cactus notebook would protect her when she wrote about Evil. It was a new book. That's why I knew there couldn't be any writing in it. It was still in the wrapper. The wrapper was gone when the bus driver picked it up. That's all I remember for now.

Please keep my email and I will keep yours. The other kids on the bus don't want to talk about it, but if they change their minds I will tell them to email you. I told them about your blog. Thank you for helping to find out what happened to Norinko.


Our investigation will continue. I have a few leads. I sent an email to the "female officer" at the gas station. I hope to hear from her about the search for Norinko in the tunnel that day. I will be vigilant for more emails as well from other sources. Sometimes the information flies at me, sometimes it's elusive. Keep current with my investigation; that's my encouragement to keep digging and blogging it here. 

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