The Longtime Friendship Between a Japanese Diver and the Giant Fish He Saved From Certain Death

Great Big Story went to Tateyama, Japan, to visit with longtime diver Hiroyuki Arakawa who told the heartwarming story of his longtime friendship with Yoriko, the Asian sheepshead wrasse. Over 25 years ago, Arakawa had built a shrine at the bottom of the ocean, and when he went to check on it, he noticed a giant fish lurking around the gate who was injured. She wasn’t moving or eating, so the diver went down to check her out. He fed her crabs for ten days and since that very day, they’ve been underwater friends.

Scuba diver Hiroyuki Arakawa and Yoriko are the unlikeliest of friends. While they both share a love for the sea, Yoriko’s gills and tail make her a little more aquatically inclined. Nearly every day for the past 25 years, Arakawa has been diving into the waters of Hasama Underwater Park in Tateyama, Japan, to visit Yoriko—an Asian sheepshead wrasse.