Officials said the man, who was 35 years old at the time, was discovered November 2 inside his car, which was piled up in the rubble with other vehicles in a temporary parking lot in Kamaishi.
Kamaishi was heavily damaged by the disaster in March. Tsunami waves as tall as 4.3 m (14 ft) surmounted the Kamaishi Breakwater.
The man’s wife reported him missing after the earthquake. She told officials that she believed he was washed away in his car by the tsunami. The car was found in August, but it was not reported to her until November 2.
On the same day, she went to the car’s location and found a body in the driver’s seat. She identified her husband by his driver’s license. However, a funeral had already taken place because he was presumed dead.
“There might be similar cases to this one, so other damaged cars need to be checked inside as well,” she said.
In Iwate prefecture, about 1,400 people remain missing, and about 3,000 cars have been severely damaged. Officials said they are now checking inside those cars to confirm whether there are bodies inside them.