Was there a Japanese cargo ship named Tsimtsum that sank in 1977
No. You're probably pertaining to the fictional Japanese cargo ship’s name "Tsimtsum" in the Yann Martel novel Life of Pi.
Life of Pi is a tale about belief in God, survival and coming of age, that unfolds while the character is floating in a lifeboat on the Pacific Ocean. The leading role, Pi Patel, is a loveable teenager with a lifelong curiosity for animals and religion.
Pi grew up in Pondicherry, India as the son of a zookeeper. When Pi is around 16 years old, his father decides to transfer the family and zoo animals to Canada, due to political unrest in India. The ship suddenly and quickly sinks and Pi is left alone in the lifeboat with the tiger.
Speaking of lifeboats, Anne Hathaway is to star in and produce an adaptation of The Lifeboat, a historical novel by Charlotte Rogan about a young woman accused of homicide after her experience on a crowded lifeboat.