Feel Good Friday – “I am a 14-year-old Japanese”

by admin on April 8, 2011

Due to copyright permissions, I can’t post the full text and photos of this week’s “Feel Good Friday”  story so you’ll have to traipse over to HERE to read the heartwarming tale of how a US Naval officer helped a Japanese family recover their fishing ship.

Be sure to read the follow-up story HERE and see the family and how huge this ship is.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

elicat April 8, 2011 at 7:42 am

Really an amazing and heartwarming story. Thank you for posting this!


Hellbound Alleee April 8, 2011 at 8:14 am

That’s wonderful, and heartwarming, really. The only problem is that I was greatly distracted by the old Japanese are stoic and polite, but the Katrina victims were violent, and there was (horrible, terrible) anarchy. This is anything but true. First of all, oftentimes we see what we expect to see. We believe “orientals” to be “inscrutable and humble,” and that’s what we’re going to see.

But there are plenty of sources about the tragedy of Katrina, and the good people of New Orleans were not randomly looting and performing acts of violence–even though they tended to be poor and of a color that is stereotyped to death. People got food right out of the water because their neighbors and people they didn’t even know were starving and thirsty. Nobody was stealing tvs–there was nowhere to put them or plug them in. The Katrina episodes of this American Life interviewed many people at the Superdome and none said they saw any violence, nor was any rape actually reported during this tragedy. We often forget the facts and remember what we think we know. And we don’t.


Numa April 8, 2011 at 8:47 am

I’m so glad they found it. Thanks for posting it.


Daisy April 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

What an uplifting story!


ashley April 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

I’ve been inspired by the japanese people ever since the horrible earthquakes and tsunami hit. They have such patience and dignity even after all they’ve been through. I’m glad to hear their ship was found and that most of its gear is still intact, pretty lucky if you ask me xD
On a side note, it’s really weird to think that theres intact houses floating around in the Pacific Ocean O.o


LeeLee88 April 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

That was a fantastic story, and how wonderful is it that they got their boat back? It warms the heart, it does 😀


HonorH April 8, 2011 at 11:40 am

This really warmed my heart. I was actually there in Japan when the tsunami hit. I was living in a small city on the coast, and I had to evacuate and then watch as the wave rolled in. The devastation and destruction are impossible to describe. So many families lost everything. It’s good to know this family got their livelihood back.

The Japanese really are amazing. The quiet dignity and unselfishness in the wake of the tragedy astonished me. They’ll come back from this, but it will take a lot of time. I hope I’ll be able to return to my little city one day and see it rebuilt.


Aje April 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

amazing story! 😀


David April 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hellbound Alleee;

Thank you for bringing up the point about Katrina; what I saw was a group of people cut off from communication who were doing the best they could under the circumstances.

This is a great story.


Twik April 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Oh, dear. I’m crying here. What a lovely story.


DocCAC April 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I loved this story and got goosebumps reading it. I read an article in Slate about why the Japanese are dealing with the tragedies the way they are (no looting for food or water, etc.)–one is that they are taught from the youngest age possible to return found items (even the Japanese equivalent of a penny) to the police. If it isn’t claimed, then they get it after 60 days I think; even petty thievery (such as not returning a found wallet) is punished heavily. the example of not turning in a found wallet was given and it said this earns you at least hours of interrogation at the least, prison time at the worst. they also have a very strong police presence –something close to 20% of citizens know their neighborhood police by name and police kiosk type structures are within walking distances of each other and lastly, organized crime will not tolerate any type of thieving (!) and have given heavily to relief even if the affected areas are not in their territory as they percieve that they as a country are all in this together.

Japan has a very different culture and “the good/need of the many is more important then the good/need of the few” is very prevalent. that is why there is a word in their culture for death by overworking, and it is done for the good of the company. I can’t see killing myself overworking for a giant corp., but it is different thinking there for better or worse there. Here we are seeing the better part of this type of thinking/training. and they are taught not to depend on outsiders and are somewhat paranoid about getting themselves into a position of needing outside help. My collective thought of the Japanese through all of this is a people trudging through all of this, head down, one foot in front of the other. I talked to a friend who has close Japanese friends and agrees pretty much with this. I am sure the “14 YO Japanese” was very embarrassed to aask for help, but thank God it all turned out well.


Jall April 12, 2011 at 12:00 am

I wept when I read this story, and, when I read it to my family, I had to stop three or four times, because I couldn’t stop crying. How beautiful, how heartwarming. I am so very proud of our Navy, and Lt. Cmdr Morley. To them, and to us, it may seem like such a small thing: a couple of emails, some coordinates and a photograph sent to a little girl they don’t even know. But to that girl and her family, it was their livelihood and their hopes for the future.

Even the smallest kindnesses matter, in ways that the giver cannot even fathom. It is something we should all remember.


Mitja April 12, 2011 at 2:10 am

Hellbound Alleee,
I understand what you’re saying although I think in this case the example of Katrina could have been substituted with several other examples. Definitely most people in Katrina were doing the best they could under the circumstances, while there was also some bad behavior by residents and police (and by bad, I mean doing things that others weren’t despite the terrible situation). I don’t think the author was falling into the the stereotype of, as you say, “…’orientals’ to be ‘inscrutable and humble'” but wonder how you would compare the Japanese response, in general, to how Americans might respond in similar circumstances, for surely there are differences?


PrincessSimmi April 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

It’s so sweet. I have tears in my eyes.


onikenbai May 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I used to live in Ofunato, the town the ship floated away from. Sadly my house and my school are now part of the debris in the Pacific, along with the houses of most of my friends. I finally got a message from my friend who lost everything and it made me laugh:

“I have no house, I have no place to live. But we have beer so everything is fine.”


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: