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Tue Apr 8, 2014, 03:37 AM

Girl who lost father in last year’s deadly Hokkaido blizzard pens heart-wrenching thank-you letter

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/02/24/girl-who-lost-father-in-last-years-deadly-hokkaido-blizzard-pens-heart-wrenching-thank-you-letter/

Some of you might remember that I started an OP last year about a Japanese father that froze to death while using his body to keep his 9 year old daughter warm in a blizzard. Here is an update. Let's give a hand to all the fathers who sacrifice themselves for their families. Even if it isn't this spectacular, giving yourself to work for 1/3 of your life to feed your family deserves a medal in my book.

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While Tokyo’s recent blizzard showed us the lighter side of natural disasters with amusing snow sculptures and insane images of overly panicked urbanites, these kind of storms have the potential to be very deadly and serious if you are caught outside. Last March, a violent storm hit the northeast part of Hokkaido and took the lives of nine people.

One of the most tragic stories to come out of this storm was a young girl who lost her father after he used his own body to protect her from the freezing temperatures and strong winds. On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, the girl asked one of Japan’s biggest newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun, to publish a heart-breaking letter thanking the country for the huge outpouring of support over the past year.

On March 2, 53-year-old Mikio Okada and his then nine-year-old daughter Natsune were driving down a road in Yubetsu Town, Hokkaido when their minitruck became stranded in the deep snow. The pair decided to abandon the truck to find shelter, but found themselves stranded out in the elements. With no way to keep warm, Okada hunched over his daughter and held her tight, shielding her from the wind and snow. The next morning, local police found the girl cradled in the arms of her father who had frozen to death overnight.

In the letter, she said that she “cried a river of tears when I found out that my father had died protecting me,” but that the overwhelming amount of support from strangers “surprised me and made me so very happy.” She wrote that the kind words of people from all over Japan have inspired her to “become a person that thinks of others.”

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Reply Girl who lost father in last year’s deadly Hokkaido blizzard pens heart-wrenching thank-you letter (Original post)
Bonobo Apr 2014 OP
shaayecanaan Apr 2014 #1
Bonobo Apr 2014 #2
shaayecanaan Apr 2014 #3
Bonobo Apr 2014 #4
shaayecanaan Apr 2014 #5
nomorenomore08 Apr 2014 #6

Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 04:13 PM

1. this was featured quite a lot in the Japanese media

The kid in question did an interview where she didn't blink or shed a tear. The wife was very dignified as well. No one felt the need to blame the father for starting out in the journey without enough juice in the tank or abandoning the vehicle. It showed

They have terrible snowfalls in that part of Hokkaido. The two of them reached a storehouse but it was locked and when the father gave his jacket to the kid he became hypothermic very quickly.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 10:20 PM

2. Perhaps you are thinking of some other interview?

The mother of the child had passed away years earlier and she was being raised by the father alone.

He sang to her all through the night as he protected her, gave her warmth and cleared away the snow from her face so she could have a breathing hole.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 9, 2014, 12:24 AM

3. Whoops...

I thought it was his wife on the telly but it must have been some relative or associate. I saw the daughter on television last year where she kept a stiff upper lip.

I took a trip once up around that area on the oneman densha. Bloody hell, did it snow. I went to the town called "Wakkanai" where I learned that they have gotten a bit tired of "wakanai" jokes. I rang some people on my phone and did some "wakanai" jokes: "where are you?" "wakanai! Ha ha ha!". Then I came home. Jesus did it snow.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 9, 2014, 01:38 AM

4. Yeah, I imagine that would get old fast.

How long in total did you stay/live in Japan?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 9, 2014, 02:57 AM

5. In fairness I was probably inebriated at the time...

I suspect I probably did a great deal to reinforce foreigner stereotypes vis-a-vis alcohol, although I was always a happy drunk. Still that's what they get for putting all those vending machines everywhere.

I have been there a dozen times, never for very long though. The wife has said she wants to go back there for a while after she has the second kid. I may follow or I may not.

I have no idea what I'd do over there. I have lawyered and done time in daddy's gemstone business. I don't believe that either of those two towering corpora of knowledge will get me a gig without some pretty good Japanese.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Thu Apr 17, 2014, 05:11 PM

6. Glad to be the 5th rec.

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