Here’s a news story that managed to warm even our cynical, Internet-jaded hearts to the core.
A man going by the name of Colonel Muska, the nefarious villain from Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky, has made a surprise donation to an orphanage in Tokushima city on the island of Shikoku, Japan.
The mysterious stranger left a pile of expensive leather school backpacks as well as a copy of the Ghibli feature film on DVD outside the orphanage, along with a letter simply saying “Please think of this as an early Christmas present. Yours, Colonel Muska”
Anyone who’s seen the fantastic Ghibli animation will know that Muska is hardly the type of guy likely to provide kids with surprise Christmas presents, and we have no idea why the generous donor chose the name to go by, but this real-life Muska certainly has a heart of gold.
According to staff at the orphanage, at around 6:30 p.m. last Saturday evening, the front doorbell rang. Upon opening the door, staff spotted a man “in his mid thirties” running away from the building having left behind a large box containing eight individually parcels along with the DVD and short message.
Approximately a year earlier, a similar donation was made by a man going by the same name, but his real identity remains a complete mystery.
Colonel Muska was voiced by non other than Mark Hammill (Luke Skywalker to you and me) in the English language version of the film
Kids in Japan almost all carry expensive randoseru leather backpacks, some costing anywhere from 100 to 800 US dollars, throughout their elementary school years. Along with costly school uniforms, the backpacks are one of the most expensive purchases that parents make for their school-age children, so providing eight of them — one for each child in the orphanage, no less — in one fell swoop is no mean feat.
The incredible act of generosity is reminiscent of the “Tiger Mask donations” that first occurred on Christmas Day, 2010 when a donor going by the name of Naoto Date, a character from the popular 1970s manga Tiger Mask, left backpacks for orphans in Gunma prefecture. Soon after, donations of backpacks, school supplies and even cash were made to orphanages all over Japan by people going by the name Naoto Date and Tiger Mask.
Although not donated to children, back in 2007 Japan was gripped by the “toilet cash mystery”, when over the period of several months envelopes containing 10,000 yen notes ($120) were left in men’s restrooms in locations from Hokkaido in the north to the island of Okinawa in the south, often along with the message “to be used in the pursuit of happiness.”
Japanese people certainly like to give!