The story of an old man and a student whose only connection was taking the same train every morning has gone viral in Japan.
This heart-warming story of two strangers, a student and an old man, was posted online by @lari0a and unfolds as a series of observational tweets. Though the story stretched our ability to suspend belief, it’s clearly struck a chord with Japanese Twitter users as evidenced by its nearly 10,000 reteweets.
The scene is set for us in this first tweet from @lari0a…
べいたん@Splatoon (@Iari0a) August 09, 2016
The story is a first hand account of something @lari0a claims to have observed over several days on a morning commute in Japan — an unexpected happening between an old man who the Twitter user says was always seen sleeping on the train and a student always found standing in the same area.
One day, the old man didn’t wake up when the train arrived at his stop and the student noticed. “Without thinking the boy quickly woke the old man up,” writes @lari0a. Thanks to the student, the old man rushed off the train, just barely beating the closing doors.
The next week the student was with a friend, discussing video games. The student’s companion apparently said if he didn’t buy a PS4 he would “lose all his friends”, but the student responds that he simply doesn’t have the money for a PS4. The whole time, the old man sat sleeping just in front of pair.
Some days later @lari0a saw the old man again riding the train, but this day there was something a bit different. The old man was awake — the first time @lari0a had seen him not sleeping away his train ride. And that wasn’t all! That day the old man was carrying a large paper bag. As for the student, he was in his usual spot, playing with his phone.
As the train pulled into his stop, the old man stood and spoke to the student, saying “Thank you for waking me that time. I was able make an important meeting without being late. I’m going to be transferred to the countryside so here is a parting gift.” With that, the old handed over the paper bag.
The contents of the bag stunned both the student and @lari0a — inside was a PS4! The old man said goodbye and stepped off the train, never to be seen again.
@lari0a says that from that day forward “a different person sat in the old man’s seat.”
Here is how some people reacted to this story on Twitter:
“This story warms the heart.”
“That was touching”
“He’s taking the PS4 to school?”
“This is a great story.”
Though some Twitter users online apparently believed the tweets, the story clearly seems entirely made-up — @lari0a’s profile even mentions enjoying thinking up and sharing stories — but the popularity the tale has achieved online is undeniable. And there’s no question that it’s a heart-warming little anecdote and a nice reminder that we should always be kind to others.
人を助けるために理由はいらない。 You don't need a reason to help people. https://t.co/Bfau7hjZAw—
べいたん@烏賊（イカ） (@Iari0a) July 28, 2016
@lari0a had previously tweeted the above image, which seems to sum the moral of the story.
Though we suppose getting a PS4 would actually be a pretty good reason to help people…