Unauthorized notices beg woman who left girls behind to “Please call home.”

In the interest of keeping things orderly and efficient, Japanese society generally doesn’t make exceptions to rules. That’s something that goes double in crowded Tokyo, where a huge number of people have to live very close to each other and in harmony, and it goes triple for the public transportation facilities that serve the city.

But Japanese Twitter user @mtbsck came across a rare case of a subway station willing to let an infraction slide, in hopes of bringing a happy ending to a very sad tale.

The photos shared by @mtbsck show a series of papers posted on the walls of Oji Station, a stop on the Namboku subway line located in north Tokyo. Two them are handwritten, with the first reading:

Mama, are you doing OK?
Please call home.

Ayaka
To Mama Ayumi

Between the unsteady handwriting and tacking the salutation onto the end after forgetting to place it at the beginning, it’s clear that the note’s author, Ayaka, is a young girl. Even though we don’t know the specifics of her family situation, if she’s posting a plea like this at the subway station, it’s safe to say Ayumi, the woman Ayaka calls “Mama,” has left the girl’s home.

The contents of the second handwritten note, written by a girl named Hazuki, are similar:

Mama, are you doing OK?
We’re waiting for you.
Please call home

Hazuki
To Mama Ayumi

While you’ll see all sorts of posters and fliers inside subway stations in Japan, the ones that aren’t posted by the rail operator itself all require permits. Notices posted without permission are promptly taken down, but considering the emotionally crushing circumstances these two girls are facing, Oji Station has decided to cut them some slack, as explained in the third notice photographed in @mtbsck’s tweet:

Unauthorized posting of fliers within the subway facilities is not allowed. Due to the large number of people who use the station, we cannot give special treatment to one individual. However, thinking of how these children must feel, we can’t just tear the notices down, and so we will be leaving them up for a while longer. We hope that they get that phone call.

– Stationmaster

Japanese Twitter users swiftly shared the story, with many praising the compassion shown by Oji Station and wondering what could possess a woman to abandon her children. “It hurts my heart to think that these kids are so desperate to see their mother again that they feel this is their only way to look for her,” said one commenter among the many who thanked @mtbsck for helping to spread the word.

Getting back to the specific contents of the notes, the use of “Mama Ayumi” is unusual. As is the norm in many countries, Japanese children don’t usually use their parents’ names when addressing them, which makes one wonder why Ayaka and Hazuki chose to write “Mama Ayumi” instead of just “Mama.” It’s possible that they thought that without the use of her name, Ayumi wouldn’t know the notes were meant for her, but it could also be that Ayumi isn’t the girls’ birth mother, and perhaps not even their legal guardian, but simply a prior paramour of the girls’ father from a now-ended relationship who often took care of or played with the children.

Whatever their exact relationship is, though, hopefully these notices will help the girls get the emotional support, or at least closure, that they need.

Source: IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@mtbsck