Missing Boy ‘Yamato’ Returns, Tops Social Media in Japan

When a Japanese army man in remote Hokkaido island opened the door of a hut one morning to find a boy inside. With the missing Japanese boy story still ringing in his mind, he quickly asked the 7-year-old, "Are you Yamato?" to which the boy said "Yes" and there the curtains were down for a painful five-day saga of the missing Japanese boy from the forest after his parents abandoned him last weekend as punishment.

It was the top headline in Japan for a week since the boy went missing from the mountain forest on Saturday where his parents left him reminiscent of ancient Japanese tradition of ‘Oyasuto’ or ‘Obasuto’, which means abandoning a parent or mother, respectively. Here the boy was left in the wild as a punishment for throwing stones on passing by vehicles in the street.

However, the boy apparently walked 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles) in the northeast direction and reached the hut of a Self Defense Force (army) station, where he survived on water from an open area tap for over a day before he was found by a soldier. Soon after finding the boy, he was given food and was rushed to hospital by a helicopter for a check up.

The boy Yamato was soon handed over to his father who was in tears and immediately apologized to his son for the agony. ""The first thing I said to my son was, ‘I’m very sorry to have caused you to face this suffering because of me,’" said the father, and Japan media reported that his son nodded in return.

Later, the father apologized to the entire community of the boy’s school and the rescue teams. "My excessive act forced my son to have a painful time. I deeply apologise to people at his school, people in the rescue operation, and everybody for causing them trouble," said the father bowing in a typical Japanese way.

However, a happy ending to the story has brought relief to many anxious parents who felt guilty indirectly all over the world.

Remorse is always appreciated by the Japanese society though many politicians do exploit this unwritten tenet very often. The father’s remorse should make Yamato be happy to be reunited with his family. Otherwise, currently he is a national hero in Japan and trending in the social media on top.

[category, world]

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