COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

Pregnant woman takes teen boys to task for calling their friend 'lame' for offering her his seat

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

The seats in the corner sections of pretty much every train in Japan are supposed to be reserved for elderly, disabled, or pregnant passengers, but truly good manners dictate offering your seat to such people regardless of where you’re at in the train. So recently, when Japanese Twitter user @mrmehoso11 was on a train where one of the other passengers was a pregnant woman, the following scene took place.

“There was a group of middle-school boys on the train, and one of them noticed a pregnant woman and offered her his seat. She said she was getting off at the next stop, though, so she turned down the offer, and when the boy sat down again his friends laughed and called him ‘lame.’

When they did that, the pregnant woman spoke up and said ‘He’s not lame. He’s totally cool, and just the kind of guy whose girlfriend I’d want to be.’

I wish I could show you how red all his friends’ faces turned.”

Other commenters were quick to applaud both the courteous kid and the intended recipient of his kindness, reacting with:

“The ones who’re lame are all the other people on the train who didn’t offer her their seats.”

“When they get a little older, those other kids will realize that he was being a perfect gentleman.”

“When you’re kind to others, that kindness comes flying back to you like a boomerang.”

“I bet the boy will remember what she said, and it’ll encourage him to be kind to someone again in the future.”

However, more than a few commenters, including some who identified themselves as teens or parents of teens, thought that maybe the jeering kids on the train didn’t quite deserve to be thrown under the bus. Many of them, and @mrmehoso11 himself, interpreted the “lame” comment to be not in reference to the boy offering his seat to the woman, but to his gesture getting rejected. 

“When he got back to his seat, if everyone had just silently ignored what happened, it would have made the atmosphere in the group awkward,” said one person, with multiple other commenters feeling like making wisecracks was an attempt (though arguably a blunt and clumsy one) to make the situation something to chuckle about, instead of letting stony silence suggest that his offer, by virtue of being ultimately unneeded, had also been totally pointless.

Even @mrmehoso11, after having more time to mull things over, sent out a follow-up tweet in which he cut the other kids some slack, recognizing that coming straight out and recognizing that “His friends’ choice of words wasn’t nice, but that’s a complicated age for kids, and I understand that it’s hard for them to act sweet and sensitive, so I don’t want to be too hard on them. After the incident, looking at the friends’ faces you could tell that they completely understood they’d behaved in an embarrassing way.” He even went so far as to offer an apology to the friends if they happened to be reading.

“In conclusion, I see a lot of comments that are angry at the friends for what they said, but that’s entirely on me for not explaining the situation properly. Looking back at my first tweet, I ended up making them sound heartless. I’m really sorry. If the friends are reading this, please don’t worry about it. Anyone who was actually on the train could see the bond of friendship you have with each other.”

“Everyone in this story is so nice. It’s making me get choked up,” wrote one commenter after reading the whole thing.

Source: Twitter/@mrmehoso11 via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Schoolboy offers elderly man seat on train, gets publicly berated for doing just that

-- To sit or not to sit? Linguistic and societal debate on Japanese train seats for the elderly

-- Japanese senior stabs younger man multiple times after seeing him sit in train’s priority seat

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Calling their mate lame, then go back to doing their hair in the reflection of the window

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I'm curious what word was translated to 'lame'. Maybe ダサい?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Showing common courtesy like this on public transport shouldn't even be cause for discussion afterwards. The only reason they noted it was because it's so bloody rare.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I'm inclined to think they were calling his rejection lame, not his kindness, as that commenter pointed out.

But why is this news?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

manners maketh man!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

it’s actually a well known fact in Japan (or at least Tokyo) that no one (almost) gives up their seats.

You see those 20-50 yo salary men / women fake sleeping, or “too absorbed” with their phone, or just looking at the pregnant woman / old guy with a cane / injured person without even trying to give their seats.

Metro in Japan is where people express their frustration. It’s a no-right zone. You push, you hit, you steal seats, you pinch, you step on feet, you look at old people agonizing with their canes while you are watching the last video clip of Arashi. it’s the jungle.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Good on the boy. The only people who offer their seat to my pregnant wife are elderly women who probably need a seat just as much as she does!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I offer my seat to those who need it, more often than not they look surprised someone has done so. I have asked people pretending to sleep or ignoring those in need to give up their seat. They get embarrassed and often sneer, but they stand up.

In the UK I often get younger women, occasionally older men, offer me their seat, Never younger men.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is hard to understand the mindset of someone who would not want to help out a pregnant woman.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He’s totally cool, and just the kind of guy whose girlfriend I’d want to be.’

If that truly had any bearing on a man's popularity with women, men would make it a point to give up their seats. As it happens its so far down the list of features women look for I would advise ensuring you always have clean and newish shoes, belt and wallet and guard your seat like its your little fiefdom. Women need to stop confusing young men like that. They really don't need it.

And yeah, I don't think they called their friend lame. I think they were calling out the situation turned out lame.

“When you’re kind to others, that kindness comes flying back to you like a boomerang.”

Which fails to explain all the rude jerks with power, money and multiple wives and girlfriends.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It is hard to understand the mindset of someone who would not want to help out a pregnant woman.

Tbf, it's sometimes hard to distinguish a pregnant woman from an obese one (not too many overweight ppl in J though). Same re oldies, how old is old enough? Am on the wrong side of 40 and am not looking forward to the day when kids/teens systematically offer me their seat.

Heavily pregnant & over 80, no excuse.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@mrmehoso11 might have thought he had a nice manner story to massage his ego with, but after reading other peoples opinions recoils back into a corner like a fetus in the womb. looking for moral redemption decides to apologize to make himself look nice and feel good again. It's a confusing personality complex. As people, we are quick to judge others, and forget that we are all human. I have seen and experienced this situation many times. I respect the priority Seat rules as a responsible citizen. I once offered a seat to a disabled guy, but he looked at me with a really stern face( That face which was saying disability doesn't mean inability). I crawled back to my might seat, and the awkwardness covered my surroundings like a thick morning cloud. Even old people turn my seat away. I guess it's the gaijin complex. Remember Japanese people rarely take seats next to us, and what about offering one. It is the story behind the story.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The sad reality is that the boy who called his friend lame probably has chicks crawling all over him, and the guy who offered up the seat probably just gets laughed at by the girls too.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites