Chinese exchange student rescues 9-year-old boy from fast-moving river

By Philip Kendall

The powerful typhoon Man-yi that swept through central Japan on Monday dumped enough rain to completely submerge parts of Kyoto, with the majority of rivers in Kansai high or bursting their banks. Shortly after the storm had passed, a group of schoolboys ventured out to take some snaps of trains passing over a nearby bridge when the youngest, a nine-year-old elementary school student, lost his footing and fell into Osaka’s Yodo River, which was flowing dangerously fast as a result of the heavy rain.

The boy was unable to reach the riverbank and was quickly dragged downstream, his young friends powerless to help. Thankfully, an extremely brave Chinese exchange student was passing by at that exact moment.

The incident occurred at around 4:05 p.m. on Monday in Osaka’s Toyosaki Ward when the boy, accompanied by two friends, stopped by a railway bridge that crosses the Yodo River in order to take photographs of trains as they thundered by.

Beginning at Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, the Yodo River is some 120 kilometers long, making it the longest river in Osaka. Owing to the recent typhoon, however, the river was much higher and running wilder than normal at the time of the accident, as can be seen in the following footage shot on YouTube from Tomoya Fujisaki.

The boy is thought to have been edging down the steep riverbank in order to retrieve an SD memory card that he had dropped, when he suddenly slipped and fell into the water.

In the strong current, the boy was swept some 350 meters downstream in a matter of moments. Fortunately, 26-year-old foreign exchange student Yan Jun was walking alongside the river at that precise moment and saw the boy struggling in the muddy water. He immediately dived in and pulled the boy to safety, whereupon they were both taken to a nearby hospital. Aside from a few minor cuts and bruises the boy was unhurt, as was his heroic rescuer.

Source: Naver Matome

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Finally a great story by a Chinese person that made the news. The Senkaku island stories were getting old.

Thanks Mr. Yan Jun, you are a hero in both countrys eyes!!

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Great story; but why the melodramatic, cliched writing style?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Great point to kick off focusing on friendship and co-operation! Way to go! I'm sure a Japanese exchange student or anyone witnessing this accident would jump to help, no matter race, polictics or etc.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Massive for foreign relations this kind of thing. Dude well worthy of the certificate of appreciation received from the Osaka police.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Great work, Yan Jun!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Now if politics could reflect this situation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nice to read some good news! Thanks, JT! and thanks Yan Jun!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Anyone who rescues someone else is a hero, but that it was a Chinese exchange student saving a Japanese boy (in Japan) will hopefully be one of those things that also helps to stop the petty politics and also improve relations. Thank you, Yan Jun. And to the boy: be careful!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Very lucky to have a foreigner on hand indeed, as most Japanese can't swim!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Exscuse me, whoever the dramatist was writing this article but " completely submerge parts of Kyoto," could he be more precise, i.e. was it the city , if so please inform which district, or if it was the prefecture is so where. And does the writer know what " completely submerge" actually means. Otherwise the rest of the article was informative, and also a thank to that brave Chinese exchange student for showing no regard for his own personal safety to help another human being regardless of race ,colour or creed.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

the guy was also given an award by the local gov't. it's good to see that all the vitriol espoused by both gov'ts doesn't have an effect on how real people act in this world. bravo!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

me as a korean praised and salute the chinese guy. well done.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Very courageous! Well done!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I look forward to the day when nationality is irrelevant in a story like this. Because nationality really is irrelevant in this story or did you believe the Chinese are all evil like the TV tells you.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This story was on Yahoo Japan the day after it happened, and I told the story to my third year junior high school students about it. After I told the story, I gave them 3 choices as to who the rescuer was: an old man, a police officer or a Chinese man. To my surprise, almost all the students picked the correct answer without having seen it on the news. After, my co-teacher talked with the students about how the mass media in Japan likes to pick on Koreans and Chinese, but this kind of story didn't make big TV news. The students seemed to agree with her, and thought Yan Jun was a real hero. I was glad to hear that my students didn't seem prejudiced towards Chinese people (I had a student before who wrote on his assignment that he didn't like fish and Chinese people), and that they found the story quite moving and inspiring. They all seemed very grateful for the young man's selfless actions.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I bet this was all over the news in China.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Great story; but why the melodramatic, cliched writing style?

It's always like that on JT, it's especially in the editorial pieces.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The guy is a great representative of Chinese people. But the story only got a small paragraph in the English Chinese media I looked at today (at least it was there). But last year, a Japanese ship rescued a group of sailors from the ocean after their fishing ship sank, and it was not mentioned at all in the English Chinese press (I don't read Chinese).

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Thank you, Yan Jun.

I have never met or had dealings with an immoral Chinese person, despite frequent trips to China, and even more frequent online purchases (other than in the case of student essay copy-paste - a commonplace worldwide alas). I don't know why or how the Chinese are so moral, but I am grateful.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good job! What a hero.

Hopefully this helps ease some international relations. I'm so sick of hearing Japanese people hate on Chinese people just because of the tired Senkaku debate. Why can't we be friends?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Major hit on generalizations I typically make myself. Bless the hero. I wanna be like him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This was all over the morning news on TV. they made a special section for this story, interviews with the Chinese hero, etc. it's a great thing to see the coverage this story is getting

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Individual heroism is always above mob-level racism and xenophobia.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well done, son! A lot of people wouldve frozen in the situation, and not jumped in. Glad the kid is ok.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Well done. This guy has done more for peaceful diplomacy than most....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

timtakSep. 19, 2013 - 08:38PM JST Thank you, Yan Jun. I have never met or had dealings with an immoral Chinese person, despite frequent trips to China, and even more >frequent online purchases (other than in the case of student essay copy-paste - a commonplace worldwide alas). I >don't know why or how the Chinese are so moral, but I am grateful.

Yan Jun obviously deserves every word of praise for his act as a person. But the people I know who would disagree with your all encompassing generalization are mostly Chinese. And my on-line purchases have been far from acceptable.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Yan Jun is amazing. His instinct was to save that child without a thought for his own safety. Imagine how the parents of the boy feel, without his intervention they would have possibly lost their son. This is heroism in its truest form. The parents of 9 years old boy will be eternally grateful ,and your parents must be so very proud.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Too much nationalistic rhetoric is bandied around in Japan so this story is a pleasant change. What binds us together is much stronger than any nationality we happen to possess. I am sure that there are many good acts of different nationalities helping each other that never get reported but I was glad to read of this one...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is a heroic human instinct that know no boundary between races. Island dispute should not be dragged in in such circumstance for point scoring.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yan Jun, Xie xie ni...for everything you did and stand for in your courageous act.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This story is the kind of thing that should matter between Japan, China, South Korea, and any other country out there struggling over something so ultimately petty as a few rocks in the ocean.

People helping people, regardless of who they are or where they're from, is the kind of salve, that if allowed to work could make the Senkakus issue much easier to resolve.

But viriol and chest-thumping always seem to win the day on all sides.

In any case, bravo to Yan Jun. You're a true hero, sir.

3 ( +3 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a good reminder that government and normal people are very different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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