A lot of passengers on the last train of the night are too tired to notice much of their surroundings, but not Japanese Twitter user Mikan (@mikakawa1). After she plopped herself down on a seat, she noticed there was something under her foot, and it turned out to be a wallet.
Since there was no one else in the train car, the owner must have dropped it when they got off at a previous station. Mikan picked it up to check its contents, and found money inside, which, of course, isn’t unusual. What was unusual, though, was how much money was in it, and after counting all the bills, it came to a cool one million yen.
Figuring that one million yen is an amount of money most people would want back, Mikan decided to take the wallet to the lost and found when she got off at her station. Unfortunately, because of the late hour, there was no attendant at the automated ticket gate. Her next plan was to hand the wallet off to a police officer, but she didn’t see any in the immediate vicinity either.
However, along with the cash the wallet contained a driver’s license with a home address written on it. After a quick call to the phone company’s information service, Mikan had the owner’s home phone number, and so she called them up and explained what had happened. “You found my wallet?” asked the owner through tears of relief, unable to believe how lucky they’d been.
In Japan, it’s not unusual for people to take the train to work or into the big city but still own a car that they use for other outings, and that’s the case for Mikan. Now that she’d made contact with the owner, she got in her car and drove over to their house to return it. The owner, extremely grateful for Mikan’s honesty and kindness, wanted to give her a portion of the money as a thank-you, and insisted she accept 300,000 yen.
Mikan agreed, and the two said good-bye, but that’s not where the story ends. While she was grateful for the generous offer, she hadn’t returned the wallet, and all of the money it had contained, because she wanted a reward, but because it was the right thing to do. So after the owner had closed the door to the house, Mikan pulled out a pen and a piece of paper, wrote “Your appreciation is reward enough,” and left both the note and the 300,000 yen in the owner’s mailbox.
In addition to the owner’s thanks, Mikan has also earned a round of applause from other Twitter users, who have reacted with:
“So much respect for you.”
“They offered you 300,000 yen as a reward? That would have made my head spin.”
“Both you and the owner are people of outstanding character.”
“A long time ago, I lost a wallet that someone had given me as a present, and I was so happy when a high school student found it and turned it in.”
You could make the argument, and Mikan herself likely would too, that there’s nothing extraordinary about making sure something that doesn’t belong to you gets back to its rightful owner. That much money, though, is a temptation not everyone would be able to resist, and it only would have taken one less honest person to ruin the owner’s day. Then again, in this case it also only took one honest person to cause tears of joy, and Mikan’s story is an example that there’s a surprising amount of good we can do just by keeping our eyes open and our hearts kind.
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