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Schoolboy publicly berated by elderly man for offering him seat on train

47 Comments
By Meg Murphy

Japanese people have a reputation for being polite and well-mannered, so the frequent sight of so many people, rather than giving up their seat as they should, suddenly becoming engrossed in their smartphones or pretending to sleep when a pregnant woman or elderly person boards always comes as a bit of a surprise to me.

Of course, there are still plenty of kind and courteous people who offer up their seat without fail. On such occasions, the elderly passenger will often decline the offer, either because they will be getting off in a couple stops, or because despite appearances they still feel young and "genki" enough to stand for the journey. One elderly man in particular, though, took offense at a young boy who kindly offered up his seat recently.

According to Japan’s Livedoor News, the man, who just turned 70 this year, still has a lot of youth in him. Apparently looking about five years younger than he is, he says he still feels like he’s in his 50s rather than being a pensioner. At his class reunions, he is often revered as the “man of eternal youth”.

Sure, getting old is a bit of a drag for all of us, and when you really are getting up there in years it can be a bit of a blow to be reminded of how old you really are, especially if you still feel so young.

But to a middle school-aged boy, you are still an elder, and if the boy had been taught any manners he would have learned to offer up his seat to you; which is what happened when the aforementioned 70-year-old and his wife got on the train.

Apparently, just as the man’s wife thanked the boy for his kindness and was about to sit down, her husband went off on the poor kid:

“Hey, kid! How old do you think I look? Huh?” he screamed. “What about me looks old, tell me!”

The boy reportedly apologized profusely as he ran off, much to the shock of his fellow passengers. And when the man’s wife pulled her husband into a different train car, probably to scold him for creating a scene, the couple got into a huge argument.

Source: livedoor NEWS

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- To sit or not to sit? Linguistic and societal debate on Japanese train seats for the elderly -- One couple, two beds – Why do so many Japanese spouses sleep separately? -- Man Hospitalized After Sitting Next to Pretty Lady for Five Hour Flight

© RocketNews24

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47 Comments
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what a non story!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Senile old fool.I would have scolded the old grouch big time if i'd have seen this scene.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Vanity, thy name is.........

4 ( +7 / -3 )

And there went the only remaining polite school boy.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

Good for the wife.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I did come over this situation, terrible old people still around 'gangko'gangko

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Young Japanese people really are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The boy reportedly apologized profusely as he ran off,

I remember one time I was siting on the train and an old guy came in with a cane and stood next to my seat. I got up and offered him my seat and he refused me pretty loudly. I thought it was the typical Japanese style of refusing first, then accepting. So I got up again and he was even louder drawing attention of many passengers in the car. At that point I just left the car. How was I supposed to know that offering a seat to an old man with a cane was a bad thing?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Miserable old git.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Well, they have the pregnancy badges to identify pregnant women, so maybe they need to make an "old badge" for people that feel old and should be offered a seat? Most would agree with DaDude that a cane should be a good indicator, however.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

with this news you are discouraging people from doing good work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's rather awkward if they refuse even politely, because like DaDude says it can be hard to judge whether they are doing the polite refusal or really don't want to sit. Also if they were standing some distance away, you have to either shout across the car, or walk up to them, risking the embarrassment of having the seat you're offering them taken by some other person. I usually go stand by the doors regardless of their response

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another day, another idiot

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When I get the refusal I sometimes tell them that I'm getting off at the next stop, that usually does the trick. Then I get off and walk a couple of carriages down and get back on. Bit of a pain, but seems to save embarrassment all round.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

its easy just say you have a bad back and standing is better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"he screamed. “What about me looks old, tell me!” - Screaming like an idiot at a child.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Re: paragraph one - it possibly only surprises those who walk around with virtual blinders over their eyes. Look closely or be out and about every day and the true nature of the people becomes much easier to see.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"How old do you think I look? Huh?” he screamed. “What about me looks old, tell me!”

I nearly fell off my futon reading this.

The Joe Pesci 'didn't-pay-the-bill' restauran scene out of Scorcese's Goodfellas (or was that Oldfellas?) strongly came to mind.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"...so many people, rather than giving up their seat as they should, suddenly becoming engrossed in their smartphones or pretending to sleep when a pregnant woman or elderly person boards always comes as a bit of a surprise to me."

Meg obviously hasn't been here long.

As for this git who scolded the kid, I hope he never gets offered a seat again and that when he desperately needs one is scolded for some reason or another. Scumbag. I also hope the kid realizes that this was just some old man who can't handle the truth, and is not discouraged from kindly offering his seat to others. I offer my seat to nearly ANYONE whom I think needs it -- regardless of age. If someone started scolding me for doing so I'd tell them off and then take the seat back unless I were getting off there (or near there) anyway.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Old? Old how? Like a pensioner? What about me is so old?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In this age of the adulation of youth it is not surprising that many old folk feel pressured to pretend they are young. In the US you see a lot of older men and women dressed in exactly the same clothes as their teenage kids. Cringeworthy.

Still, this guy who berated the kid is an a-hole.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This made me laugh out loud!

Many older Japanese like to grump about young peoples' bad manners these days, but some should take a good long look in the mirror...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

One silly old guy makes a news story now? Reminds me how trouble-free Japan is.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have experienced the same kind of thing from a old man and a couple of "laddies".. reason why... I choose the person that I would offer my seat.

Yes I am an ugly poor fellow... but I prefer to be ugly and poor of soul rather than treated harshly by a stranger in a public space because I offered my seat.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Clearly there are all kinds of people in this world. But's it's pride that get the better of any person. The last thing a proud person would want to hear is something that brings him down. A real man is wise, humble, doesn't put others down with his actions, words or strength. He affirms and build others. The young school boy should understand that dignity is being polite when other are rude. Just treat people the way you want be treated. But there will always be lemons of life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I amazed how much they know about this incident and all those details they have about the old man. Was there a reporter on the train who interviewed the man and his wife immediately after witnessing the incident? Its a wonder she did not catch his name.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I've seen many Japanese avoid the possibility of embarrassment by getting up and moving silently to another part of the car. That way, the older passenger can take the empty seat with - if they want to see it that way - dignity.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have offered my seat so many times to hundreds of older Japanese ojiichans and obaachans, and 99% of the time, they are so happy and they even try to speak ENGLISH to me, like saying THANK YOU etc..in ENGLISH, not in Japanese to me. I feel very sorry for this poor Jr. High School boy, and my guess is that this silly old goat has some mental problems, I hope his wife does not cook him dinner for the next few months!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The kid should have pulled out his phone and taken a picture of of his face and then shown it to him.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's rather awkward if they refuse even politely, because like DaDude says it can be hard to judge whether they are doing the polite refusal or really don't want to sit. Also if they were standing some distance away, you have to either shout across the car, or walk up to them, risking the embarrassment of having the seat you're offering them taken by some other person. I usually go stand by the doors regardless of their response

I'm not that nice. I might be bothered to give up my seat if my legs aren't too sore, but if you say no, I'll take it at face value and plomp back down.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

what an ungrateful twat.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Poor young man, I know how he feels. Late last year I tried to help an elderly man to lift up his shopping trolley from the train onto the platform. I had no I idea what was going to happen next. The moment I touched the trolley handle he wacked my hand and told me not to touch his trolley. The worst part is people all stared at me like I had done something wrong. To be honest I would do it again if I see someone that looked that looked like they need some help. I don’t think there is that many baka like this around. Generally people are very appreciative.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Senile dementia....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What about me looks old, tell me!”

Please, sir, your face.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And the guy seemed to care more about his pride than the fact that the seat was being offered to HIS WIFE. She said 'thank you' so was obviously grateful to be offered the seat.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Poor kid. Hope he stays classy and keeps those manners despite this incident.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Even a 50 year old looks old to a middle schooler. I feel sorry for the boy. What a vain and arrogant old man!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Uhm, is the proper title for the article:

"Elderly man exposed a vain dunce"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Growing up in Britain I was brought up to offer my seat to pregnant women or the elderly. So in the past this has caused some awkward occasions while in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If I encounter this situation I'm going to try saying,

"Suware, jiji-"

and see what happens.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japanese people have a reputation for being polite and well-mannered

Not more than other nationalities in my opinion, this must be a Japanese made reputation, unless you consider salary men faking sleep to avoid to give their seat to people something polite or well-mannered. As for the boy, he should have said, "you are definitely older than me so I am giving you the priority to seat but if you do not want I will keep it"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

lol as i remeber my first job, i called the old woman a Okaasan, when one of the staff saying why u calling us okasan were still young, i said ok im sorry, the company got a new rule have to less older one like turn to 70's. I was shock when i found out one of the staff who pretending young and hate to calling okaasan said she still young to be have a daughter like my age, that she's already 72 years old lol , goodness my mom only 56 years , 72 years old can't accept the fact that she's already Obaachan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese people have a reputation for being polite and well-mannered

Not more than other nationalities in my opinion, this must be a Japanese made reputation

Not at all. I travel to 5+ countries every year, and Japanese are in general the most polite and well mannered of them all.

unless you consider salary men faking sleep to avoid to give their seat to people something polite or well-mannered.

So one group of people who does one thing that's not so polite means the whole country is not polite and well mannered? Does that mean that if one other group in the country, does one thing that IS polite and well mannered, they cancel each other out?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kariharuka, I also grew up in Britain. There were no "silver seats" as we were taught to offer our seats to the elderly, pregnant and so on. Perhaps, it is more accurate to say every seat was a silver seat.

When I have offered a seat, I have found many people politely refuse. Often they say they are getting off at the next stop. However, some are very glad of the offer.

I once saw a blind man and his dog on the train. At first, no one offered the seat. The dog was brilliant. it just stared at a young person until he felt so guilty he had to get up. I could not offer my seat as I was standing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I find young kids in Japan to be more polite then salary-men or older people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Precisely the sign that this man is getting "old". They revert back to acting like teenagers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One time there was a elder man standing infront of me - he didn't look like the kind that would sit down but I still felt the need to offer my seat but when I did that he pushed me back down harshly and look mad - I was in shock - this is the first time I didn't know what to do so I kept my mouth shut

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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