The rainy season of 2017 has been particularly hard on Japan with a recent typhoon causing widespread damage to life and property. It’s hard to imagine at times like this that something good could have actually come from it.
Just as Japan’s rainy season was getting under way, on 2 June, Kwansei Gakuin University student Yuto Morita was returning to his home in the city of Takarazuka. As the 19-year-old student walked out the gate of Mondo-Yakujin Station, the surrounding area was getting battered by a storm, so he pulled out his umbrella.
Soon after, he noticed a young girl taking shelter in front of a store near the station. Morita approached the 12-year-old and offered her his umbrella so she could get back home.
Morita then began to walk home through the lightning, wind, and rain without any cover for himself, but the girl began following him. The junior high student, now in tears, told Morita that she couldn’t go home because she was afraid of her father.
Morita’s initial reaction was to tell her to call the police, but she hated the idea. So instead, he contacted one of his younger female classmates to help make the girl feel more comfortable and they all met at his home.
While eating snacks and drinking juice, the girl began to open up. She told them that every day she tries to leave home before her father wakes up, and doesn’t go home until she thinks he’s asleep. “If I’m ever face-to-face with him, he hits me,” she told them.
Morita was quickly realizing that this girl was a victim of violence far beyond what some people may even defend as “discipline.” One incident the 12-year-old recalled during their talk was when her father punched her in the face and she had to wear a surgical mask until it healed.
After two hours of talking, Morita noticed the student’s spirit improving, and she even was able to smile at moments. At this point he was able to convince the girl to let him call the Hyogo Prefectural Police’s helpline and seek help. The girl was quickly put into protective custody of the prefecture and now lives separately from her father.
People online praised Morita for his actions.
“People like him are amazing. I’m falling in love.”
“That’s pretty amazing of them to get a girl they never met to open up like that.”
“It’s like something out of a TV show.”
“Now that’s a man.”
It’s hard to say this is a happy ending. The girl and the 768 other kids in Hyogo Prefecture who are reported victims of abuse between January and May of this year alone still have a tough road ahead of them. But it’s safe to say they have a better chance than living under the unending terror of a violent “parent.” Perhaps that’s what this girl saw in the simple act of a perfect stranger willing to give up his umbrella without so much as a thanks.
As for Morita, he received a letter of appreciation from the Takarazuka Police for his deed in protecting and advising the student to seek help. During the ceremony (see photo above), he confessed that he aspires to become a police officer, also telling those present, “I hope the schoolgirl can live happily from now on. I had no idea abuse was so close.”
Sources: Yahoo! Japan News, Hachima Kiko
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