Gaijin Smash

Moeko’s Owl

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on February 6, 2005

Let me introduce you to Moeko, a ninensei I met last year. My very first week at her school, I was in the gym watching a Sports Day practice. She came and sat down beside me, and had a conversation with me – in English! With her level, I thought she was an exceptionally skilled sannensei, so I was shocked to find out she was an ichinensei.
In class she’s always very quiet. She barely smiles at some of my jokes and antics, which crack the other students up. Whenever we do a writing exercise, most students just do the required 3-4 sentences, but Moeko turns in two paragraphs. Sometimes she’ll come up to me after class, and ask me a question in English or just start a conversation.
Her birthday was in November. I congratulated her, and she asked me when mine was. I told her it was in January. She said, in English, “I will make a card and present for you. Please look forward to it.” I thought that was just about the sweetest thing I’d ever heard, but I certainly didn’t expect her to remember, much less actually give me something.

December had been particularly hard, since this was when the long and excruciating process of breaking up with my ex started. It finally ended on a Saturday, the day after my birthday. My ex had forgotten my birthday, and when I called her about it, I found that she’d spent the day fucking the 5th guy she cheated on me with, the one who would finally put the last nail in the coffin. I don’t remember Sunday, but I don’t imagine it was a particularly bright and chipper day.
Then on Monday, I went to Moeko’s class.
It was any other class, really. Moeko was her usual self, smiling awkwardly at my jokes and quietly doing her work. I remembered what she said back in November, but dismissed the thought. After class ended, she came up to me and, as she said she would, gave me a card and present. I was surprised. Not only did she remember, she carried through with it! I thanked her profusely, and returned back to the teachers’ room with my gift. And then I was floored.
Inside of a delicately wrapped package was a hand-made owl. Completely hand-made; there was nothing even remotely factory about it. There was also a hand-made little basket, with a scroll inside. The scroll read, in English, “This is the year of the cock. So this owl is our mascot.” Inside the card she’d made all sorts of really cute and skilled drawings, along with “Happy Birthday!” in English, and the one that really got to me, “If you are happy, I am happy, too.”
I couldn’t believe it. To get anything at all is extraordinary, but THIS?! It was simply amazing. Especially compared to how my ex had “remembered” my birthday just three days before. It was one hell of a contrast, and it’d be an understatement to say I was moved.
If you’ve read some of the other entries on this site, you may know that at times I am a nice guy. However, I come from a background where people never did anything for me, and I went out of my way to make people happy. That alone was enough for me; I didn’t expect reciprocation. But I found that when I went through rough times, those I did so much for were nowhere to be found. It hurt, a lot, and forced me to change who I was. No longer did I do things simply for people’s happiness; I didn’t do things for people at all. If I did, it was with, “What do I get out of it?” in mind. At times, I wasn’t even remotely nice to the general population.
Eventually and I was able to become less of a jerk, but I still didn’t do things for others unless they’d established themselves as a friend, and I saw some possible benefit for myself in it. Then my girlfriend came along, and slowly I opened up to her as I loved her. I went out of my way, pretty much all the time, for her – sacrificing a lot of time and money, among other things. She rarely if ever reciprocated, and it did bother me, but I held my ground and hoped one day she’d change and be more giving.
Then, that bitch hurt me in the worst possible way. I mean, I’ve been counselor to a lot of love problems, and I’ve heard a lot of downright shitty treatment, but I honestly can’t think of anything worse than what she did. Yeah, she’s a terrible person and I am in no way responsible for the break-up, but I was angry at myself. I’d done it again. I’d given my all for someone so wretched, so undeserving. More than her awfulness, that was eating me inside. I felt my heart turning black again, as I wondered what the point of ever being nice was.
And now I’ve got Moeko’s owl.
I sat there, trying to figure out why she would do this. The card alone must have taken hours to draw and color. I can’t possibly imagine how much effort she would have had to put into the owl and basket. Why? She knows I’m already very impressed with her. She knows I have no influence over her grades. There’s nothing in it for her… Why? I would have been thrilled if she’d given me a store-bought card and Hello Kitty, but she went through the trouble to MAKE all that stuff! Why? And then I came back to the card. “If you are happy, I am happy, too.”
It’s how I used to be.
I sat at my desk holding the owl, and my eyes filled with tears. I felt any darkness looming over my heart starting to dissipate. I couldn’t even think about my ex-girlfriend’s treachery. All I could do was look at this owl – this amazing little owl – and choke back tears. For once, someone’s kindness, someone’s sacrifice, had not been wasted.
When I saw her the next day, I told her really, truly, honestly thank you. That I loved the gift and it moved me very much.
She gave her usual sort-of-awkward smile and said in English, “I made it.”
I know.
The magnitude of the gift, and the timing… I don’t know if she will ever truly understand what she did for me. Maybe she doesn’t have to.
“If you are happy, I am happy, too.”
I don’t where my life’s travels will take me, and I can’t make any promises, or be certain of anything. There is one thing I can guarantee, though. No matter where I end up, Moeko’s owl will come with me. If I ever doubt myself, all I will need to do is look at it. And I will never, ever forget little Moeko. Never let the world change you, Moeko, because you have the power to save the world. I know, because you saved me.


86 Responses

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  1. Sailor Mewtwo said, on July 6, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    I’m not usually one for sappy stuff, but even I can’t help but smile thinking of Moeko. And the little owl is so cute just to top it all ^_^

  2. DJ-Panic said, on July 6, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    man, that just about made me cry.
    Ever since I’ve had my daughter, she’s done similar things to me, but I’ve never had someone I hardly know do something that nice for me.
    I hope the world never gets it’s evil little claws into her.

  3. Ryan Waddell said, on July 7, 2006 at 4:03 am

    That made me tear up a little. Great story!

  4. Ilya said, on July 7, 2006 at 8:59 am

    For what its worth, that made a usually emotionally stable guy break a tear, really touching. πŸ™‚

  5. Jaidnoire said, on July 7, 2006 at 9:11 am

    That was *really* sweet. *sniff*

  6. The Red-Headed Mexican said, on July 7, 2006 at 9:28 am

    Some might say little Moeko is as talented as an artist as her heart is big. It’s things like this that remind you there is still good in the world.
    Keep up the great work. I look forward to every one of your posts. And thank Tucker Max for turning so many on to your journey. I hope you can cash in on this shit.

  7. Pete said, on July 7, 2006 at 10:44 am

    This was a touching story. And Moeko did very pretty work on the gift. I feel your pain on what happened, and I think that you getting that was just proof that you shouldn’t give up on all people. I hope Moeko stays the way she is, I hope you get a person in your life that reciprocates your kindness, and I hope that harpy gets what’s coming to her.

  8. Beefcube said, on July 7, 2006 at 10:46 am

    I’m glad you finally got this story back up, it makes a little happier whenever I’m feeling down. Whenever I want to remind myself why doing a small thing can make a big difference.

  9. Frank said, on July 7, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    Excellent post! A welcome change of pace but I’m still looking foreward to hearing more crazy crap about the Japanese.

  10. Aleks said, on July 7, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    I love your blog but I have never been compelled to comment until now. That is probably the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I hope she doesn’t get stepped on by the people in her life, because it would be a complete tragedy if a girl with a personality like hers gets mistreated.

  11. scubajim said, on July 7, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    What a clear and wonderful sentiment. “If you are happy, I am happy too.” Yes, she understands English. I have to agree with D-J Panic’s sentiment. (I hope the world never gets it’s evil little claws into her.)
    It really is the thought that counts, she certainly knows the meaning of this. I often ask people what is so valuable that you can’t buy it? Not only that you can’t even ask for it. If you ask for it you will never get it.

  12. Anna said, on July 7, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    We have family friends in Japan, though we haven’t seen them for about ten years. Even though it’s been that long, we still get Christmas cards AND letters from them every Christmas, without fail. They remember all our names, and seem genuinely interested about what’s going on in our lives. This always touched me so much–we hardly ever get letters, much less from people all the way around the world who don’t speak English and we haven’t seen in ten years. Also, the inside of the card your student gave you looks a lot like the cards we get from them!
    This, and your story is pretty much all I know about Japan, and it seems to be a very caring culture. It seems like they just give unconditional affection, without any embarrassment at all. How amazing. πŸ™‚

  13. Dave said, on July 7, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    It’s truly incredible how one little girl can do so much for someone who she thinks is her superior.
    I hope she takes the right path in life.

  14. Sarah said, on July 8, 2006 at 12:16 am

    That really made me sniffle. Touching.

  15. Roiyaru Ookami said, on July 8, 2006 at 2:13 am

    First off, i’d like to say I love your site ^.^ I’ve heard about it from my friend in the past and I even read a few entries and found them hilarious. In a way, I wanna be like you: Black dude in Japan πŸ˜› Since its always been my dream to go there and suck in the culture. Of course, your site helps give me an idea of what to expect, since some of this shocks me for I was one of those who expected Japanese culture to be a specific way ^^;;
    Normaly I wouldn’t comment, not that I feel im to good to do so, its just Im normaly not good with words and all I would be able to come up and say would prob come across as “Love your site! WOOO” or “Your hilarious and awesome!”…but this entry you placed in, I understand it happened awhile back since your moving your old posts from the previous site to the one now….it got to me bad.
    Im the exact same way you were, Im 19 and…do alot for people and go out of my way to make people happy. I place others happyness before my own…i’ve had my friends tell me im too nice of a person and get taken advantage of. But its just how I am, if not…I start to worry if the person is angry at me for my choice, which gets to me because I dont want people to hate me or dislike me. Of course the others arn’t as generous as I…so I find myself waiting for my friends/people to be as kind to me when I need a favor or do something generous for them …only to have my heart crushed while keeping the kind smile on my face…knowing I should be hurt but not wishing to show it because I feel that would disgruntle them, make them think they have to, thus making them angry or unhappy…something that I DONT want happening. SOmetimes I start to wonder if I should just stop going out of my way all togeather, but was unsure how that would turn out. I know its no where near the same degree of stuff you went through in the past….but I just…know where your coming from =/
    When I read this post, it hit me strong…I dont blame you for carrying around the owl because if it was me…i’d treasure it as well. My friend from Japan, one I just met from the first friend who showed me your site, she came to america to visit and stay with a few friends of mine…and I stayed as well so I could be there and get to know her more since I had just started talking to her 2 or 3 months before with conversations here and there. Before she came we started to talk more because she was excited to visit, she told me over and over that she was going to get me a present, as well as my other friends, when she came to America. I told her it was fine and she didnt have to, because i’ve never really done anything for her to do it. But sure enough, she came and gave it to me. It was a actionfigure/figurine of two characters of one of my favorite anime’s. It made me really happy, because it was practicly the first time someone else went out of their way for me to make me happy. Of course I made it up to her while she was still here. The figureine sits next to my computer since I could lose it if I carried it around, and im sure once I get a cruddy cubical desk job…it will be there with me as well XD.
    It makes me start to think…Is it because of japanese are that one would recieve such kindness from them like in these situations? I dunno, I dont know as much about the japanese as you or others prob do…but reading your story…and my experience with that one friend from there…makes my desire to visit and live in Japan even greater…while also helping me stick to being kind to others if its going out of my way, because one day I might be that Moeko or Yuka (my friend from japan) to someone else.
    This is a pretty big comment, and im sorry if you dont want something like this on I wont mind if you delete it ^^ I just felt the urge to finaly put something down once I read this….

  16. JP said, on July 8, 2006 at 11:49 am

    Truly a classic and heart-warming story. I’m glad everything turned out alright.

  17. Spacewarp said, on July 8, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    That is just so sweet!! And the owl is so adorable!
    I just discovered your site, and am looking forward to seeing more posts, old or new, but please, get better. I realize you’re doing this out of your own good will, so I don’t expect anything. But I do thank you for it.
    And if you see her, give Moeko a smile for me. 8)

  18. Night said, on July 9, 2006 at 5:51 am

    I shed a tear.. which is unusual for me. I suppose I can relate in some ways.
    What a sweet girl πŸ™‚

  19. Madsqueeble said, on July 9, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    And Moeko’s owl is back in business! πŸ˜€
    She graduates this year, doesn’t she? Or has she already gone on to greener (hopefully) pastures?

  20. Billie said, on July 9, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    Wow, I feel so enlightened. This is like the feeling that I got when I first read Jim Carrey’s quote out of a magazine to past time while at a dentist office, “I think everyone should be rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that’s not it.” Anyway, back to topic. I think as the world turns more difficult as people age, the more protective we are about ourselves. Until we encounter someone like Moeko who reminds us that it’s okay to be kind that we realize how much more enjoyable life would be if we gave again.

  21. Philbo said, on July 9, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    I actually read this a long time ago, and was almost as moved reading it this time as I was back then. As others have said, I hope that little Moeko doesn’t have her good nature taken advantage of.

  22. Breezer said, on July 10, 2006 at 12:40 am

    As quite a few people have already mentioned, beautiful story. This really does give you hope that there is some hope for humanity. I think the real thread of hope is found in your attitude however rather than Moeko’s. Moeko seems to be a reflection of your younger self and is therefore somewhat untainted as yet, but the fact that her actions totally altered your state of mind is truly wonderful.

  23. Spiff said, on July 10, 2006 at 7:01 am

    oh my god! Such a moving story. ;_;
    Such a nice girl. πŸ™‚

  24. Ihmhi said, on July 10, 2006 at 8:36 am

    Seriously… wow, man. Do the one or two students you get like this every couple of years make the job worth it?

  25. Vampiress said, on July 10, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    Makes me feel a little better. I pray to all dieties that Moeko stays so sweet and loving. That had to be the nicest thing I have ever seen and read.

  26. Rob said, on July 10, 2006 at 7:15 pm

    I cried for like 6 or 7 hours. Eventually I had to go to the hospital to get a liquid transfusion because I had cried out everything in my body.

  27. Angel said, on July 10, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    I’m in the middle of a shaky period of ups and downs and this story made me feel better like nothing else would.

  28. Shnoodles said, on July 11, 2006 at 3:01 am

    Due to recent events, I’m close to giving up on humanity. But knowing that there’s a few people like this left in the world gives me hope. Thanks for sharing, it’s exactly what I needed.

  29. Bethany said, on July 11, 2006 at 4:28 am

    This is by far my favorite story of yours. This is what spurred me to bookmark your old site, because reading about Moeko makes me feel better about the world. If you are happy, I am happy too – I’ve tried to live my life like this. Very moving story; I wonder if this girl realizes what an impact she has? Moeko has become my role-model.

  30. Nick said, on July 11, 2006 at 4:40 am

    I’m in the same boat Angel is in. It’s been about two months since my girlfriend broke up with me, after cheating on me, and I honestly don’t like the world. I want to say thanks for helping me feel better.

  31. jap jim said, on July 11, 2006 at 7:01 am

    dude great story.
    it’s great to see there’s some good in the world.
    and it’s nice to see a blog which is so true to the japanese experience, i spent some time there and did some teching, and your blog takes me back to that.

  32. megomobile said, on July 12, 2006 at 4:00 am

    I’ve read this story a million times and passed it on to many people. Even after reading it so much, and talking about it to so many people, it still chokes me up. What a beautiful person that girl is. I wish more people were like that— or had the chance to stay like that, as time went on. We need more Moekos.

  33. Westhouse said, on July 14, 2006 at 11:01 am

    I’m no wimp but that’s just the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard.

  34. Joey said, on July 14, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    That’s got to be the sweetest thing I’ve ever read.
    Just wow.

  35. Mike said, on July 15, 2006 at 7:05 am

    Wow. I’m pretty cold blooded most times, but that illicited a genuine tear-up from me.
    I know what it’s like to work your ass off making people happy without expecting anything in return. I was genuinely touched by this story, man. She’s an incredible girl, from what this shows. That amount of work and effort into something that catches you off-guard like that. Just, wow.
    I laughed at the Alien Trilogy and Old Yeller, and have tears running down my face at this.
    Keep it up, dude. I just discovered your site, but I’ll definitely hang out.

  36. Lyse said, on July 15, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    … that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard of. Wow. I’m floored.
    I too hope she doesn’t change. That would be horrible. She’s so beautiful. It would be a shame.

  37. Laerwen said, on July 15, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve been lurking on your old page and this blog for a while now, but this has prompted me to say something. That is just beautiful — I am amazed at what a gifted child Moeko is. Like others have said, I hope she stays the beautiful soul she is. I hope one day she will touch others and she will be old enough to understand how much her love affects others.
    I’m very happy that she showed you that the universe can’t be a black vacuum, devoid of humanity, all the time. It’s hard to remember sometimes. πŸ™‚

  38. deddy said, on July 15, 2006 at 8:20 pm

    hi Jeff πŸ™‚
    u should try indonesia too….
    actually, giving something to a person u admire is a habit here:)

  39. Dionysos said, on July 16, 2006 at 2:52 am

    Wow. I almost cried. And I’m a guy. That is one sweet, kind girl.
    I wouldn’t have thought that there are nice human beings like that on this planet. Jesus, makes me want to be less mean to everyone around me. That has REALLY moved me, I can’t even imagine how much it must have moved you.
    One can really see how much love went into making that cute owl and the card!
    Thanks for sharing!

  40. J said, on July 16, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    Dude! You dont watch enough anime to understand what that gift was. I think it was her expression of her love for you dude.
    When a jap girl does something overly kind like make you something, even a Bento it means they have feelings towards you.
    Too bad she was young ay haha.

  41. Nathan said, on July 21, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    For Moeko to do that is simply awe-inspiring and beautiful,she is an Angel,I can’t even begin to express how sweet that is,of course it will NEVER compare to how that must feel to you,congrats ^_^

  42. SH said, on July 23, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    I’m happy she gave you the owl, that you liked it, and that you truly appreciated it. The world seems like an OK place at this moment in time. Life is good.

  43. Anonymous said, on July 24, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    that one was the best!

  44. Anonymous said, on July 24, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    that one was the best!

  45. huge ackman said, on July 25, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    *wipes tear*

  46. Anonymous said, on July 28, 2006 at 3:15 am

    wow. i’ve known this site for a while(with its history at outpost nine)and i’ve read that and i can’t help but to say that i’m moved by this story and surprised by some of the responses to this girl.
    i don’t think we need more moekos. i think we already have enough. we just need people whocan tell others about things like this.

  47. Anonymous said, on July 28, 2006 at 3:15 am

    wow. i’ve known this site for a while(with its history at outpost nine)and i’ve read that and i can’t help but to say that i’m moved by this story and surprised by some of the responses to this girl.
    i don’t think we need more moekos. i think we already have enough. we just need people whocan tell others about things like this.

  48. Rana said, on August 1, 2006 at 7:31 pm

    arg you made my eyes water darn you

  49. BeN! said, on August 2, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    When i first checked this site out, i thought it was going to be the Japanese TEFL version of Tuckermax. Lord knows i’ve been with some freaky bitches from there, and there is no shortage of people who wanna read about that kinda stuff.
    I’m glad to say that it didn’t turn out like that.. All the stories here are well written and, as anyone who has spent time with Japanese will tell you, fairly acurate.
    This story even brought a tear to the eye.
    I had a similar experience a while ago with a J-girl who cheated on me.. I went through a lot of the emotions you did.. first i blamed it on Japanese but i’m to smart to be racist or judge a whole culture from one persons action. So eventually i started to think people everywhere are pretty damnd scummy. When you start thinking like that… You do some messed up shit.. and become exactly what you hate.
    Then you meet someone like Moeko and your whole view on life turns upside down. Its things like this that keeps your faith in humanity..
    I’m not much of a praying man, but i’ll pray to any god out there that she never loses that sweetness, and never turns into a hard arsed selfish bastard like the rest of us.

  50. Erik said, on August 28, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    Wow…this was my first time reading this and honestly I am moved. I too am a giver, and I know exactly how you felt. Meeting such a beautiful person as moeko is extraordinary, I wish for the best to the both of you.

  51. the he-man said, on August 28, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    this really makes you think huh?

  52. Chelsea S. said, on September 1, 2006 at 6:52 pm

    That is soo sweet. I hope the world is very kind to Moeko in return. *eyes tear up…* damn! OOOHHH, I just wanna hug her!

  53. Anonymous said, on September 5, 2006 at 12:06 am

    Thats awesome, great, spectacular, special… there is no word for such kidness, just thank you

  54. Anonymous said, on September 5, 2006 at 12:06 am

    Thats awesome, great, spectacular, special… there is no word for such kidness, just thank you

  55. Aust_Siannodel said, on September 11, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    This is easily one of my favorite entries amongst the entire archives. It makes me like I should forge myself into someone of high enough quality to become a teacher and give notice to those who don’t always get it.
    Normally I would not comment but soon I will leave for a life with the Army and felt that since I hadn’t shown my gratitude for these journals I should now before I lose my chance. So, thanks for writing these, they’re all amazing, some incredibly funny, some inspirational, but all very well written, thank you.

  56. Alex said, on September 13, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    That was just amazing. I’ve read the entire archive now, but.. wow. It teared me up.
    Like, well, just about everyone else whos commented, i’d also like to say I hope she stays just the way she is now. Or was. You know what i’m trying to say ;/

  57. Peophin said, on September 13, 2006 at 11:50 pm

    Wow. What an amazing girl, that Moeko. How sweet.
    Due to extensive meetings and conversations with stupid and horrible people, I have decided that most of humanity sucks. The human race is devolving. Sometimes I wonder what’s the point of living and trying so hard in this world that won’t ever appreciate anything.
    Knowing that there are people out there like Moeko makes me think that there is still some hope in this world. I’m glad.
    Beautifully written, keep it up ^~

  58. Anonymous said, on September 14, 2006 at 12:00 am

    Moeko seems to be one of the few people left in a world ruled by capitalism, greed, and power plays that still manages to be unconditionally kind. theres a saying, “Dont sweat the small stuff”, but sometimes the small stuff is what makes the rest of the crap in the world worth all the effort we put into it. Great to know that some people still practice kindness.

  59. Cameron said, on September 17, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Very moving… Glad I took the time to read that. πŸ™‚

  60. Jei said, on October 19, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    that story really was amazing!
    i’m glad you still have that side of you, the side that can appreciate others. =]
    i know too many snotty people back here in the states that don’t appreciate anything.

  61. Sam said, on October 21, 2006 at 6:43 am

    A story that deeply touched even a stone-hearted troll like me πŸ˜€ Im glad you wrote about it. It gives a real bonus to this ‘Japanese are odd’ blog. (and I love the fun parts too XD)

  62. evil_tennyo said, on November 11, 2006 at 3:01 am

    That was so sweet. Made me feel good just reading this πŸ™‚

  63. Syaokura said, on November 17, 2006 at 9:33 pm

    This lovely story still made me cry, even when I already read it back when it was posted on ON. I’m so glad you posted this piece because it proves that nice people like Moeko do exist. =3
    Still feeling teary-eyed. ;-;

  64. superawesome said, on November 19, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    I can’t remember the last time I cried, but, well, this really moved me. Why can’t more people be like that?

  65. Katie said, on November 19, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Wow. That was soo sweet. What a nice little girl πŸ™‚ She actually has nicer handwriting than 95% of American high school students. Pretty sad.

  66. YJ said, on November 26, 2006 at 2:48 am

    I guess the world really can be harmful to us in ways we had never thought of… in ways you probably wouldn’t really understand unless you know me personally, I’m a bit like Moeko.. but I’m also turning out to be a bit like you… It’s all a matter of conscious effort to stay on the path I had decided to take when I chose to be the one to bring the smile to people’s faces…

  67. NLH said, on December 2, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one completely fogging up at reading that story.
    I’m not a complete wuss then =)
    I think I know exactly what you must have felt like, with the giving and getting, and I’ve often seen myself falling towards the trap you described. Luckily I have a very few very very good friends to pull me out, but just reading about this wonderful girl brings a tear to my eye.
    I think I would have been wailing at the top of my lungs if I’d been in your situation then.

  68. Genibibiou said, on December 6, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    Awwww. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    ^.^ Your name is Jeff!!!

  69. Max said, on December 22, 2006 at 10:27 am

    Every time I read this story, I cry. It’s great to see there are still people like this out there. πŸ™‚

  70. ebrezza said, on December 30, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    Personally, I think it’s normal to give present when we like someone. Maybe she’s crazy in love of him, or maybe she like him as a friend even if he was her teacher.

  71. Anonymous said, on January 30, 2007 at 1:13 am

    I cry every time I read this.

  72. Anonymous said, on January 30, 2007 at 1:13 am

    I cry every time I read this.

  73. An0nymous said, on February 5, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    :’-) That was really nice.
    Nothing like a random (premeditated in this case) act of kindness to completely turn around a bad day.

  74. Katie said, on March 20, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    I love this one so much. Everytime I read it I tear up… What an amazing girl =)

  75. Olga said, on April 10, 2007 at 9:59 am

    This is the second time I ‘ve read this story, the previous one as a part of the Outpost Nine and now of the Gaijin Smash. I can’t say I don’t cry often, the slightest thing is enough to move me, so the fact that I’ve cried for the second time reading this story, maybe doesn’t mean much on its own. But I must say I find this story really touching and the fact that it moved you too in such a way I think shows you are a really amazing person on the inside and you shouldn’t feel bad about yourself. It’s that Japanese bitch ex-of-yours who should be ashamed of herself.
    Sometimes we can learn really valuable lessons from the little ones.

  76. Ohajiki said, on April 20, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    As an English teacher myself (in UK) who is teaching a class of 12-13 Year old three of which have been suspended for punching other teachers I found that beautiful and you made my day! Cheers

  77. Dave said, on April 28, 2007 at 1:09 am

    That is a beautiful and heartwarming story! It’s people like that who make life worth living.

  78. Anonymous said, on April 29, 2007 at 6:19 am


  79. Anonymous said, on April 29, 2007 at 6:19 am


  80. Pseudopadoz said, on April 29, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Some things are just too grand on a level or two to put into words; this was one of them – You did a wonderful job getting this event into text, I think. It really hits home with me – I’m still a student, and I see too many of my peers causing trouble for my teachers, and, while I don’t find that I cause trouble for them, this has called to my attention that I’ve never really worked to lighten their load (With one exception, but who can resist imparting good games to your history teacher when he happens to be a hardcore gamer). I suppose I need to do what I can to lighten their load – I know for sure that several of my teachers are going through incredibly tough times, really.
    On another note, it’s quite depressing to find that a Japanese Student – a nonnative English Speaker, more specifically – has better penmanship in *My* native tongue (not hers, in other words) than I could ever hope to achieve without spending undue amounts of time on it. I suppose that’s one reason why Microsoft Word used to be a killer App.

  81. Agon said, on July 13, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    …Isn’t it kind of wrong to post on the net something like that…? I feel like you should have asked her permission…
    But, permission ethics aside. I’ve got to say that in spite of my age, I was almost on the verge of tears… You’d make a great writer.
    P.S. You are incredible. I have much respect for you. I wish I could even have the opportunity to meet you in person one day. As I do have plans to visit Japan in the future. (I wish I could be there even now, but being 16 years of age, engraves a limit to where you are able to fly to without supervision…)

  82. asian girl said, on July 16, 2007 at 5:08 am

    I didn’t read through all the comments, but I just wanted to add that owls are well known to be the wise/smart/etc. “ones” (I don’t know what I’m talking about–you know, whenever you see um, drawings of animals dressed up and in human situations, the owl is ALWAYS the teacher whenever there’s a classroom setting) because of this cultural …–damn, don’t know why I can’t verbalize today or think of basic vocabulary– you know, like this cultural um, established, accepted idea (gahh!)/folklore whatever… Ahhhh, forgot that. I just want to say that I really hope you understood and appreciated why she gave you an owl and not some meaningless random animal like a cat…

  83. Shuya said, on July 23, 2007 at 2:01 am

    It gives me hope. Please give hope to other nice girls too. You can be nice again too!

  84. webo1freak said, on August 24, 2007 at 5:43 am

    To you and Moeko..

  85. McG said, on September 30, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    I remember reading this entry a few years ago when it first came out and it really was inspiring. My thoughts haven’t changed – this really is the best entry out of all the ones you’ve made.

  86. Exerci said, on October 24, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    This is probably somewhere close to the eighth time I read this editorial. I usually don’t cry, I’m able to keep myself coolheaded most of the time, but this is one editorial that simply blows my mind. It’s able to penetrate even the toughest of emotional walls and show that even though many people are, to put it plainly, uncaring fools, some people are very generous with their love. This editorial made me shed a tear in…happiness. And for that, I applaud you, and I applaud Moeko. Her, for the thing she did, and you for being able to put it into words.

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