Print Edition - 2018-09-06  |  ASIANEWSNETWORK

musings

Sep 6, 2018-

It gives you a rather pleasant feeling when you look up this word in the Shinmeikai Kokugo Jiten Japanese dictionary, which is known for its idiosyncratic definitions. Inkyo, the dictionary says, is “to stop being in charge of business or making a living, and to live on doing things you like to do.” It doesn’t say, “to live quietly” or the like, as most other dictionaries do. You are given the sense that inkyo is something lively and liberating. This made me think about the news coming out of an island in the Seto Inland Sea. Out of nowhere, a 78-year-old man came to the rescue of a boy who had gone missing in the mountains.

Two-year-old Yoshiki Fujimoto, who was visiting his relatives in Suooshima, Yamaguchi Prefecture, had spent three days and three nights out in the open on his own, and was found unhurt. Reportedly, he was sitting still on a rock by a mountain stream.

It was Haruo Obata from Oita Prefecture who wrapped Yoshiki in a bath towel and brought him down from the mountain. The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned that Obata had come to help upon hearing that rescue efforts were not going very well. Having retired from selling fish at 65, he wanted to repay the kindness people have shown him by volunteering in efforts to help devastated areas in the aftermath of incidents such as the Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake. He was in Hiroshima Prefecture until recently to help clean up mud in houses and had just returned to his home in Oita.

For this goinkyo retiree, who used to sell fish, helping people must be one thing he likes to do. In his old age, the man is leading a vibrant life.

Published: 06-09-2018 07:30

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