Even though the Japanese kind of have a reputation as stoic individuals reluctant to express emotion, we’ve shown you time and again that the Japanese are suckers for a good heart string-tugging story as much as the people of the next country.

Still, it’s safe to say there’s more than an average amount of social pressure to keep your feelings to yourself in Japan, especially for authority figure types like teachers. Which might explain why the teacher in this next story went to extraordinary lengths to pass on one final message to his recent graduating class.

The story goes that a Shizuoka Prefecture high school teacher wanted to give his kids one last message of support – something they might look back on during their inevitably tougher days in college and in their careers and find the will to trudge on. Apparently, though, the teacher just couldn’t bring himself to deliver it publicly during the school’s graduation ceremony, thinking the kids might find it cheesy and not very memorable; or worse, memorable for all the wrong reasons.

So, like the gruff but ultimately likable ninja school teacher in some hilarious anime that has to exist somewhere, the hero of our story hid his final message in the student’s last test in the form of a problem-solving question that involved placing Japanese phonetic characters in the correct order to complete a paragraph. This, we suppose, ensured that the slackers of the class wouldn’t see the message at all.


When students correctly solved the problem, the following heart-touching farewell became clear:

“Yume to kibou wo motte ganbare yo. Sayonara. Mata aou.”

Loosely translated, that’s:

“Always have hope and follow your dreams. Do your best out there. I hope we meet again some day.”

Apparently, the message was hidden a little too well and 10 percent of the students didn’t actually solve the problem correctly, so we presume that while 40 or so students were drying the tears from their eyes, a handful were yelling, “What is this s&$%?!” and storming out of the room. Ah, to be young!

Source: Byoukan Sunday