An obvious tetsudō otaku, or “train nerd”, did he accomplish his dream of becoming a train driver?

If you’ve ever made a time capsule or written a letter to your future self, you’ll know the excitement and anticipation of unveiling those past forgotten memoirs and rereading the words you wrote to a you not yet in existence. I remember as a class making individual time capsules at the beginning of the year in my third year of elementary school, and how interesting it was to open it at the end of the year to see all the things that had changed, and even that some things hadn’t changed at all.

An anonymous web user recently opened a letter he had written to his 20-year-old self almost exactly six years ago. While six years may not seem like a very long time, a lot of changes happen during the ages of 14 and 20: you mature through those awkward years of puberty, make it through those bittersweet years of high school, and are then either half-way through university or have already started a career.

This net user shared the letter he wrote in his year just before entering high school with other netizens on the popular Japanese textboard 2channel.


The letter reads:

28/1/2010 (Thurs.) 2:27pm
To my 20-year-old self,

Are you alive? Or are you dead? Have you become a train driver? And do you remember when you wrote this letter to yourself? You probably don’t remember (lol). What are you doing now? I’ll be disappointed if you’re just working some part-time job. But if you’re working at JR [Japan Rail]… Ohh yeeeah, I got into JR!!! That would be the best. Oh, that’s right, six years ago you really liked going places by train. When I’m an adult I wanna travel someplace farther away. How do you feel now? You haven’t stopped feeling like you wanna travel somewhere by train someday have you? If you forgot, you better remember! Ahh, I’m tired of writing. By the way, my handwriting was terrible wasn’t it? Mom always gets mad at me for it…….. Anyway, this letter probably doesn’t mean much to you. But I did really write it earnestly! Well, good luck with the rest of your life. From, Yourself six years ago

The letter is finished off with a drawing of a train, the car on the right bearing the word “Ganbare“, the English equivalent of “Do your best”.

Equal parts humorous (for his writing style) and awkward (for his very obvious train otaku-ness), the letter is also very touching as he tries to encourage his future self to remember his passions and to do what he loves.

Of course, the internet had much to say about the letter:

“You were a pretty good guy 6 years ago.”

“I welled up a bit when I saw the train drawn at the end saying ganbare.

“Your handwriting is terrible but that was a great letter. Your drawing is pretty terrible too but it’s a great drawing.”

“Write another letter to yourself in another six years!”

“I can tell you really tried hard to write that JR.”

As mentioned in the last comment, if you look at his original letter, you can find where he wrote the letters J and R so that they were connected, the same as they are in Japan Rail’s logo:


Image: Wikipedia/ 鉄之介

And of course I’m sure you’re all wondering, “So did he become a train driver like he wanted?” His answer: “I have no intention of becoming a train driver. You aren’t allowed to use the toilet….. But, this February I will start working at a railway company.”

He’s not kidding about JR being strict, either: last we heard, their train drivers were only just allowed to sip water without having to file a report about it

Again, a lot can happen in six years. Dreams and aspirations change, but it’s great that he’s held on to his original passion for trains. And, he even shared the beginning of his next letter to his future self with us: “Are you alive? Are you dead?”

Source: 2channel via Kinisoku
Top image: FreeDigitalImages/ gt_pann edited by RocketNews24