Handwritten note from a Japanese granddad turns out to be heartwarming…and strangely heartbreaking at the same time.

You can find some weird things inside Japan’s gacha capsule toy machines, and some of the weirdest collections we’ve come across don’t even contain toys at all. Instead, these collections contain items of a more personal nature, like random ID photos.

These are the kinds of gacha “toys” that bring the most joy to our Japanese-language reporter Mr Sato, who previously turned the dial on the “ID Photos of Complete Strangers” machine above.

Now, though, Mr Sato has discovered a new favourite — notes from random elderly people.

▼ “Grandpa and Grandma’s Life Wisdom” (left) and “Grandpa’s F**k it, Whatever Anything Best 3” (right)

These two machines grabbed Mr Sato’s attention as soon as he came across them, so he wasted no time in purchasing a capsule from each machine, priced at 200 yen (US$1.51) a pop.

As soon as he got home, he tore open the “Grandpa and Grandma’s Life Wisdom” capsule and unravelled the pink paper note inside.

His heart beating fast with excitement, Mr Sato caught his first glimpse of the note which was, as promised, handwritten. It hadn’t been photocopied or mass produced — these were words written in ink by a stranger named Ichiro, and they began with:

▼ Ichiro’s Life Wisdom

Mr Sato decided to keep the main body of the note private, so as to not ruin the secret message for anyone thinking of buying one of these messages, but at the end it read:

▼ “Family happiness comes from surrendering to your wife.”

Mr Sato was touched by these wise words from Ichiro, and promised to take them to heart. There’s certainly a lot one can learn from the older generation, so what will the next note teach us?

▼ Time for “Grandpa’s F**k it, Whatever Anything Best 3

As he unfolded the note, Mr Sato felt another rush of excitement, as if he were unravelling a note from a bottle plucked from the sea.

This top 3 belongs to a gent named Noboru, aged 88, who chose to share his favourite actresses.

Again, Mr Sato decided to keep the main points secret, but actresses weren’t the only top 3 being shared by Noboru, as he went on to share another list of three things he’s proud of, and another dedicated to “Things I’ve Become Obsessed With”.

By looking at these two lists, Mr Sato was able to get a glimpse into Noboru’s wild life, and he was able to put a face to the name as well, as he’s the man with the surprised face in the centre of the photo on the gacha machine.

It was a fun note that was heartwarming in its earnestness, but upon reading Noboru’s final list, entitled “Failures”, Mr Sato’s heart broke.

▼ The third entry on Noboru’s list of failures: “I’m too old

Mr Sato suddenly had an intense desire to console Noboru and let him know that ageing isn’t a failure but a natural progression of life. But then Mr Sato felt his heartstrings being tugged at once again when he read Noboru’s final message on the note:

▼ “I want to play more, I want to live longer”

These words seemed to be just as much a message for the reader as a cry from Noboru’s soul. There are life lessons to be learned here, and it was as if Noboru was telling Mr Sato that time is short and he should have fun, play more, and live every day how he pleases. 

It was exactly what Mr Sato needed to hear. He’d been feeling more and more like a middle-aged man recently, but Noboru’s note gave him a much-needed sense of perspective. Now he felt like a spring chick, having lived around only half of Noboru’s 88 years, so he vowed to spend more days pole dancing on rooftops in Tokyo.

Who knew a handwritten note from a gacha machine could have such a profound effect? This is one gacha purchase Mr Sato will never throw away, and he highly recommends turning the dial on one of these machines if you find them, to help guide you in your pursuit of happiness too.

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]