With the recent terrible news of a murder in the Shinkansen on June 9, everyone is concerned about the safety of the Japan’s public transportation as the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics approaches. I am indeed rather apprehensive in boarding the bullet train now, I must admit when I boarded it on Sunday, I couldn’t sleep a wink like I usually did, even though the ride was about 3 hours long. It is bad to have a wild imagination. Mine was off the hooks whilst in the train, practically on the edge of paranoia, especially when I was separated from my hubs as the train was very crowded. My brains were filled with images of the strangers beside me suddenly turning on me with knifes and a crazed look in their eyes. But what was more harrowing, and the crux of this post, isn’t my overactive imagination, but rather that the actual details of the attack were not accentuated in media.
What I find incredibly disappointing is that even in local media, the new reports are downplaying on the fact that the man who was murdered, was actually a real life hero who sacrificed his life to save two women. Everyone’s focus is on the murderer, who of course ought to be condemned for his crimes, but what about the poor man who lost his life because he did the right thing that many other bystanders (and I must admit though, I would be one of them) lacked the courage to do? Most of the news simply described as him as a 38 year-old who was killed.
No, he wasn’t just killed by some mentally unsound criminal. He was killed because he tried to save two lives, and most fortunately for these women, he did save their lives. They escaped with light injuries because of his bravery. His name is Kotaro Umeda, and a true hero. I’m very glad that at least Asahi Shimbun covered an article on his courageous deeds, for he deserves to be honoured.