Lone Father Dies Protecting Daughter From Blizzard


The harrowing news of a lone father who sacrificed himself to save his 9-year-old daughter after becoming lost in a blizzard has been harrowing Japan amidst one of the coldest winters in years.

A 53-year-old fisherman who lived in the town of Yuubetsu on the northern coast of Hokkaido was taking his 9-year-old daughter Natsune to a friend’s house one afternoon when an intense blizzard descended on their car barely 1.5km from their home.


Police reported he made a call on his mobile saying his truck was stuck in the snow and he was continuing on foot to a nearby residence with his daughter to seek shelter, but heard nothing more.

Relying on his GPS and the light of traffic signals, he attempted to make his way through the blizzard, making it 300m down the road to a barn, but no further.


The following morning a local was shocked to discover him face down in the snow outside the barn, holding a tearful and shivering skiwear-clad Natsune in his arms underneath him.

The pair were taken to hospital – though Natsune was afflicted with hypothermia she is expected to make a full recovery, but her father had frozen to death atop her.

He had positioned his body to shield her from the bitterly cold northerly winds, and that and the warmth of his body are thought to have been the only thing which prevented Natsune sharing his fate in the 10 hours the pair spent in the snow.


Tragically, there was another residence only 50m away from the barn, but in the whiteout conditions he was apparently unable to spot it.

He lived alone with Natsune, his only child, after his wife passed away 2 years previously.

Natsune is said to have been persistently asking after the fate of her father as soon as she was hospitalised.

Locals say it was the most severe blizzard to afflict the area in many decades, in what has been an exceptionally cold winter for Japan.

Conditions in the blizzard were recorded by locals – it reportedly killed 8 people across Hokkaido:

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    Comment by Anonymous
    12:02 05/03/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Such a sad, sad fate. ;_;

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:08 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    reminds me of 7 seeds manga winter team arc. Well RIP man...

    Avatar of Rene
    Comment by Rene
    12:12 05/03/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    A true man and father in life and death.

    I salute you, Sir.

    Avatar of twitchforanime
    Comment by twitchforanime
    12:20 05/03/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    That awkward moment when I realize that they didn't/don't have any survival tips for these people. If they are having snow storms this bad they should hand out pamphlets with information on how to survive in a storm. Snow is the BEST insulator. If you want to survive the night, dig a hole to the ground, or try, and then lay in it, cover yourself with snow again, making a hole away from the wind. You have air for a night. Rest well and good to go when the snow stops. In the event it doesn't stop after two or so hours, you need water, so going 15-20 meters at a time. following the road, until you hit a home or government establishment is what you want. This death can be completely blamed upon a lack of available instruction from the government.

    Also, for those of you who don't believe me I've used this method myself.
    Experience: Living in Northern Canada/Winter wilderness survival training.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:31 05/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Is there a reason for not wanting to stay in the car in a blizzard btw, I don't understand why he got out in the middle of a blizzard not knowing how far it is to the next house.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:58 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    according to my local news, another family of 4 died in the snow because they stayed in the car. Apparently the air vents were blocked by the ice and they all suffocated to death.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:17 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Then leave a small gap in the window... it's still better than outside.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:49 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Thus the importance of not leaving the car heating on, and making full use of the thick blankets which (in terms of mandatory contents for cars) are of comparable importance to airbags.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:16 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The heating is unlikely to be dangerous, at the very least, not in a gasoline powered car as the cabin is heated with the waste heat of the engine that would otherwise be removed via the main radiator instead of the cabin radiator. Diesel engines are generally so efficient that they require a diesel burning furnace or maybe even just a device that oxidizes diesel without flame similar to the charcoal or petrol hand warmers but I would be surprised if it shared air intake with the cabin instead of the the engine air intake. Though it could happen for mechanical simplicity as the engine air intake is metered for air volume passing into cylinders and it would take extra piping to pass it to the heating system as that would likely be near the cabin.

    Avatar of cpc65
    Comment by cpc65
    08:03 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If you stay in your vehicle ALWAYS remember to periodically check the tailpipe. Carbon monoxide poisoning will occur if it gets blocked by snow, unless you have an electric car.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:04 13/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Staying in your car is definitely the best thing to do when stuck in the snow with poor visibility, or in a remote location. And yes, you should periodically check to make sure your exhaust is not blocked if you leave the car running for heat, and it's also best to only run it for 20 minutes or so every hour. Even if the car is broken down and won't run, your car interior is still a good source of shelter. It's dry and blocks the wind, and is easily visible to others. Burying yourself in the snow when you have a vehicle available would be an unwise choice. Unless you're right near an occupied building, you definitely shouldn't be abandoning your car. This guy even had a cell phone and was able to make a call, so there was no reason for him to trek out toward some barely visible building in the distance with his daughter.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Staying in the car is not much better than being outside... you will still freeze to death

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:46 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    It would help block wind at least. It would definitely help in that aspect.

    Avatar of cpc65
    Comment by cpc65
    08:04 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    There's this button labeled "Heat" in most cars as long as you have gas and the tailpipe isn't blocked you can press it and keep warm.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:42 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    won't you just get buried alive if you dig a hole and lie in it? it is a snow storm after all.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    20:01 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Always assumed that was common knowledge... well, what do you know, apparently it isn't. Or maybe it was only powdersnow... one can't build anything with powdersnow.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:08 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    As amazing as it sounds, not many actually know about all these survival skills. If he is one of them city-dwelling salarymen, it is very doubtful that he even had the time to buy a book or surf the net to look for materials that covers the subject.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:03 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    From northern Europe, the only way I know to build a snow dome would take about 1 day, appropriate type of snow, lots of manual labour, a snow shovel that's generally too big to practically fit in a car or better yet a snow scoop that's even larger, and doing all that while in blizzard sounds like a sick joke. And by the time you were done, the dome would likely be well under the new snow. In fact, Hokkaido is known for the craziest snowfall in the world reaching, I believe, 50 metre (meter) yearly in some places.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:11 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    He said "hole in the ground", not making an igloo.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:59 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think they should make an anime about survival tips to educate the public

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:37 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Easier said than done. Reacting to situations in real life is different than theory. Like a Deer caught in headlights.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:21 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    TV/Movies/Anime is all you need to grasp the basics of how to do survive. I don't see how hard compressing snow to make it firm is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:12 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Snow that has just fallen is by definition powder snow... There hasn't been enough pressure to make it compact...

    Anyone living in regions where blizzards like these are to be expected should know this. If you go outside thinking you could build an igloo, you will die. Simple as that.

    Therefore, the ACTUAL common knowledge thing to do is: Stay the fuck inside and don't even think of going outside. Naturally, blizzards can happen suddenly so sometimes there just isn't any way of telling.

    I experienced a similar(yes, no matter how many people will try to convince me otherwise, it was AT LEAST as bad as the one described here, i live in northern Finland) blizzard a few days ago and indeed there was a warning... Which i missed. And then walked a 3km distance home in said blizzard because i could no longer re-enter the apartment building(door code.)

    And let me tell you: It's literally Hell.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:11 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well the igloo is the solution but staying in the car for a bit would work I guess

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:14 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Of course that's assuming they were wearing proper clothing to handle the temperatures that said my condolences a little information could have changed this outcome

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    16:36 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    the information is appreciated

    Avatar of opiemuyo
    Comment by opiemuyo
    22:28 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Exactly, in a snow shelter a simple candle can keep you warm, best insulator there is…

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:33 05/03/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Such a Tragedy, yet a heroic death. May the father's soul rest in peace. Best wishes to Natsune, I hope her the best.

    Avatar of Sho Shinjo
    Comment by Sho Shinjo
    10:55 05/03/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    People like these are what keep my faith in humanity.

    May this hero rest in peace.

    Avatar of Entangler
    Comment by Entangler
    12:01 05/03/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    True Man action. Nothing could be nobler than what he did.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:21 05/03/2013 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    There is nothing noble for he is Japanese condemned to death. He just gave his daughter some time to live LONGER only to die still later.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:53 05/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Are you gonna live forever? Are you immortal? Huh? Huhhhhhh???

    Avatar of lastlasagna
    Comment by lastlasagna
    03:48 08/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I just love how you spineless cowards have such tremendous balls to not only talk shit about a dead man who sacrificed his life for his child (which is more than you'll EVER accomplish in life), but to also do so using the anonymity of the internet. That alone gives you courage. Otherwise, you are a waste of space and life. Pray to whatever deity you believe in that karma does not bite you in the ass and kill you for being as fucked up as you are. Because in the meantime, I'll be praying to my God that it DOES.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:20 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't mind him.. He's just another Chinese flamer comin' in and out of this website..

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:13 06/03/2013 # ! Drivel (-1.0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    14:28 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Death could be avoided had he stayed in the car. Fucking common sense guys.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:58 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Father kept daughter as sex slave for 13 years in the related articles section.

    Comment by Anonymous

    On the contrary, stories like these make me doubt humanity even more.

    Why did this father/daughter bother to go out in the first place?

    He was supposedly taking her to a friend's house. It doesn't exactly sound urgent.

    Have they not heard of something called a weather forecast? Even if the blizzard came suddenly, such a big blizzard should have been caught by the forecasts (if not, that says a lot about how primitive and/or lacking parts of Japan is, and Japan's a rather advanced nation, so this is another angle for me to doubt humanity)

    Needless to say, it'd be even more appalling if the blizzard didn't came that suddenly, and he could have known the risk just by looking outside.

    And how come it sounds like they didn't stock their car with tools and supplies for emergencies? He's a fisherman, and it sounds like he's living in a rather rural area, so it's not like he's not some city folk with no sense of how dangerous nature can be. And this is Hokkaido, so it's not people don't know what winter is either.

    Yet his car was that ill equipped, that his best recourse was to head out?

    Ok ok, maybe the storm was just so bad it might be risky to stay in the car, and none of the emergency provisions were adequate, but again the first question applies: if the storm's so bad, why leave home in the first place?

    Maybe it's cuz I watched Jack Reacher recently. In that movie (sorry for spoilers), a bunch of random people were killed in a single shooting spree by a sniper, the story the media believes all these people were nice people: this guy just bought flowers for his wife, this woman just bought a watch for her husband, etc. Tom Cruises' character however, paints a much bleaker picture: the guy with the flowers and the woman with the watch were having an affair with each other

    So I suspect the father is not so noble. Maybe he, being a single parent, caved to the pressures of life and wanted to end it all, and choose a way to end it which makes him look tragic instead of pathetic.

    Ok, hit with me the down mods. I said my piece.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Then your faith in humanity should never be threatened as there are millions, if not billions, of people that would easily do this for their own children.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:30 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Actually, I recall hearing about some studies indicating that a lot of humanity is more cowardly than we'd like to believe. If put in the kind of extreme situations often portrayed in media, most people would bolt like hell and never look back. But seeing as I don't remember my source on this, I could be wrong.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:28 06/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's really a matter of what a person values more. In most cases, people value themselves more than anything else, even their own children.

    Most parents probably didn't even want children, or only wanted children to experience it. It's not surprising for those people to choose their lives over their children's if they had to.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:51 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    ^in regards to the 'restored faith in humanity'.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:32 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    You were talking about overcoming base instinct. That's not the case here for the Japanese dad.

    He had plenty of time to make a rational decision. At some point, he knew he will die anyway, and decided to cuddle his daughter to give her a chance at life. Given enough time to think, many parents are willing to do the same.

    In the case of the Chinese dad, he had no time to think. He jumped out of the moving car immediately. Most parents would have at least paused out of fear, done nothing, and then wished they had, in retrospect. That was what your study shown as rare.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:35 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree it's probably like that. My point is that it's likely majority so in regards to your own children. This story would 'restore' my faith in humanity IF the child was not his. Since the child is his, this is what I expect. This is the norm. People, everyday, sacrifice their lives in order that their children may survive. I'd do this for my own in a heartbeat. My neighbors would do this for their own..
    How my previous comment stating the obvious got down voted is beyond me.
    Probably, these are people who don't appreciate the trouble their own parents had to go through just to provide for them!

    Avatar of Artist Rising
    Comment by Artist Rising
    13:50 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    No... your wrong. I have seen a lot of scumbag parents. In this world the bad guys outnumber the good.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:25 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not really, it's just that we tend to remember the scumbags and not the good ones.

    Avatar of Artist Rising
    Comment by Artist Rising
    13:54 05/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)


    You're right. Here's a prime example...


    Comment by Anonymous
    14:34 05/03/2013 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Quite the opposite for me, leaving safety of a car, right into cold blizzard and hiding in prolly much colder barn... very inteligent.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:38 08/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yes, let's all praise the "intelligent anon-kun" for deciding to suffocate in his own property rather than seek shelter in a winter capable of mass genocide on the residents of the area.

    You've won the coveted "Platinum Dunce Hat" for your TF2 adventures, and an achievement: "Disrespectful Dunce"! Congratulations!

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