Japan’s fantastic public transportation system is world-class. Trains run seamlessly and almost always arrive on time, to the minute. While stations are evenly placed throughout metropolitan centers, buses are typically available to take commuters to destinations that may be a bit out of the way. Although Japan has been slow to adopt ride-sharing programs like Uber, taxis are never too hard to find.

That said, rural areas can be frustratingly cut-off from this top-notch infrastructure. As such, cars are still necessary for countryside residents who often brave narrow, winding roads and, sometimes, heavy traffic. At times, the pressure can be too much for some.

Despite the stereotypically non-aggressive of demeanour of Japanese people, news outlets throughout the country have covered an increase in road rage incidents occurring in recent years. In 2019, the National Police Agency (NPA) sought to crack down on aggressive driving, threatening to revoke the licenses of offending drivers. The move was likely inspired by a series of incidents involving aggressive driving. In one particularly dramatic case, a Fukuoka senior driver was arrested afterthreatening another commuter with a sickle.

A scary drive

Indeed, things can quickly spin out of control when drivers behave aggressively. Manga artist Kawakami (@JUNKIES_1) experienced this himself. The artist was driving back to his home in rural Hyō go. Suddenly, on a deserted road, a speeding car approached from behind began harassing him aggressively:

Reproduced with permission from Kawakami (@JUNKIES_1)

Reproduced with permission from Kawakami (@JUNKIES_1)

Reproduced with permission from Kawakami (@JUNKIES_1)

Reproduced with permission from Kawakami (@JUNKIES_1)

Fortunately, this scary story turned out to be a tale of kindness and good fortune. The menacing driver turned out to be a pair of kind strangers looking to return Kawakami's forgotten fuel tank cap.

Readers of the manga reacted:

  • “I couldn’t help but smile at the kindness of those strangers. They are good people.”
  • “Something similar happened to me. A motorcycle approached me from behind, and the driver told me my gas tank was open. I was initially worried because I didn't understand why he was trying to get my attention.”
  • “I experienced the other side of this story. A driver forgot his wallet, and I had to chase him down. It was hard to think of a way to get his attention.”

If you liked this manga strip, you can find more like it on Kawakami’s Twitter page. Check it out!

By - Luke Mahoney.