japan blizzard

We didn’t have the stones to ruin your Monday with this story, so here it is today: a father died protecting his nine year old daughter from a blizzard in Japan.

Hokkaido Island had a nasty blizzard in the last few days that saw temperatures dropping to 21° amidst 68mph winds. People were stranded in cars, and at least nine people died, including a father, Mikio Okada.

Okada had picked his daughter, Natsune, up from school on Saturday evening, and his truck became stranded in the snow. He called relatives to tell them that he and Natsune would walk the remaining distance, which was just under one mile.

But the cold and snow – which was several feet deep in parts of the road – was too much for the father and daughter. Just 1,000 feet from Okada’s truck, Okada gave Natsune his jacket, and huddled her against the outside of a warehouse for warmth, where reports said that they remained overnight.

Early Sunday morning, rescue crews found Okada dead, still huddled over a crying Natsune, who was immediately rushed to the hospital. Natsune was not found to have any serious injuries.

It gets worse: Mikio Okada’s wife – Natsune’s mother – had died two years ago according to relatives. Okada, by all accounts, was a loving father who would often put off the start of his work day to have breakfast with Natsune.

Okada and his daughter were found by crews on Hinamatsuri – or, Girl’s Day – a day when the Japanese “pray for young girl’s growth and happiness.” According to Japan Today, Okada had ordered a cake to share with his daughter in their Girl’s Day celebration.