KITAKYUSHU -- A local 6-year-old kindergartner with a passion for buses who exposed a series of mistakes in signage for the Nishitetsu Bus network in this southwestern Japan city received a letter of appreciation from the operator on Dec. 17.
Seishiro Yasumoto, 6, of Kokurakita Ward in the Fukuoka Prefecture city of Kitakyushu, started spotting the blunders in February this year. Of the eight mistakes on the Nishitetsu Bus network that the operator learned of in this fiscal year, seven have come from Seishiro. He is the first kindergartner to ever get in touch over such matters.
Observing Seishiro's interest in buses and maps, his father Ryuji, 41, gave him a bus route map around two years ago. He was instantly hooked, and took to staring at it while his parents told him the names of the places he couldn't read, and using a washbasin as a steering wheel to imitate being a bus driver.
Once he learned to write, he started copying out the bus routes and the timetables on large sheets of paper. Now, Seishiro has the city's bus network completely mapped out in his head. The thing he enjoys most at the moment are his weekend "Nishitetsu Bus Travels," where he visits the town's bus stops with his parents.
On Dec. 17, three representatives of Nishitetsu Bus Kitakyushu Co. visited Seishiro, who was waiting at his father's office. The head of the company's sales department handed him the letter of thanks and said, "Please keep being a Nishitetsu Bus fan. We hope you'll become a bus driver."
Seishiro smiled and said, "Something special happens when you work hard on favorite things." Also, he pointed out that the list of destinations on another bus stop sign may be wrong, astonishing the bus company representatives once more.
(Japanese original by Hiroya Miyagi, Kyushu News Department)