Parents of disabled son who died in West Japan floods speak about ‘family treasure’

Written with extracts from The Mainichi Shimbun

July 14th 2018

We wanted him to return alive. Kyohei Yamaguchi (20) of Imari city, Saga Prefecture, who went missing as a result of the heavy rain that struck West Japan, was near a disabled residential facility and his body was discovered on the coast, downstream, two days later. Kyohei was heavily autistic and loved the water. In the heavy rain, it seems that he was the only one entered the muddy stream to go to see the river. His parents trembled, “He was a treasure of our family.”

According to his parents, Kyohei could not speak well but was quite active. As the river was rising on the afternoon of the 6th July; he was preparing to return home at the ‘camellia (workshop)’.

He liked water everyday, he said he was about to go to the river near the workplace many times on the heavy rain day. The family and the staff also prayed safe the next day, the yellow earpiece of “trademark” which was always attached to the ears to block surrounding sounds was found downstream, and about 6 kilometers away Nagasaki prefecture Matsuura on the 8th A corpse was found on the coast of the city. My son who came back with a beautiful face did not say anything, and I was caught in tears.

His mother kept a record from the very early age to the 3rd year of junior high school in a single note. To be able to brush your teeth. To be able to say a voice. A roar of awesomeness that showed a painting song at the 6th year cultural festival of elementary school. The note is packed with small growth and happiness that I felt at that time.

His father (51) looks back, “When I became an elementary school student, I got tears when I began to speak” is Kyohei “. Everyone in the family was pleased that they seemed nothing in the surroundings. It was healed by a straightforward and expressionful figure, and the lives of the four families including his brother were overflowing with a smile.

In the living room of the house, monster dolls and DVDs and picture books that Kyohei preferred, line up. My father said “Turning up the stairs with Tintin, just saying that it was a tongsan, it was lively when Kyouhei arrived,” and the dad bows back to his home. “Kyohei was struggling, I’m surprised, I’m sorry I can not protect you, I do not want to believe that I can not meet anymore.”

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