Japanese netizen backs out of initial promise to donate one million yen to Palestinian refugees

Noble goal of promoting music education shadowed by personal needs.

To celebrate the Japanese online shopping website Zozotown’s most profitable New Year’s sales this year, billionaire CEO Yusaku Maezawa generously doled out one million yen (US$9,229) to 100 random people over the Internet a few days ago.

And so Japanese Twitter user and music teacher @komashin502 could not believe his eyes when he received a direct message from the CEO. Currently living in Amman, the capital of Jordan, he teaches music to Palestinian refugee elementary school kids and aims to lift their hopes up through the wonders of music.

▼ What a lucky thing to happen to a nice guy!
(Translation below)


こっちの子どもたちにも先進国と同じように情操教育への機会を増やすために。 pic.twitter.com/wH0AAlS67y

— こましん (@komashin502) January 8, 2019

The message reads:

“Hello, I am Maezawa, the real thing! Thank you for showing interest in my campaign. I will get straight to the point: you have been chosen!!! You may not believe it, but it’s true. Congratulations!!!

Please make good use of the one million yen! Schools are fortunate to have musical instruments. Great is the power of music.

Feel free to tweet this message in your feed and state what you will spend it on. I hope it will be used for significant things. I will wire over the one million yen, so please reply back to this message with your bank account details.”

Having received Yusaku’s blessings, @komashin502 realized he could do a lot for the Palestinian refugees suffering from the Arab–Israeli conflict with the money gained:

“I’ve finally calmed down, but my hands are still shaking. I won’t be using this money for myself, but instead to help restore music education to Palestinian refugees. The children over here deserve aesthetic cultivation just like in other countries.”

▼ Netizens and even the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Japan applauded his noble act.
(Translation of excerpt below)

難民の人々にとって良い情操教育の機会になりますよう、当方もお祈りしております。 https://t.co/2HpE90Eapx

— 駐日パレスチナ常駐総代表部 (@PalestineEmb) January 10, 2019

“As the difficult situation continues, such news is very encouraging. We express our utmost gratitude. We hope that the refugees will have excellent opportunities to cultivate their aesthetic sensibilities, and we will pray for you, too.”

Two days after @komashin502’s charitable pledge, however, he had second thoughts about parting with money.

▼ He explained his situation in a long series of tweets. (Translation below)



— こましん (@komashin502) January 10, 2019

“I know I will be criticized for this, but I have decided to use this money



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