A story of a rebellious run-away that pulled off a stint to embarrass his parents to punish his parents for punishing him.  That’s what the media, the parents, and the boy are hiding from you.

7-year-old Yamato Tanooka (田野岡大和) was found safe and sound after 6 days missing in the woods.
The media are reporting this as a miraculous story of survival and getting a lot of clicks. Parents are crucified, and the boy is praised. What really happened?

[This post is based on the publicly-available information and is written to encourage critical thinking. It is entirely a speculation.]

1. Reported as “found in nearby forest.” He was found within 10 yards from the golf greens and within 1/4 mile from the train tracks.


Even the media’s best efforts can’t conceal the fact this thing wasn’t in the woods.

2. Media knew about it. They all spent 8 minutes driving up there from the train station.

Very quickly those photos disappeared and were replaced by those. Oh, look – a jeep.

“Could you move that Toyota HiLux? It doesn’t jive with my ‘survival boy’ shot!”

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3. The standard tools would have been effective here if he wanted to be found.

  • walk downhill.
  • walk toward train noises (black line is the track).
  • follow the planes
  • follow the ROADS. He crossed several.


4. It’s so completely inconceivable that he wasn’t found unless he didn’t want to be found that the locals are starting to come up with strange explanations. “Especially for a small boy if he’s lying on the ground with dense undergrowth, it can be very hard to find” – in other words, they admit it’s really not hard to find him unless he is trying to hide.


5. I wonder if the father was in on it. The father’s no-tear interview was painful to watch. The first 20 seconds, he really fights off a smile – also very visible in this photo.

Sure, it’s natural to smile right after finding a missing son. So why, 0:40 to 0:53, does he really try so hard to cry? Anyone who feels they must hide their genuine emotion is hiding something.


Praising this boy for his survival is the last thing media and the public should be doing.
These parents will have a difficult time getting him in line, and I fear for what this  boy did to himself in the long time.


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