S’porean influencer moved to tears after helping old Japanese lady out of strong typhoon

The elderly woman wanted to get home, but was too afraid to move in the strong winds.

Mandy How | October 4, 2018 @ 02:49 pm


Typhoon Trami devastated Japan over the past week, resulting in four dead, one missing, and more than 120 injured, according to Channel NewsAsia.

To provide the an idea of what it was like, here are some videos and photos:

View this post on Instagram

Super Typhoon Trami, seen from space. European astronaut Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex_ESA) captured these images from the vantage point of the International Space Station (@ISS), sharing it and saying it looks "as if somebody pulled the planet's gigantic plug. Staring down the eye of yet another fierce storm." Adding “be safe down there!”, Gerst captured these images of Super Typhoon Trami heading for Japan and Taiwan. In addition to space views captured by the astronauts, our @NASAEarth-observing satellites collect imagery and data, including infrared and microwave imagery, rain rates throughout the storm and cloud heights. This data helps scientists and forecasters better predict weather and keep the public informed. Image Credit: ESA/NASA-A.Gerst #nasa #space #astronaut #hurricane #hurricaneflorence #storm #weather #spacestation #swirl #views #scientist #forecast #earth #earthviews #blue #planet #internationalspacestation #picoftheday #astronaut #planet #bluemarble #window #typhoon #weather #TyphoonTrami #trami

A post shared by NASA (@nasa) on

And two local influencers — Rosalind Pho and Jemma Wei — who experienced it for themselves in Okinawa, Japan, were left shaken.

(If their names sound familiar, it’s because Pho is an actress on Channel 5’s Tanglin, and Wei is also a blogger. They also host Hype Hunt on Clicknetwork.)

Venturing out in a typhoon

In their Instagram posts on Sept. 29, Pho and Wei wrote about their encounter with an elderly Japanese lady on the wind-swept streets.

According to Pho, the typhoon had been “crazy” in the morning, but looked somewhat settled in the afternoon, prompting the two to venture out to a nearby convenience store for food.

The first half of the following video shows Pho standing in strong winds, with clothes flapping about.

A man could also be seen falling in the background, and Pho went to give him a hand.

It was taken shortly after the girls had left the hotel:

The second half of the video was taken after the incident with the old lady.

Old lady “almost hysterical”

Once out of the hotel, the two had gone no further than 50 metres when they considered turning back.

“People were falling and sliding, branches were separating from trees and flying across the road, and the rain actually hurt because it felt like it was needles slapping your bare skin,” Wei wrote.

The girls were hanging on to the railings when they saw an old lady, hugging a pole with both of her arms.

Thankfully, Pho could speak Japanese, and learnt that the elderly Japanese woman was trying to make her way home, but did not dare to move in the typhoon.

The Singaporean girls then supported her from either side and half-carried her home, which was a few roads down.

Pho wrote that the old woman was “almost hysterical”, while Wei noted that she was “legit shaking”.

The winds calmed a little as they turned the corner to the apartment, where the elderly woman tried to give Pho and Wei money for a cab back.

The influencers declined.

Later on, Pho told Wei that the old woman had said something like, “Omg omg I can’t make it home and just leave me here and save yourselves.”


When the two finally reached the convenience store, Wei said that Pho burst out crying, because the latter “couldn’t imagine how scared the old woman would have been if she had just been alone”.

The second part of the video showed the empty shelves in the family mart, and the two girls subsequently making their way back to the hotel.

Okinawan philosophies

Safely back at the hotel, Pho shared more about her thoughts — specifically, the Okinawan philosophies that have touched her that day.

Here’s an excerpt:

“This is really what the whole Okinawan lifestyle is about. Like the Icharibacho-de: Once you meet, you are kin. You are my brother, you are my sister, and we just met this grandma, and we said, ‘Okay, we’ll take you home.’

And what’s the other one? Yuima-ru, help the ones in need. Because you’ll never know when you need help and then they’ll help you back.”

For those who are interested, Icharibacho-de could be translated as “having met, we are as siblings“.

On the other hand, Yuima-ru also means “the circle of the people“, which signifies the bond within the Okinawan community, denoting characteristics of unity, compassion, and sincerity.

Original posts from Instagram here:

View this post on Instagram

TYPHOON UPDATE It has just been the most sobering day. The typhoon didn't look that bad from our hotel window (we r pretty high up) but when we got to level one it was HORRIBLE. People were falling and sliding, branches were separating from trees and flying across the road, and the rain actually hurt because it felt like it was needles slapping your bare skin. We were thinking twice about whether to continue our expedition to the Family Mart across the road (we were out of food) but thank GOD we did because there was a terrified old woman hugging the railings outside our hotel. @Rozpho who can speak jap translated and said the grandma didn't dare to move but really wanted to get home, so both of us held on to her either side and half carried her home like a few roads down. She was legit shaking man. Later roz told me she was like going omg omg I can't make it home and Just leave me here and save yourselves to which we were like NO?! Apparently this is the largest recorded typhoon to hit Japan. When roz and I finally made it to family mart roz burst out crying cos she couldn't imagine how scared the old woman would have been if she had just been alone. But I have to say, the past few days in Okinawa especially really showed how strong their community spirit is and I really got to see their Yuimaru spirit (which is Okinawan for everyone has each other's backs) play out this typhoon season. Roz actually made a proper video about this whole thing (it's her latest post on @rozpho) but in the meanwhile just posting a video of this girl who has such a heart of gold for other people, crying in Family Mart because of how the typhoon has affected so many people all over Okinawa. ❤

A post shared by Jemimah James Wei (@jemmawei) on

View this post on Instagram

Super Typhoon Trami hit Okinawa today. It was crazy in the morning but by the afternoon it looked like it had settled a little bit so we went down in search of food. We filmed the first part thinking it wasn't that bad but after walking for about 50 metres, we grabbed onto some railings for dear life and thought of turning back. A grandma was hugging a pole with both her arms and said to me in Japanese that the winds were so strong she didn't know if she could make it home. I asked where it was and then @jemmawei and I just grabbed her hands and ran her all the way home. She was almost hysterical but as we turned a corner to her apartment where the winds calmed a little, she actually tried to give us money for a cab back (we said no). Jemma thinks it wasn't coincidence that we went down at that time coz we contemplated for at least 4 hours before leaving the hotel. Even at the lobby we walked in and out like 3 times, hesitating. There were Okinawan philosophies that touched me today. Icharibacho-de: we met our kin on the streets today. Yuima-ru: we helped her get home but she helped us have the courage to cross the street so we made it to Family Mart after all. Nankurunaisa: everyone is experiencing something different during this typhoon, some worse off than others, but everything will be alright. Because guess what, after we got back safely, the typhoon went even crazier.

A post shared by ROZ PHO (@rozpho) on

Top image from Roz Pho’s Instagram


Content that keeps Mothership.sg going

What was the last thing you used this place for? (Somebody said paktor, meet boys😳) This is what you can do these days!

All the restaurants you ever wanted to try on a massive discount! Did somebody say ‘Pince and Pints’?

Have a little money but can’t help being kinda lazy? You can still invest using this.

This was not part of CIP.

About Mandy How

Mandy is a pantry rat. She eats everything in the pantry (except other people's food).

Morning Commute

Interesting stories to discuss with your colleagues in office later