People aren’t normally given the chance to save someone else’s life – Yukio Shige, however, has helped save more than 500.

After he retired from a 42-year career as a Fukui Prefectural Police detective, Yukio was stationed at the Tojinbo Cliffs in Japan. Though it’s a popular tourist destination, the towering cliffs also offer an ideal place for committing suicide.

Yukio’s first encounter with such a depressed soul was on September 3rd, 2003. A sad-looking couple was sitting by themselves at the top of the cliffs when he spotted them.

Now known as the Gatekeeper – or “chotto matte”, translating to “wait a moment” man – Yukio has worked for over a decade guarding the cliffs from those wanting to jump.

Yukio has his work cut out for him too – Japan has one of the highest suicide rates of a developed country in the world.

So in 2004, he started the nonprofit KokoroniHibikuBunshuHenshukyoku – or the “Publishing bureau for collection of writings that reach the heart” – to console and encourage suicidal people after Yukio talks them down.

 



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