My brother and the train

This is a story about my brother and a particular train.

So my brother commutes to work everyday and he uses the commuter line train in Jakarta. Being a Japan – culture enthusiast he somehow found out a rather touching story about one particular Japanese train, 205-0 series train from JR Nambu Line.

This train recently ended its service in Japan last December because it’s going to be shipped to Indonesia (Indonesia has been actively buying Japanese old trains for our commuter line). On its very last ride, the train conductor on board made a very touching speech.

“This train that you are currently riding will retire as of today from service on the JR Nambu Line. It will continue active service from here on in Jakarta, Indonesia. We will arrive at the Musashi-Nakahara Station terminus in a few moments. Please make sure that you take all of your belongings with you as you exit the train. We sincerely hope that you take all of your happy memories of being on this train home with you for safekeeping as well.”

In addition, the train is reportedly decorated with pictures and some thank you notes from Japanese kids who used to ride the train. You can read the full story here.

Long story short, my brother then found the train which has been in use on the KRL Jabodetabek Commuter Line. He saw that the pictures from the kids are real! Here’s one picture that he took:

From Japanese kids for all of you...
From Japanese kids for all of you…

Well I don’t speak Japanese, but I found the idea very touching, still. Don’t you think?

Being a kind-hearted and brilliant person that he is, my brother then had this idea of sending another thank you note to the Japanese people, basically telling them that the train has arrived safely in Indonesia and is operating smoothly on a daily basis. Because he has limited proficiency of Japanese language he contacted his friends to translate the message, drew a picture, and then tweeted it yesterday to his personal account.

24 hours later –  it has gotten over 1000 RT.


I am an advertising graduate and I used to handle a Twitter account of a very credible organisation but none of the campaigns I organised ever reached this milestone. Wow.

Meanwhile, this is just something that my brother did out of his genuine interest and sincerity… A simple ‘thank you’ message.

The Tweet!
The Tweet!

Now, I’m sharing this story with you not because of the RTs and likes that he got. They’re just a number. But if we see it from a Marketing perspective.. why do you think his tweets got so many response?

Well, I think it’s because (1) the message is sincere and honest (2) it is simple (3) it gives a “life” and “emotion” for a “product” (4) it reaches specific communities.. the Japanese trains enthusiasts, Indonesian KRL users, and of course, Indonesian Japanese culture enthusiasts….you know how it is with communities, yep.

Those points are not new, for sure. They have been talked about over and over in marketing lectures/seminars… but still what happened with my brother makes me want to remind you (and myself), that emotion and connection always win in today’s cluttered environment.

Oh, and I also want to tell the blogosphere that I’m super proud of my brother because really, who in the world has such pure heart? :’) *cry* *happytears*

Sincerely, a super proud big sister ❤

30 thoughts on “My brother and the train”

  1. Hehe, I think you nailed the points. It is all in the sincerity and its connection to the people in the personal level which made it “viral” 😀 . IMHO, that is why a lot of companies tries to “emotionalize” several events they have in their company to their customers. For instance in the airline industry, KLM’s “farewell” flights when they retired one type of their fleet (MD11 at the end of 2014, I even wrote a post about that 😛 ) or just a few weeks ago when Air France retired their Boeing 747-400 fleet and they posted a few photos on Instagram 😛 .

    1. Yep Ko, I think it’s the time to use emotion in doing Marketing. Otherwise the message won’t be as memorable and touching. Plus it makes the story more interesting! Btw I like how you use airlines as your example hehehehe 😀

  2. Aku jadi tersentuh membaca tulisan ini, Mbak. Semoga ketulusan tidak lagi menjadi komoditi langka di masyarakat kita. Duh, asli terharu dan ikutan bangga sebagai masyarakat Indonesia :’)

  3. Awh, very touching… I agree with what you said here Mbak Christa and think that no wonder many companies these days promote their products/services through emotional and full of messages advertisements. Btw Mbak, gambarnya bagus bgt 😊

  4. Dear Christa,

    Alhamdulillah aku ngerti semua yang ditulis dalam bahasa Jepang tersebut, baik yang ditulis oleh anak-anak Jepang maupun oleh adikmu…dan aku juga jadi merasa terharu dan bangga terhadap si kereta, anak anak Jepang yang menulis pesan, dan adikmu yg juga menulis pesan yg mengharukan 🙂 Kalau boleh, aku mau izin reblog ya 🙂

    1. Tentu boleh Inong, hehehe udah ngobrol di Twitter juga kan ya 🙂 wahhh kamu bisa bahasa Jepang.. keren sekali.. Cerita awalnya aja udah mengharukan ya, kayaknya si keretanya itu dihargai banget sama orang2 sana.. gak nyangka,seringkali kita kan nganggep kereta ya cuma kereta… hehehe.. Terima kasih ya sudah menshare ceritanya 🙂

      1. Hi..hi…aku kebetulan kerja jadi penterjemah bahasa Jepang, Christa 🙂 Udah aku reblog ya plus aku tambahin link yang aku share di akun FB aku 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on pinkuonna and commented:
    Baca ini jadi terharu…Apalagi memang kehidupan masyarakat Jepang tidak terpisahkan dengan kereta. Saya juga sempat share satu cerita di akun FB saya tentang satu kereta yang hanya melayani satu orang penumpang, seorang gadis SMP di Hokkaido (, dan mereka baru akan menutup jalur kereta tersebut setelah si gadis lulus SMP pada Maret tahun ini…

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