Japanese teacher thankful for flowers for Vietnamese Teachers' Day

By Binh Minh   November 20, 2023 | 11:34 pm PT
Japanese teacher thankful for flowers for Vietnamese Teachers' Day
A still of a online video shows Nguyen Tien Dat gifts flowers to his Japanese teacher Morita Atsushi at Hanoi University, Nov. 16, 2023.
A video of a student gifting flowers to his Japanese teacher for Vietnamese Teachers' Day has garnered over a million views and 1,000 shares on TikTok.

Morita Atsushi, 73, was surprised, flustered and thankful for the flowers he received from his students for the Vietnamese Teachers’ Day on Nov. 20.The teacher could be seen acting shy, scratching his head and thanking his students.

The whole class could be heard clapping for the occasion.

Nguyen Tien Dat, the student who gifted the flowers, said the video was recorded in an afternoon class on Nov. 16. The teacher, Morita Atsushi, teaches writing for the 2-NB22 class of Hanoi University.

Dat said Morita was surprised to receive the flowers, not knowing what was going on.

"He was moved and thanked the class, as it was the first time that he received flowers for such an occasion," Dat said.

Dat said he was nervous as well, afraid his Japanese would not be good enough for Morita to understand. The gift from the class was a small bouquet of sunflowers, as well as a postcard in Japanese. The messages wished good health and joy for Morita, and also his continued success in education.

Morita Atsushi receives flowers from his students at the Hanoi University for Vietnamese Teachers' Day, November 16, 2023, as shown a video shared by the students on TikTok.

Dao Thanh Ngan, the class representative, said the lesson was more festive than usual that day. Everyone affectionately called Morita "Teacher Doraemon."

"He is happy, smiley and friendly. When we see him in the school yard, we usually take pictures with him as he is too lovable," Ngan said.

Nguyen Xuan Hang, assistant for the Japanese department, said teachers in the faculty have watched the video and are happy to know that their students could spread a bit of Vietnamese culture to the Japanese teacher.

"This is his first time in Vietnam, but he is loved by many students," Hang said.

Morita said he did not know he was so loved. When the students showed him the video, he giggled and said he was "a bit embarrassed."

"In Japan, there are no days for teachers, so I was a bit surprised to see my students gift me flowers. There are more talented teachers at the school, so for me to be so loved, I was really moved," he said.

Morita said the Vietnamese students are very affectionate, similar to how his generation was in the past. He said that 50 years ago, he and his friends used to throw a small party for their teachers. So when he saw his students show their appreciation to their teachers, he felt loved.

Before going to Vietnam to volunteer teaching in August, Morita had taught at a Japanese training school for 10 years. He is expected to teach at the Japanese department of the Hanoi University for a year.

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