It all started with an apple in a Japanese class journal.

As we get older, the memories of our school years may begin to slowly fade, but our favourite teachers remain ingrained in our minds forever. In Japan, the lasting impact of one kind teacher recently made news after coloured pencil artist Yuichiro Abe shared this tweet online.



— 長靴をはいた描 (@erumo_0384) March 16, 2021

The image on the left above shows a sketch drawn by Abe in his class journal when he was a third-year junior high school student. The class journal, which is handed over to the homeroom teacher for periodical checks, has sections for writing notes and reminders, and in the section for messages, Abe wrote “らくがき”, which translates to “graffiti” or “scribble“.

▼ The image that appears here is far from a scribble, though–it’s a beautifully sketched, perfectly proportioned illustration of an apple.

The red circles around the apple are the markings of the teacher, and in Japan–where circles indicate good work, akin to a tick signifying a correct answer in the West–the more circles there are, the better the work, which means Abe’s self-described “scribble” received recognition equivalent to a gold star.

That’s not the only acknowledgement Abe received, though, as the teacher drew an arrow towards the image with this heartwarming note for the student:

“This is extremely skilful!! I want you to take good care of this talent as well.”

This touching message obviously meant a lot to Abe, who shared the image on Twitter, saying:

“Teacher, I’m still drawing!”

As proof, the now-19-year-old, who’s currently a first-year beauty school student, shared this more recent photo alongside his junior high school drawing.

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