I never knew Yasuyuki Sampei. I never had the chance to.
He was a 19-year-old Japanese student from Tokyo International University where I studied abroad at when I was a junior. He went to America last February to study at Tokyo International University of America, which is co-located on Willamette University’s campus (my alma mater). I worked at Tokyo International University of America my entire time at Willamette, so it holds a good piece of my heart and I care very much for all the students. The students are always curious about American culture and many students are able to make very strong friendships with Willamette’s students.
Yasuyuki was one of those students.
From what I can gather from reading my friends’ Facebook feeds, he was very outgoing, a great photographer, and an overall good person who was liked and admired by many. He seemed to have a bright future waiting for him and would be turning 20 this Sunday. He would have been going home to his family in two more months…
Sampei died sometime between 8 and 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The cause of death was determined to be suicide.
While I never knew Yasuyuki, I feel very effected by his death. No ones life should end that young. No one should be driven to the point of suicide.
My heart goes out to his family and friends.
May you rest in peace, Yasuyuki.