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Dad forces 4-year-old son to climb Mount Fuji, has to be rescued by park rangers

Oct 10, 2012, 1:28 PM EDT


The underpublicized flip side of the Tiger Mom is the Eagle Dad (you may have seen one at your local Little League field, or in Todd Marinovich family photos). And by now you may have heard of He Liesheng, the Nanjing, China businessman who may be the most notorious Eagle Dad of all. Liesheng reportedly forced his four-year-old son, Duoduo, to do pushups in the snow clad only in underpants, and later sent him adrift in the ocean in a tiny boat, all in the hopes of making the boy tougher. But now he’s reached a new low, ironically on one of the world’s highest points.

Liesheng decided to bring his son and daughter on a fun hike — to the top of Mt. Fuji in Japan. The plan was to climb to the 12,388-foot summit with his kids in tow, even though it wasn’t climbing season, the mountain was closed to hikers, and a storm was closing in. The adventure ended predictably.

At the seventh refuge out of nine on the way to the summit, and with several hours’ climb still to go, Duoduo was collapsing with altitude sickness. Eagle Dad pushed on, but eventually accepted defeat at 3,400 metres, when the party had to be rescued by Japanese park rangers and fed hot noodles until the color returned to the children’s faces.

Other fun facts about the climb:

  • It did not take long, Eagle Dad admitted later, to notice that “unlike a lot of Chinese mountains, Mount Fuji does not have steps.”
  • As the air became thinner, the climb became more arduous. His children were crying as the temperature fell near zero.
  • Mr He said that he realized that Mount Fuji did not have food shops along the way, and that all the shelters had been boarded up for the season. He had only packed a cup of water and a chocolate bar for rations.
  • He had forgotten to pack waterproof clothes.
  • With the summit unattainable, Duoduo had just enough strength to unfurl the banner that read: “The Diaoyu Islands belong to China, I want to land on the Diaoyu islands!” and pose for a photograph before his Japanese rescuers gave him a pair of gloves.

Could have been worse, I suppose. Dad could have dragged the kid to a Mets game.

  1. dowhatifeellike - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    What an idiot. You don’t climb anything without reading up on it first. I’m glad the kid was saved but they should have left his father to die.

  2. dowhatifeellike - Oct 10, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Also his kid’s name is dangerously close to the pokemon Doduo. /racism

  3. florida727 - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    This goes beyond stupid. If you didn’t know better, you’d think the guy was a politician.

  4. badintent - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Child endangerment ! This guy gets 5 years in state prison in my state. Next time he goes mountain hiking, I’ll be happy to push him into a crevasse for a nice hundred foot drop, hope he gets stuck and starves to death with both legs and arms broken for added painLosers’s loser..