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One record that repeatedly goes viral on the internet is the largest GPS drawing (individual) - a stunning marriage proposal that has clung to the title since 2009.

The creator of this drawing, which uses much of Japan as its canvas, is Yassan, who now works as a GPS artist.

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This record-breaking drawing - entitled "MARRY ME" - was actually his first ever GPS drawing, which he created so he could pop the question.

The making of this drawing was a pretty epic adventure for Yassan.

"I quit work"

It was April 2008 when Yassan moved in with his then-girlfriend Natsuki. And when he decided it was time to propose, Yassan wanted to do a big surprise. That was when he turned to GPS drawing.

Yassan decided to write "MARRY ME" across Japan using GPS tracking. Thus, his enormous project began.

Back then, GPS was not a commonly known term in Japan. However, Yassan found out after research that he didn't need special equipment to realize his project. On the other hand, smartphones were not available to him then, so he had to place tracing paper on top of a large road map to decide which route he needed to take.

For the GPS tracking, Yassan used a GPS logger, which is an optional part of a digital camera. He only did some testing during a train commute. Without much practice, he headed to Hokkaido - his starting point for his drawing. He activated the GPS logger and started driving a rented car.

"I was working at a very busy company, and I had no time to practise. So I had to just go and do it. At the end of the first night, I saw a single line I drew. That was exciting," he said.

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Yassan was going to make multiple trips to complete the drawing. However, he realized that it would take at least two years if he continued to take a series of short trips to create a GPS drawing. In order to finish the artwork off sooner - so he could propose sooner - he needed to take radical action.

"I decided to quit work before the trip," he said.

His then-girlfriend was perplexed when she heard the news.

"We only started living together. If marriage and family were ahead of us, I had to be concerned if he says he's going to go jobless," she told us.

And because Yassan could not talk about his real reason for quitting, it was hard for him to make a convincing case to his girlfriend.

Read this article in Japanese here and find more news in Japanese here.

Car falls off a ditch

The route Yassan had devised often looked better on paper.

"There are many unpaved roads in Japan. There was no street view to rely on, so if I saw a road that would work for my drawing, then I'd take it. Only when I get there would I realize that only locals have the skill and experience to comfortably drive through it."

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If this had been a normal road trip, he would have been able to take a detour. But Yassan had to move forward in order to complete his GPS artwork.

Not all his attempts to pave the way were successful.

"Once, I was going through a narrow path near a river. It was too narrow, so I decided to give up and go back by reversing. That proved to be also impossible. The car ended up at the bottom of the bank. I called for a car service, but their crane also could not get through the narrow path."

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Yassan also experienced tyre punctures and had to drive through unseasonal snow using summer tyres.

Despite all the trouble, Yassan was able to experience parts of Japan that only locals would know. He visited many hot springs and was soaked in fantastic views from his rented car.

"I was in Lake Mashu (Hokkaido) one morning. The mist was a veil to the calm but enormous lake. It was surreal," he recalled.

Unexpected ending

About six months into his big project, Yassan's trip around Japan was coming to a close. Despite landing another job in December 2008, Yassan was away from home for a long time. His then-girlfriend, not knowing what was really going on, patiently waited while seeing Yassan's trips through his blog.

But the waiting was finally over. It was now time for Yassan to show off his marriage proposal artwork. He showed the map of Japan with "MARRY ME" written on it. His girlfriend's reaction was not what he had in mind.

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"What does it say?" she asked him.

His girlfriend could not understand the English phrase. Yassan then had to explain what it meant. But despite the blunder, her answer was yes.

Later, Yassan's GPS drawing was officially given a Guinness World Records title. The work was covered by major media, which allowed him to start a second career as a GPS artist.

And what about Yassan's marriage? Yes, they are still happily married, with two children!

Yassan said: "You are only meant to do a marriage proposal once in your life. So that memory will stay with you for the rest of your life. So I still think, after all these years, it was a good idea. Even though it sort of went custard at the end. Looking back, I realize that what I have done was wild."

Yassan with his wife

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