Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Boy-Wonder Mayor of Osaka: "Corporal Punishment Is Part of Education", as a High School Boy Kills Himself After Beaten by School Coach

Another typical day in Japan, where a high school boy commits suicide after having been beaten up by his basketball coach yet again and people including reporters from major newspapers are busy making excuse for the coach, implicitly blaming the boy for overreacting to or misunderstanding the "pure intention" of the coach.

Instead of throwing the coach in jail right away, as they might elsewhere in the world, the Board of Education of that city insists their investigation didn't reveal anything wrong.

The boy was the captain of the highly competitive basketball team at a city public high school. He came home late one night in December last year, told his mother that he was beaten by the school coach again, and he was getting quite weary and couldn't take it any more. He also said the coach singled him out and beat more often and more severely because he was the captain. His mother told him he could just quit playing for the team. He hanged himself that night. His face was severely swollen from the beating.

Where's that city? Well no other than the one where the boy-wonder continues to serve as mayor while being the deputy leader of the Japan Restoration Party.

The boy-wonder issued a statement after the news, in which he insists corporal punishment is part of education. This mayor was a school bully himself, and is proud of it.

Just like eating school lunch that contains radioactive cesium is an educational opportunity for children, being beaten up by your coach is not child abuse but instead such an educational opportunity that everyone should gladly accept.

First, about the poor boy, from Asahi Shinbun (1/9/2013):


According to the school principal Sato, the student became reticent at home about one week before he committed suicide, and the family was worried. The student came home past 9PM on the day before the suicide. He said to his mother, "We lost again. Your bento was delicious. I was beaten again pretty bad today."

[An anonymous citizen alerted the city on the abuse at this particular high school in September 2011. The city decided to investigate. But here's how they did the investigation.]


The city relegated the investigation to the city's Board of Education. The Board of Education instructed the school principal to investigate. According to the Board of Education, the principal asked all the coaches whether they did corporal punishment, and all of them answered "no". There was no further investigation, and the principal reported back to the Board of Education that "there was no corporal punishment".

No kiddin'...

In fact, later investigations revealed that 21 students out of 50 basketball team members said they had been beaten as corporal punishment, and over 40 of them said they had seen others beaten.

Then, the boy-wonder's response, from Mainichi Shinbun (1/8/2013):


"Even I sometimes hit my own children. Even the parents (like me) do, so (corporal punishment) exists in schools. What's important is how to follow up when the beating happens", said [Osaka Mayor Hashimoto], indicating his stance that it was more important to follow up on the pupils/students after they received corporal punishment, rather than eliminating corporal punishment from schools.

Then Asahi Shinbun (1/9/2013) chooses to report words from school officials:


Sakuranomiya High School officials say, "The coach is a very conscientious teacher, and there was nothing wrong with the student who committed suicide. They both have pure characters, and the coach was just a little too overzealous."

One fellow classmate tries to defend the coach (Asahi Shinbun 1/9/2013):


"Corporal punishment [from this coach] is not because he hates us students but because of his good intention of making the team better", said one male student in the Physical Education Department of the high school, speaking about the coach.

Anywhere else in the world, this is called "child abuse", and the coach will be thrown in jail immediately. The mother, for not intervening strongly enough, may also be arrested. Not so in Japan. (As far as I know, this coach is still working at this school.)

In fact, you probably have to thank the coach for the invaluable education. I remember one such teacher in my junior high school who actually demanded the pupils to thank him for beating them up with a thick bamboo stick. He was quite popular with parents, who didn't quite know the severity of his beating. The school did nothing, of course.

It's supremely ironic that this same country worries so much now about the dwindling population and says they have to protect their children (from radioactive materials, for one). Uh huh.


Anonymous said...

Sickening. However, unlike you, I would place much/most of the blame on the parents themselves. It is their responsibility to protect their child from abuse and they failed. It is unreasonable to expect any sort of society to take care of everyone. People MUST take responsibility for their own and their loved ones' lives...

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but excellent news from the Antipodes:

Yet the leading scientific body in the UK sees fit to publishes fiction like this:

Perhaps the global scientific community, beginning with the Royal Society (UK), could do with a bit of Japanese style education and corporal punishment to help them get their facts straight on climate change.

Anonymous said...

When 21st century technology meets middle ages mentality.

I think the public statement "Even I sometimes hit my own children." would immediately trigger criminal investigation elsewhere (into child abuse of course).

Anonymous said...

Sick people are ruling Japan. There is no hope for Japan anymore, as the Japanese themselves choose these leaders. You get the goverment ( or leaders ) you deserve.

The majority of the people in Japan seems to me too stupid to understand anything more than a 5 year old.

Let's see the next election, but i'm sure LDP and so on will be the winner again. If that happens:

Soyanara Japan !

Your digging your own grave and you are warned by so many people, but you just kept digging, because some one told you to keep digging. No matter what it takes. Digging your onw grave is gloryfied, so you it makes you feel brave.

China get ready, a 5 year old wants to fight...

Anonymous said...

Anywhere else in the world the Coach would run into a hooded group of vigilante parents in a dark alley who would beat him with baseball bats like a pinata. In some parts of the US parents are regularly banned from attending their children's sporting events because of threats of violence against coaches for not winning or "picking" on their kid. A google of "parent attacks coach" will explode your browser here are a few examples:

Does anybody want to guess what the headlines would be if the coach hit a kid?

netudiant said...

Physical abuse by direct beatings seems to be more accepted in Japan than here in the US. I remember reading that Mr Honda would hit workers with a wrench if he felt they were doing something wrongly.

That said, is it not shameful for a high school kids coach to beat up his team's captain if the team loses?
Surely the fault if any is his, not his players.

VyseLegendaire said...

Well, its thanks to corporal punishment that the soldiers for Japan in World War 3 will be as zealous as ever. WW3 is gonna be a hell of a ride!

VyseLegendaire said...

And on another note, for those of you saying that in other parts of the world Boy Wonder or Coach Wonder would be brought up on charges, do not forget that in the West we only pay lip service to justice, meanwhile there is a literal genocide against children going on in the U.S. as a result of child abuse.
The nation upholds mystical notions of defending the weak. Suicides are high in Japan, but far more children die from outright neglect and beating in the U.S., most of them too young to defend themselves... It's that good ol' American frontier spirit.

I guess the lesson here is – being a rich nation doesn't make your people virtuous. Both Japan and U.S., and I'm guessing several other 'developed' nations have yet to reach the modern era in deed.

Anonymous said...

Vogtle reactor vessel slips off rails between Savannah, Burke County

Smoking Caster

Anonymous said...

This kind of sadistic violence takes many forms in Japan. I have suffered with an abusive spouse for years, there is a very very evil and dark side to Japanese culture that is hidden by all the fluff and Hello Kitty/Disneyland nonsense. The reason I stay on is to protect my kids from the sickness of their mentally ill mother and the rest of the social pathology as best as possible. Uphill battle.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that could not happen in US/France (I'm French) because the parents and the society would not tolerate it, but more importantly because a 16 year old boy does reply when getting beaten by their teacher (or their friends does).

So while I agree with the difference in recognizing what is child abuse in Japan and the West, the fact that in Japan nobody stands up to any situation also did not help in this case (as the article says, this had been going on for years).
I've been living here for a decade now, and it always strikes me at the company when directors tell a bad news (reduced salary for everyone, for example): everybody complains about it in very hard terms at their desks and at the smoking room, but no one ever will stand up and at least to just say they don't agree.
It's so bad that as a manager I find it very very difficult to understand the feelings of the Japanese people working in my own team (while beside being their boss, we're quite good friends)

VyseLegendaire said...

You're right, this is a special type of societal violence that keeps the Japanese in line. It is, essentially, the way a mafia operates. If you speak out, you die because there is no law above the rule of force. There is not even a thin veneer of civility, on escapism and fantasy to hide from it. Japanese is not an open or free enough society to give most of them the chance to really rebel against this openly.

What is needed is a true cultural reformation but that might take millennia, and would require throwing off the yolk of U.S. empire. After all, how can one stand up to his boss when the entire nation kneels at the feet of the bigger bully in the room? Meanwhile we will blog about radiation fears while choking on Cesium day and night.

Gavin Veasey said...

I'm surprised that corporal punishment was given to a high schooler at all! Aren't you supposed to be a young adult when you enter high school? Only in the third-world do they take adults out and beat them.

This coach should be suspended and charges brought against him. Parents should demand an end to corporal punishment for high school students.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Vyse, that (cultural reformation) may come when the people stop asking for "gaiatsu" (foreign pressure) and stop blaming "gaiatsu" (mostly the US) for ALL their ills and take responsibility for themselves. It's almost frightening to see people blame the US for everything from election that didn't go their way to Fukushima meltdown to "refusal" to help Japan after the Fukushima accident.

Gavin, corporal punishment is for all ages in Japan, from toddlers to 80 years olds. High school age (16) is not considered adult.

VyseLegendaire said...

I agree about that, its Japan's own lack of backbone and any real unity that prevents things from shaping up. But then again when the cultural hero is Oda Nobunaga, you can't be surprised when Machiavellianism is the status quo religion.

On another note I think Japanese using gaiatsu as crutch will be disappointed when the U.S. military gets blind-sided by China in the next few years, and can't do anything to prevent their takeover over the area due to economic collapse and imperial decay. Gaiatsu will seem like a heaven in comparison to conscription and re-militarization.

As an anarchist, I have no idea how I would handle being Japanese right now....the power to stand alone, as well as non-conscripted cooperation is what is needed, rather than either mafia control (like now) or military order (Mafia part 2.0).

Anonymous said...

I was asked by a Japanese scientist (who would compare the risk of judo to that of a recent food poisonning) "does that happen in your country - (quite not bad at judo) - we have a hundred deaths or so each year in judo classes !" (compulsary in Japan). I never heard of such a problem here.
Surely a problem inside Japan, although as sports is once again gaining an overwhelming momentum, one has to consider the question in the Nazi & Soviet times, and now internationalized doping practices.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the film "Nakano, military school" by Matsumura, assistant of Kurosawa ?
- a must about Japan.

Anonymous said...

'Has anyone seen the film "Nakano, military school" by Matsumura, assistant of Kurosawa ?'

Cannot seem to find it. What is the title in Japanese? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

There are actually three movies based Nakano all of these films are works of fiction based on the real academy.

Rikugun Nakano Gakko: Mitsumei ("Nakano Army School: Top Secret Command") (1967)

Rikugun Nakano gakko: Kaisen zenya ("Army Nakano School: War Broke Out Last Night") (1968)

Rikugun Nakano gakko: Kumoichigô shirei ("Army Nakano School: Cloud #1 Directive Japan") (1966)

Little canary said...

This is a another example of how this world is upside down.

This 17 year old boy behaved like an old japanese adult doing a suicide ritual, seppuku.
(I know he hanged himself)

He has boicoted the system and probably won, just for the simple reason that he has shown the traditional respect and honour that this country used to have and commit suicide when things do not work.

In the other side we have a bunch of adults who condemn him behaving like kids, since they obey orders which are expired in these days, and can't bow their heads and say sorry to a society for their failures as leaders.

This major, who lives in another galaxy, he doesnt realize that one of the causes of this global crisis, is that the new generations do not want to be part of the Corporate dictatorship and do not obey the orders, quitting jobs that used to be "stable", but not now at all.

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