Student commits suicide after being beaten by school basketball coach

OSAKA —

Osaka Board of Education officials told a news conference on Tuesday that a 17-year-old high school student committed suicide on Dec 23 after he was physically punished by a teacher who coached the basketball team.

The officials said the incident happened at Sakuranomiya high school on Dec 22. The boy, who had an excellent academic record, was captain of the school basketball team which the 47-year-old teacher had coached since 1994, Fuji TV reported.

Officials said the boy hanged himself with a tie at his home. His mother found a letter to the teacher and a note in which he said he couldn’t cope with being physically punished. The teacher was questioned by school officials and has admitted slapping the boy in the face several times, Fuji reported. He said he did it to toughen the boy up, the officials said.

Corporal punishment is banned in schools in Japan. However, after the boy’s suicide, the school conducted a survey of 50 past and present members of the basketball club. Twenty-one of them said they have been physically punished by the teacher, the education board officials said.

The coach has apologized to the boy’s family in the wake of his death, local media said, adding that police were questioning the man.

Japan, with a population of about 128 million, has one of the world’s highest suicide rates, with more than 30,000 people taking their lives annually.

The case of a 13-year-old boy who leapt to his death from an apartment building in 2011 gained national prominence after a survey of students revealed he was subjected to a litany of abuse by bullies.

Japan Today/AFP

  • -7

    Geoff Gillespie

    Look, this guy is obviously a bit of a bully and shouldn't go unpunished in some way but it isn't normal for kids to react that way and it almost certainly wouldn't happn in a western country. The question that needs asking is what makes suicide an acceptable option for people in Japan?

  • 19

    hoserfella

    A survey taken when every single teacher and student was no doubt aware of this pondscum's beatings and reputation. Another failure of the school and dept of education.

  • 10

    mitoguitarman

    It is time for japan to join the modern world, and stop this kind of bullying.

  • 16

    herefornow

    It is time for japan to join the modern world, and stop this kind of bullying.

    mitiguitarman - amen to that. Twenty-one out of fifty kids said this guy had abused them, despite it being illegal. The only way to stop this is by the police and prosecutors deciding to make an example of couple of morons like this. Charge him with twenty-one counts of assault and throw his ass in jail and this stuff will come to a screaching halt. But, Japan being what it is, he probably won't even be prosecuted -- his apology will suffice. They likely won't even fire him.

  • 7

    6wings

    The poor kid... Sounds like he was really talented. It's a shame that he wasn't able to grow old enough to see beyond the narrow horizons of a teenager's existance. I know when I was that age many of the things that happened at school seemed earth-shattering but fortunately I knew that I had the freedom to choose my own path and got support when I needed it. He must have felt a lot of pressure and perhaps, to him, there seemed to be no option other than that darkest of paths.

  • 10

    Matt

    I HATE these sports coach/teacher bullies! Wherever you look you can find a red-in-the-face irate coach shouting at their poor pupils. He should loose his job for this. All teachers know we must not hit our students. No excuse, no half measures. Obviously we won't know the real circumstances behind this sad case but everyone has their breaking point, suicide being beyond the majority of us. It is just arrogance to think such an outcome couldn't happen from such violence.

  • 0

    TrevorPeace2

    'to toughen him up'? He degraded the poor kid so badly the lad had to 'save face' for himself and his family, as I see it, but I'm only a gaijin who plans to spend six months in the country, later this year, trying to analyze the culture. Hope I don't see more of this, but at 30,000 a year, that means at least 15,000 while I'm there. Weird, for sure.

  • 0

    alliswellinjapan

    Truly heartbreaking. So unfortunate that the nation needs to wait for extreme incidents of this nature to occur in order for people including bully coaches still in existence throughout Japan to finally open their eyes and the wholly systematic school operating business model dependent on excelling in sports competitions which in part encourages these coaches to do what they do to start changing. RIP.

  • 2

    Maria

    has admitted slapping the boy in the face several times

    I have to wonder what else he did or said that he hasn't admitted to, for fear of being punished himself. I suspect some serious verbal abuse, and not just this once.

  • 2

    hoserfella

    Every time a coach gets caught doing this, the excuse is "to toughen them up", like they were doing the victims a favor. It's a by-product of the Japanese bullying culture that is still going on in the schools obviously

  • 3

    Hiroicci

    As long as the Japanese think that the old Imperial Army is the best mental education somewhere in their mind-set, which says that sometimes the physical punishment is the only way to educate, this sort of punishment will be repeated by those in power.

    The teacher is still 47 and, therefore, has never experienced a war, but I believe that he learnt that sort of thing was great through his own sporting experience.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    Why is it so difficult to come to the conclusion that bullying is commonplace and it can lead students to take their lives? Too many people with authority in Japan can't seem to accept that either there's a problem or what to do about it.

  • 1

    aisai

    **The only way to stop this is by the police and prosecutors deciding to make an example of couple of morons like this. Charge him with twenty-one counts of assault and throw his ass in jail and this stuff will come to a screaching halt. **

    Not so sure. People are punished all the time (some quite severely) for doing things that are illegal and yet there are still people commiting these same crimes. Punishing the offenders would be a start but it's probably going to take much more than that to make an enduring change.

  • -1

    tmarie

    The issue is that these teachers are able to do this - and not get fired!! I personally a kendo coach (in Osaka) who used to hit his students. One parents complained and he was moved to... the BOE. Which is usually seen as a promotion for many.

    That all being asked, obviously there was something else going on with this kid. You don't just hang yourself over ONE incident. Investigation please. And release the name of the teacher.

    When will Japan wake up to bullying? You can't expect the kids not to do it when the adults here are a fine example...

  • 7

    Yubaru

    It is time for japan to join the modern world, and stop this kind of bullying.

    It's pretty naive to think that this is just a "Japanese" problem. Coaches like this exist all over the world in all different sports. It made headlines because the "star" player committed suicide. This kid couldn't take the humiliation that his coach placed on him and it's sad that he had to feel that suicide was his only way out.

    This coach should be more than fired, he should face charges for abuse at a minimum.

  • 4

    rickyvee

    i don't get it. you get slapped in the face by your coach, so you commit suicide?

  • -1

    Yubaru

    **The only way to stop this is by the police and prosecutors deciding to make an example of couple of morons like this. Charge him with twenty-one counts of assault and throw his ass in jail and this stuff will come to a screaching halt. **

    No, this won't work. Don't think for a minute that this will change anything. It's happened before and will happen again, coaches and people of authority bullying their underlings or students. The threat of jail is not going to stop them one bit at all.

    Why you ask? Because it's someone else that's the problem, not "them".

    It's institutionalized and in a manner of speaking over looked until it goes over board. The country as a whole has to change and it won't until people learn the value of human life and human dignity here. It starts at home with young children. But when parents over look it, of course the cycle will continue. It's always someone else.

  • 4

    Reckless

    I guess it is okay for me to slap my boss in the face to toughen him up as well.

    I saw a slap of a male student by a male teacher at a JP high school I worked at. It was shocking, and of course I am sure the student felt completely humiliated being slapped in front of 40 teachers in the teacher room. The logic of it still escapes me that it is legal to slap in the school but would be a crime outside the school.

  • 0

    cl400

    Common sense would once again prevail in Japan, if they had any. HOW ABOUT... making a standard multiple choice, anonymous survey about bullying and abuse and distribute it to every school in Japan. Have some volunteers collect the data and report the results directly to the principle. Surely this would shed light on a lot more bullying and abuse and with action taken, could possibly save or change someones life!

  • 3

    Speed

    I don't think this boy had a proper perspective on his situation nor life in general.

    First of all, he should've complained to his homeroom teacher or other teachers about being hit. (I heard in the Japanese media that he actually might've done this.)

    If the principal/vice-principal took no action to restrain the coach from hitting the boy, the boy should've threaten to quit the team. The surrounding buzz of the team captain quitting would've brought a lot of negative attention to this coach/school that they would've chosen to avoid.

    If the slapping continued, the boy should've quit.

    Going 5,000 steps ahead and taking the "final solution" to end your life over this matter was way too far, and to me, ridiculous.

    I don't agree that the coach was in the right to smack players, but suicide over this, no way.

  • 4

    paulinusa

    "The logic of it still escapes me that it is legal to slap in the school but would be a crime outside the school."

    Reckless: I think Japanese logic is that schools are just as important for learning "how to be Japanese" and unfortunately this type of thing has always been part of the program.

  • 1

    cl400

    @Speed. It is uncommon for Japanese people to come forward in such matters as they don't want to lose face or tarnish their families name/reputation. It's somewhat frowned upon here to 'rat on someone' even if they are doing something very wrong. The problem lies with the schools and (other) teachers being un-aware of such incidents and them not taking action.

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    I've been saying for years that, bullying in schools mostly comes from the teachers. I've worked over a dozen private and public Jr/Sr high schools and witnessed first hand how the teachers only form of discipline is bullying and intimidation. I've seen kids get smacked around many times. I've also seen unruly boys get their heads shaved as a punishment, which is assault. This is the fault of the BOE and the current punishment laws. There are none! Students cannot be removed from a classroom nor can they be stopped from participating in sporting clubs or school excursions. This leaves the teachers with no form of punishment what-so-ever. Hope this teacher is at least charged with assault for all the students that come forward.

  • 2

    southsakai

    This coach is not a coach. He is a Physical Bully in adult form. He likes to bully people that are smaller and defenseless.

  • 0

    Sensato

    @Yubaru

    It's pretty naive to think that this is just a "Japanese" problem. Coaches like this exist all over the world in all different sports.

    I would have to disagree with you on that. During my time assisting with a jhs sports team in Japan I witnessed regular instances of coaches throwing balls/shoes at students and long tirades of furious verbal abuse directed at students themselves ("baka onna!", "omae iranai, hayaku yamero", etc.) rather than their on-court mistakes. The players were regularly in tears as a result. Also, although other teachers and parents regularly witnessed this behavior, not one stepped in or spoke up.

    In all my time in sports outside of Japan I have never seen this sort of physical and verbal abuse by coaches. Rather, coaches' anger elsewhere is directed at what a player has done wrong, not at the player as a person. Plus, in rare cases where a coach does become abusive he/she is soon dismissed.

  • 1

    yildiray

    I talked with my g/f about this and she said her volleyball coach had kicked and slapped her, and her teamm mates, numerous times for making small errors when she was in high school... it's absolutely disgraceful!

  • 0

    sfjp330

    The coach has history of abusiveness toward the players for for many years, and probably school officials knew about the behavior of this teacher, but did nothing. There is a problem in Japan society of not taking male abuse as seriously because they are young men. This can be the most challenging thing for people on the outside trying to help. Sometimes, it's easy to condemn the coach but it's much harder to confront the abused and try to save them from unhealty situations. We have to encourage more of these abused students to talk to the authorities and get them out of these awful situations.

  • 3

    wackness

    Go to any mall restaurant 10 minutes before opening, and you see the same mentality: some manager ripping into their employees with a 'pep-talk', talking down to them about the same things they've been talking down to them everyday since they started working there...because they feel it's motivating and good for them.

    Bullying is very embedded in this culture....I think it would be difficult to simply erase. Japan needs to take on the related suicide problem dealing with the current atmosphere, working towards enabling kids to cope and grow from experience, for now, rather than just hoping the bullying will go away. It won't anytime soon. It'll be a generational change.

    They need to focus on teaching kids how to communicate. This is the first step, I think, then change will come from this.

  • 0

    Mirai Hayashi

    how is he a teacher?

  • 3

    letsberealistic

    Wait a minute, this is really weird and a serious elephant in the room moment.

    Why are we focused so much on this bully-teacher, who no doubt should be duly punished and bullying by teachers in Japan must be addressed,

    BUT surely the issue here is not that a teenager was bullied but more his solution to the being upset. Nothing is being said by the media (NHK etc.) about committing suicide - what is going to be done to prevent suicides?

    All people face shocking and hurtful moments throughout their lives - but committing suicide is not an appropriate response. Government and news media need to start discussing this shocking collective-acceptance of suicides as a justified response to being upset!

  • -2

    davestrousers

    This is almost as backward as Iraq under Saddam when football players got their feet flogged after losing games.

  • 3

    Reckless

    Well all I can say is that we as G A I J I N probably can't solve this problem, but if you see a kid get slapped or something, try to talk to him/her later and say it is not acceptable and that you support him/her; and if you see someone clearly down and out make a small effort to say "daijoubu" or pat on the back. You never know how these small gestures of humanity which are nearly absent up here in Tokyo may make the difference to someone who feels thrown away or abandoned by society.

  • 2

    danako

    According to NHK news, the student did try to complain and the teacher denied the abuse. Now the teacher has said it was true. He needs to be fired for the abuse and lying and then charged with assault. I'm surprised that the teacher actually has the stones to offer an apology to the family.

  • 6

    all4faj

    A friend of mine's daughter got slapped by her teacher, so he took his daughter to the teacher's house that night and made him apologize to her and promise never to do it again. Yes he intimidated ( bullied ) the teacher into doing it and yes it worked , his daughter never had to put up with either physical or psycological bullying from that teacher or any other in that school ever again. Also she now has come to the aid of many a bullied student. I was shocked at the time, but it has worked out for so many others because of his actions.

  • 2

    slumdog

    The night before the student committed suicide he told his mother that the coach had hit him pretty hard again that day.

  • 0

    slumdog

    http://www.iza.ne.jp/news/newsarticle/event/crime/620316/

  • 2

    JoeBigs

    He said he did it to toughen the boy up, the officials said.

    Toughening up the boy was no excuse to physically assaulting him.

    This so called educator should not be allowed around children ever again.

  • 0

    jjss5324mx@hotmail.com

    The coach has apologized to the boy’s family in the wake of his death....¡¡¡Good!!!!. Is it enough?. Of course not. The coach must be punished. The punishment is not enough to make disappear the suicides like a social question. But in this case the question is one student (wonderful person as newspaper says) and the cause is one person:the coach. He must pay his illegal behavior.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Hoserfella: "A survey taken when every single teacher and student was no doubt aware of this pondscum's beatings and reputation. Another failure of the school and dept of education."

    Agree with you 100%. It's always infuriating how so many people are willing to jump forward to the press in surveys or what have you AFTER it's discovered someone was beaten to death or bullied into suicide. It's like they want recognition and sympathy for knowing, but don't want to take responsibility for being part of the problem (ie. remain silent until someone is dead). It's not just in suicides, either: you often hear about the 'concerned neighbours' after kids starve to death or are beaten to death, etc. (but of course their faces are blurred).

    While suicide is a drastic measure to 'solve' a problem for someone, the real problem is why this guy was allowed to go on doing what he was doing for so long and while so many knew.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    danako: "According to NHK news, the student did try to complain and the teacher denied the abuse. Now the teacher has said it was true."

    This is another major problem; teachers and administrators ALWAYS deny responsibilities until they're caught in the red-faced lie, then they say they didn't know it was a problem (then get caught again), then the usual 'moushiwake nai' and someone retires. While I hate the fact that you can sue for anything in the US, Japanese society needs to get more litigious, and people need to be put behind bars.

  • 1

    hoserfella

    Smith - I forgot to add that the "survey" inevitably handed out by the boards of education in these cases are nothing more than a diversion to avoid blame. Survey = " we had no idea this happens and we want to get to the bottom of it".

    When of course everyone knows what is going on.

    Lets face it, physical assaults on students in Japan are still tacitly approved. Otherwise there would be a zero tolerance policy.

  • 0

    blendover

    "The teacher was questioned by school officials and has admitted slapping the boy in the face several times/"

    What is a little unclear to me is whether this occurred on a single occasioin or on a number of occasions. If it was part of an ongoing situation involving high levels of psychological pressure as well, then it is a little more understandable.

    Training for sports coaches (and teachers in general) in Japan needs to be more extensive and ongoing and should especially include the sociological side.

  • 2

    marcelito

    The coach is an ass#)&/...especially since he seems to have a history of slapping his students. .Why the heck do they have to take JHS and HS sport clubs so seriously here? Schools should be there for education first and sports second. Board of Education as usual is hopeless and inept since this teacher was reported for physical punishment 2 years ago. Poor kid.

  • 0

    Cortes Elijah

    He broke the law. Like many users said trial him and jail him.

  • 0

    Yardley

    And teachers are the ones we are expecting to take bullying seriously? This coach was a teacher and he was the bully! He should be exposed, prosecuted, and jailed as an example to others. If schools are really serious about stopping this kind of behavior, there must be a policy of zero tolerance. All bullying, by anyone, anywhere, anytime, for whatever "reason". And parents must speak up and hold schools responsible. If acceptance of bullying can be stopped in schools, then maybe it won't have a chance of continuing and spreading into the workplace.

    I agree with others that something also has to be done about suicide being seen as a possible option when upset/humiliated/hurt. People need to be taught coping skills. @letsberealistic:

    BUT surely the issue here is not that a teenager was bullied but more his solution to the being upset. Nothing is being said by the media (NHK etc.) about committing suicide - what is going to be done to prevent suicides?

    All people face shocking and hurtful moments throughout their lives - but committing suicide is not an appropriate response. Government and news media need to start discussing this shocking collective-acceptance of suicides as a justified response to being upset!****

    My heart breaks for the boy and his family. I wish he could have been able to see he had other options. Whose fault is it that he couldn't?

  • 0

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    RIP! Thats why we need to change our culture.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    He should be exposed,

    What do you think this article is about?

    This is not going to set an example for anyone anywhere here.

  • 1

    alliswellinjapan

    Being verbally abused and slapped by the bully coach was clearly a part of everyday life for the basketball team. Can easily imagine the boy to have taken the hardest beating having been the captain of the team. Putting fundamental issues relating to the traditional sports and training culture aside, this could nonetheless have been avoided had the school not denied existence of corporal punishment when this issue was brought up in the first place when the boy was still alive. Cannot imagine how painful it must have been for the boy to witness how the school handled the matter.

  • 0

    Zen student

    Oh my God, I used to live in Sakuranomiya - my first serious 'home' in Japan.

  • 2

    Victoria Maude

    The suicide problem among youth is by no means limited to Japan, or this current teenage generation. When I was in high school, I repeatedly had suicidal thoughts, simply because at my young age, I hadn't been around long enough to know that the future would be different. The only life I knew was childhood and teenagehood, so little things seemed like a huge deal, since I didn't have much perspective. This is something that parents need to be aware of with their kids: a lot of kids will experience suicidal feelings. Teenagers are dramatic and emotional, and have been killing themselves for any number of reasons since time began, I'm sure. There's no real concrete cause to blame, it's sadly human nature, I think. If I were ever to have teenagers, I would be on high watch for signs of depression or self-harm.

    I feel like long before this boy killed himself, he must have shown physical signs that he was being beaten by his coach, or been displaying the symptoms of depression. When my parents found out what I was thinking about, they talked to me for a long time about what I was feeling, and checked in with me daily to see how I was doing. I wasn't put on meds, or sent to a shrink, just reassured that I was loved and that I was always welcome to talk about anything. Obviously, in this case, the abusive coach was an instigator, but I can't help but feel like this boy didn't have a watchful support system at home to help him and that is the saddest part to me.

  • 0

    Michael Craig

    That poor boy parents ought to slap that horrid coach in the face! Then press charges against him!

    Hitting kids like that is EVIL!!

  • 0

    Zen student

    RIP poor kid. What is it going to take for Japan to get serious about putting a stop to bullying? As I was bullied a little at school, if I ever see a kid being bullied, I definitely will not just stand around and do nothing.

    I think the best way to try and stop bullying is to teach kids to be pro-active in stopping it when they see it. This might be hard for some to do by themselves but as we all know, the Japanese can achieve great things when they work together as a team.

    It will always be a problem but maybe we can help reduce it in little ways.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    That poor boy parents ought to slap that horrid coach in the face! Then press charges against him! Hitting kids like that is EVIL!!

    That poor boys parents should be slapping themselves around their heads and faces for not creating an atmosphere in their home where their child could come and talk with them about what was happening with this coach.

    Great, violence begets violence, I really like what you wrote here, slap the crap out of the coach then press charges, what a joke. Then the parents would be no better than the coach and evil too.

  • 0

    davestrousers

    Great, violence begets violence, I really like what you wrote here, slap the crap out of the coach then press charges, what a joke. Then the parents would be no better than the coach and evil too.

    If I were the boys parents I'd want to do a lot worse than slap him. What this guy did is unforgivable - he's been hitting half the kids he was supposed to be looking after. The boy was captain of the team, so its probable he liked playing and wanted to do well. Its not like slapping him was going to make him a better basketball player - this coach probably enjoys beating kids, its sick.

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    If he shows remorse, the coaches punishment should include touring every high school faculty room in the country, giving a speech about his crime and it's consequences, and asking other teachers not to hit students.

  • 0

    warispeace

    To understand this incident, we need to look at the micropolitics of power that operate in any society to maintain relations of order. It is through micro-power, such as the disciplining of students or students or workers, etc., that social position and social norms are established and maintained. It is not that the micropolitics of power is greater or lesser in Japan, it just may operate differently. To be exposed as outside of an expected behavioral norm, such as when a teacher berates a student, may bring a greater sense of shame. If there is a feeling of isolation, the only choice may seem like suicide, which does not hold the moral burden placed on it in other societies. In another society, the student may get a hold of a gun and start shooting or drop out and turn to drugs.

    At the same time that you ask why disciplined people in Japan choose suicide, ask yourself how disciplined people in other societies react and what happens to them when they do? Also ask yourself how you discipline or are disciplined by the people around you to help maintain social norms and order. Do you make comments when people dress differently or behave differently or think differently than you've been brought up to (disciplined to) believe is "correct"?

  • 0

    Yubaru

    There is a hell of a lot more to this story than is being reported here. There is a history at this school of bullying by coaches. From 2009 to 2011 there were 253 instances where students were slapped, kicked, or verbally abused by the volleyball coach. That teacher was suspended for 3 months without pay. Plus in this case the principal of the school, who is hemming and hawing about it himself, was notified previously about this basketball coach hitting players.

    The boy in question being slapped around was witnessed by 38 members of the team and he was also slapped around during a scrimmage game during winter break and he had obvious swelling around his mouth and what according to witnesses said were cuts as well.

    This story was on the news a few minutes ago.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    If I were the boys parents I'd want to do a lot worse than slap him. What this guy did is unforgivable - he's been hitting half the kids he was supposed to be looking after. The boy was captain of the team, so its probable he liked playing and wanted to do well. Its not like slapping him was going to make him a better basketball player - this coach probably enjoys beating kids, its sick.

    Wanting to do something and doing it are two different things, and a parent that would DO the same thing back to the coach would be no better than the coach themselves.

    This is what separates us humans from animals.

  • -1

    bajhista65

    What a waste of life. IT'S A PITY..Yeah ! the Japanese way and culture of training their athletes or students to win competitions or be the best. This kind of method is really unaccepatable and sad. The Sensei sh#*. Just like the movies and the saying NO PAIN NO GAIN.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    In all my time in sports outside of Japan I have never seen this sort of physical and verbal abuse by coaches. Rather, coaches' anger elsewhere is directed at what a player has done wrong, not at the player as a person. Plus, in rare cases where a coach does become abusive he/she is soon dismissed.

    You have to be living with your head in the sand if you don't think or know it doesnt exist elsewhere read the following, sound EXACTLY like any number of PRO coaches to me, not only in foreign lands but here in Japan as well.

    The only difference really is the extent that players put up with it here;

    THE ABUSIVE COACH FITS ANY NUMBER OF THE FOLLOWING:

    Regularly uses public embarrassment and humiliation on his/her athletes

    Is disinterested in the feelings and sensitivities of his/her players

    Rarely uses praise or positive feedback

    Is a yeller

    Demeans his/her players

    Plays “head games” with his/her athletes

    Is personally dishonest and untrustworthy

    Creates a team environment based on fear and devoid of safety

    Is never satisfied with what his/her athletes do.

    Is overly negative and a pro at catching athletes doing things wrong

    Is more interested in his/her needs then those of his/her players

    Over-emphasizes the importance of winning

    Tends to be rigid and over-controlling, defensive and angry

    Is not open to constructive feedback from players or other parents

    Uses excessive conditioning as punishment

    Can be physically abusive

    Ignores his/her athletes when angry or displeased

    Is a bully (and therefore a real coward)

    Coaches through fear and intimidation

    Is a “know-it-all”

    Is a poor communicator

    Only cares about his/her athletes as performers, not as individuals

    Consistently leaves his/her athletes feeling badly about themselves

    Kills his/her athletes’ joy and enthusiasm for the sport

    Is a bad role model

    Is emotionally unstable and insecure

    Earns contempt from players and parents

    Coaches through guilt

    Is a master of DENIAL!!!!!

    A coach doesn’t have to be guilty of all of these behaviors to be an abusive coach. In fact, regularly engaging in a select two or three of these is enough to qualify a coach for abuser status. Unfortunately, most coaches who engage in abuse also refuse to take an honest look at themselves. Because of a well honed sense of denial, they would never admit to themselves or others that they might be doing something wrong. In fact, the abusive coach sees him/herself as a very good coach!

  • 1

    Yubaru

    This is what a "good" coach is supposed to be;

    THE GOOD COACH….

    NEVER uses humiliation or embarrassment as a coaching tool

    Genuinely cares about the welfare and well being of each athlete

    Is a pro at catching athletes doing things right

    Rarely raises his/her voice

    Is supportive and encouraging

    Builds healthy relationships with his/her athletes

    Is honest and trustworthy

    Creates a feeling of personal safety on the team

    Is able to celebrate his/her athletes’ successes/accomplishments

    Is a positive person

    Understands that coaching is about doing what’s best for the kids

    Has winning in perspective and defines success in appropriate ways

    Tends to be flexible, yet still able to set good limits

    Is open to constructive feedback from players and parents

    Is friendly, non-defensive and approachable

    Uses hard physical conditioning appropriately

    Is NEVER physically abusive!

    Communicates displeasure directly and appropriately to athletes

    Coaches by generating mutual respect

    Maintains an open mind

    Is a good communicator

    Leaves his/her athletes feeling good about themselves

    Fuels the athlete’s enjoyment and enthusiasm for the sport

    Is a wonderful role model

    Earns respect from players and parents

    Does NOT act out his/her feelings/insecurities on his/her athletes

  • 0

    Sensato

    @Yubaru

    sounds EXACTLY like any number of PRO coaches to me, not only in foreign lands but here in Japan as well.

    In my comment, I was actually referring to what I have seen in terms of abuse by coaches at the jhs/hs level, not professional level coaches.

    BTW, I do really like your list of what a good coach is supposed to be.

  • 1

    Thunderbird2

    The teacher was questioned by school officials and has admitted slapping the boy in the face several times, Fuji reported. He said he did it to toughen the boy up, the officials said.

    God, not this macho BS again? When are men like these going to get it into their heads that not every boy in Japan wants to be a tough go-getter with misogynist attitudes. What the hell gives this teacher the right to impose his effed-up out-dated attitude on the children when it's his job to teach and protect them while in his charge?

    I hope this loser has nightmares for the rest of his miserable, misbegotten life.

  • -1

    tmarie

    There is a hell of a lot more to this story than is being reported here. There is a history at this school of bullying by coaches. From 2009 to 2011 there were 253 instances where students were slapped, kicked, or verbally abused by the volleyball coach. That teacher was suspended for 3 months without pay. Plus in this case the principal of the school, who is hemming and hawing about it himself, was notified previously about this basketball coach hitting players.

    As I said earlier, I know a judo coach/teacher who wasn't fired. Instead, given a desk job. This is a school paid for by the tax payers just as this is. Name and shame and fire. Then press charges. It is that simple and yet in this country... The system here is rotten to the core. Be it the government, the schools... cover ups, no firings and slaps on the wrist. They wonder why kids bully here? Here's your example. Crappy adults. Far too many of them here who don't get it.

  • -1

    techall

    He said he did it to toughen the boy up,

    How 'bout I take a baseball bat to you to toughen you up?

  • -2

    technosphere

    It is time for japan to join the modern world, and stop this kind of bullying.

    Never enter the home of your neighbour with your own rules. A proverb.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    mitiguitarman - amen to that. Twenty-one out of fifty kids said this guy had abused them, despite it being illegal.

    Well, no. It's not illegal. It's banned according to the article. There's a difference. Based on that, the police WON'T charge him and the worst I see him facing is losing his job.

  • -2

    techall

    Fadamor:

    Slapping someone is assault..........assault is illegal regardless whether it is on school grounds or not and regardless of a school's "ban" on corporal punishment.

    The Japanese criminal justice system reflects the state's task of protecting individual interests in daily life. Crimes against life, person, and freedom include homicide,** assault**, bodily injury, forcible rape, indecent assault, and kidnapping.

  • -2

    humanrights

    Its the JP culture, achieve or get slapped physically or mentally, end results are the same. Why is anyone surprised with this story??

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Slapping someone is assault..........assault is illegal regardless whether it is on school grounds or not and regardless of a school's "ban" on corporal punishment.

    That would be a perfectly fine argument in the United States, but I have no idea if that is the case in Japan so I go by what the article says rather than believe Japan has exactly the same rules as the U.S. If it really WAS illegal in Japan, you would have thought at least ONE of the 21 previous slapees would have mentioned something before now. Additionally, I would think if corporal punishment WERE illegal, then the article would have used that term instead of "banned".

  • 0

    Yubaru

    That would be a perfectly fine argument in the United States, but I have no idea if that is the case in Japan so I go by what the article says rather than believe Japan has exactly the same rules as the U.S. If it really WAS illegal in Japan, you would have thought at least ONE of the 21 previous slapees would have mentioned something before now. Additionally, I would think if corporal punishment WERE illegal, then the article would have used that term instead of "banned".

    There are many levels of corporal punishment here, assault is not one of them, it IS illegal, and if the parents choose to they could file a complaint with the police and have him arrested for assault.

    Corporal punishment is banned.

    And NO the other 21, just like the thousands upon others who have experienced WOULD NOT report it because of the culture and mentality surrounding it here.

  • 1

    slumdog

    Two other coaches saw the coach in question hit the student the day before he committed suicide and they said nothing.

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130110-00000004-mai-soci

    The coach had won championships and it truly seems to be a case of the ends justifying the means. The problem seems to be as ingrained in the society as the problem of guns in the US.

  • 1

    Patrick Hagger

    A great student athlete takes life after being slapped by coach, which was meant to encourage the youth. I do not know any school system that accept slapping as a form of punishment. here in the united States paddles, boards and the like are used as discipline where still legally allowed, but I have never heard of anyone being slapped even on sport teams. This is something that is considered acceptable in Japan, and it might normally work, because the veteran coach have used it only a few times and there have been no other suicides. I pray for the family of the departed, but think there were other issues. I realize there is a real epidemic in Japan concerning suicides so I pray that they are still treated as individual events and not just a national epidemic.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    I realize there is a real epidemic in Japan concerning suicides

    In reality it's only an epidemic to people looking in from the outside. Like it or not, and no matter how sad and disturbing it is to read or hear about suicides in Japan it's just a part of the culture.

    What makes people feel sad here is that it's a young person, but typically a suicide here gets little if any press at all.

  • 0

    Mr. K

    Not only should he be fired but also charged with manslaughter.

  • 0

    all4faj

    I grew up in a time where corporal punishment was not only normal in School life it was accepted and had the backing of the parents, but we were not bullied by the coaches for not playing well, not physically anyway, maybe some light banter or teasing which was actually a good release so that people didn't take it too seriously. We were caned for smoking or other breaches of discipline, which whether you agree with it or not was the form of discipline , in other words you knew if you did something wrong and got caught you were caned. The reason that corporal punishment was banned in Japan to the best of my memory was because too many students were being killed by having gates closed on them for tardy behaviour, it was a semi-regular occurence at one time in Japan.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    Not only should he be fired but also charged with manslaughter

    While it's understandable to see why anyone would feel this way, sadly there are no grounds to charge him legally with manslaughter. He was the catalyst behind the suicide of that there is no doubt but he didn't do the actually killing, and his punishment and assault of the boy was not with any intent to kill.

    The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection

    . His school, his principal, his friends who witnessed the assault and bullying, his parents, ALL deserted and abandoned this boy because of their being a part of the system that created this coach.

    Even a mother who lost her own child to suicide, after being abused by a coach, mentioned on the news last night that she is not against corporal punishment and she lost her own child.

    How does one change attitudes when running into a brick wall like that?

  • 0

    hatsoff

    Geoff Gillespie

    Look, this guy is obviously a bit of a bully and shouldn't go unpunished in some way but it isn't normal for kids to react that way and it almost certainly wouldn't happn in a western country. The question that needs asking is what makes suicide an acceptable option for people in Japan?

    Sorry Geoff, but this is exactly the kind of attitude that perpetuates the problem - the view, the hint, the insinuation that part of the responsibility lies with the victim. Forgive me, but I'll tell you what isn't normal, and that's for a coach to physically assault his students. Humour me some more and I'll tell you another thing that isn't normal, and that's for people to find excuses for it.

    If you read the report in the Japan Times, you'll learn that allegations of assault by the coach (different victim) were covered up by the school two years ago, and that over 20 have been assaulted by him. No excuses.

  • 0

    slumdog

    At the wake on December 24th, the day after the student committed suicide, after the father had finished his speech the mother called the teacher up to the altar and told him to look at her son's face and said to the teacher that the wounds were a result of being beaten. She then asked if this was guidance or a beating. The teacher responded that it was a beating. The student had a swollen cheek and cut lip.

    The teacher has been on home suspension since the 8th of this month.

    http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20130109k0000m040059000c.html

  • 0

    whiskeysour

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh Big Question Why is this teacher NOT arrested yet ? Slapping teenage boys is a hobby for this psycho path !!!!!!!!

    The teacher should be arrested. I hope I see an arrest in the coming weeks. No gomenasai No Bowing No letters and verbal apologies can bring this child back for death.

    Very sad !!!!!! Very sad !!!! This teacher is an abuser !!!!! He probably receives some gratification for slapping these kids around.

  • 0

    hatsoff

    The teacher has been on home suspension since the 8th of this month.

    Then I hope some nice people visit him and 'toughen him up'. He must be known locally.

  • 1

    slumdog

    And release the name of the teacher

    Osamu Kobayashi. He is/was the coach of championship basketball team at Sakuranomiya High School. His name is hardly a secret.

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