Coaches become overconfident about their methods if they achieve good results. If they stay with one school, they tend to surround themselves with former players, creating an atmosphere in which no outsider could meddle.

Sports journalist Akemi Masuda, referring to the recent case in Osaka where a student committed suicide after repeatedly being physically punished by the school’s long-time basketball team coach. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

  • -1


    So? Make hitting kids a crime and enforce the laws then.

  • 0


    With all due respect Mr. Masuda, outsiders CAN meddle, they simply choose not to cause a fuss. Normally I agree with the Japanese tendency to avoid conflict, but sometimes, like when someone is being hurt, it is not only acceptable to make a fuss, but an absolute moral necessity.

    In the Osaka case the principal, other teachers and the parents were aware of the bullying. None of them stepped forward and told the coach that if he didn't cut it out then he'd be having his own "taibatsu" appointment with a guy called Bubba in the nearest prefectural penitentiary, all expenses paid courtesy of the Japanese taxpayer. That's honestly all it would have taken.

    ... and don't try to depict this coach as a normal individual who logically thought out this abuse as a formula for success. No normal and healthy adult beats children as part of their daily routine. This coach is a deviant and he's almost certainly doing this sort of thing to other students (who are understandably too afraid to volunteer the information).

    Finally, I think that school sports should be banned and outsourced to local sports clubs. Japan has no shortage of prefectural parks and sports grounds, and sports has no part in a school curriculum. If the students want exercise then let them join a social side. It would be good for Japanese students to have a wider circle of friends, it would reduce the cost of education (no more maintaining expensive sports grounds and equipment), and it would prevent these sort of abusive monster coaches from hiding behind the label of "teacher".

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