crime

Basketball coach gets suspended sentence for assaulting student who killed himself

72 Comments

A basketball coach accused of assaulting a schoolboy who later committed suicide was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years by the Osaka District Court on Thursday.

The court heard that Hajime Komura, 47, who was the basketball coach at Sakuranomiya High School in Osaka, assaulted a 17-year-old high school boy who hanged himself at his home last Dec 23. An investigation found that the coach slapped the boy at least 10 times on the day before his suicide, although the boy told his mother he had been hit 30-40 times.

The boy reportedly left a letter to the teacher along with a suicide note, in which he wrote that he could no longer handle the physical punishment he was undergoing.

During the trial, Komura told the court, "I hope to spend the rest of my life reflecting on the burden I now carry," Fuji TV reported.

The prosecution had called for a sentence of one year in prison. A prosecutor told the defendant: "Blame must be placed squarely on your shoulders. You were in a position of responsibility, and you perpetrated violence against a young person in your care."

Komura admitted beating the boy and apologized to his family in the wake of his death.

Presiding judge Kenta Onodera said the former teacher "blindly believed" that use of physical punishment was effective, despite complaints from parents of students.

"The suicide shows the victim suffered physically and mentally," Jiji Press news agency quoted the judge as saying. "The use of violence because the student did not play (to Komura's) satisfaction was unreasonable."

Violence in Japanese sport has been thrust into the spotlight in recent months after a series of high-profile cases.

A video emerged last week showing a volleyball coach repeatedly slapping a schoolboy, just days after Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics.

Separately, world judo champion Shohei Ono was banned for three months for physically abusing junior members of his university judo squad.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

72 Comments
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Japanese justice?? Do hope this criminal basketball coach does the right thing and jumps infront of some nice, shiny train down there in Osaka!

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Step in the right direction I guess.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

why do public servants get the free pass on stuff like this, shouldn't the bar be higher?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Okay, I do not condone anything this coach did while coaching High School basketball and maybe he does need to be punished a little more harshly. However, it makes me wonder how and why children are so physically and mentally weak now days.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

I think it's easy to get outraged by this as lenient, but it isn't fair to consider the child's suicide into the coach's punishment. Certainly the coach was in the wrong to hit the child, and certainly he ought to be punished. But what if he had slapped the child, but the child never committed suicide? How harsh of a punishment would you be calling for?

-7 ( +3 / -9 )

What a disgusting verdict. Enough said.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

But what if he had slapped the child, but the child never committed suicide? How harsh of a punishment would you be calling for?

his job.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Called this one a couple of weeks back -- or was it a week ago. Unbelievable that its so predictable.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It is resutls like this that shows that Japanese society isn't really taking the problem seriously.

All words, no action.

During the trial, Komura told the court, “I hope to spend the rest of my life reflecting on the burden I now carry,” Fuji TV reported.

And that is enough for some of the idiots they have as judges here. Just say you're sorry and they get lenient on you.

I'm sure he could reflect better on it while sitting alone in a prison cell for a few years.

4 ( +6 / -3 )

his job.

Perfectly reasonable, and maybe even a little soft, as far as assaulting a minor goes. My point is, I'm glad they didn't lock him away for 20 years because the end result was a death.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

so as a HS student you bravely shrugged off 30-40 assaults every day?

Either did he...of rather it wassn't reported as such. But I held my own in high school. I didn't wear a helmet when riding my bike, I wasn't constantly told to Be Careful! when climbing trees, I never wore pads when riding my skateboard, my highschool football and wrestling coach was hot tempered and violent as well. Bot not one student on the team cried about his coaching methods. We were kicked, slapped and yelled at constantly. It made us stronger physically and mentally and really made us appreciate each other as a team.

As I stated up the thread, I do not condone what the coach did. It's a different world now days and I understand that. But I still don't understand children are so weak now days.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

A suspended sentence is still a verdict of "guilty" that will hang over the coach for the rest of his life.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If I were his parents I would be LIVID. What the hell kind of sentence is that? You pretty much can get away with anything in Japan

6 ( +7 / -1 )

But, this kind of abusive behavior is everywhere throughout schools in Japan and it is not just the sports teachers. I worked in Japanese high schools for over ten years and have seen many horror incidents of physical abuse by teachers. I saw one kid get knocked out by a teaching slapping him on the top of his head. This is common assault and should be dealt with by the police and not by the school boards. However, this ruling seems to point out apathy towards the teachers and not to the victims.

And, for those who haven't seen it or need their memory refreshed, here is the volleyball coach slapping his student from last week. 13 slaps in 16 seconds with no criminal charges.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw2S84uCI8M

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Sentence should have been longer

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Generally suspended sentences in Japan related to work don't last because the guilty give themselves the death penalty.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Sentencing him one year in prison!!! What a funny and stupid joke!!! Sentence him for life!!! Or 20 years behind bars with hard labour.

-4 ( +2 / -5 )

This guy must have always sung the national anthem at the top of his lungs , thus showing sincerity, to get such a light sentence.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

I think it's easy to get outraged by this as lenient, but it isn't fair to consider the child's suicide into the coach's punishment. Certainly the coach was in the wrong to hit the child, and certainly he ought to be punished. But what if he had slapped the child, but the child never committed suicide? How harsh of a punishment would you be calling for?

Why not go strictly by the book? The moment that twat attacked, he already violated Article 208 (Assault), punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment even if no injuries result. OK, on the scale of Assault it was lower half, but at least let's not have a Suspended Sentence which is nothing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But I still don't understand children are so weak now days.

So DA, if your kid comes home from school with a swollen face etc. are you just gonna tell him to "toughen up"?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A life sentence would have been over the top, but 3 to 5 years at the very least. Assault, child abuse, bullying...1 year is a joke, and to have it suspended is an insult to the child's family and friends.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@TheDevilsAssistant Maybe you were lucky to bounce back. Perhaps other more sensitive kids carry the trauma with them to this day. Maybe it's just a matter of being able to empathize with a variety of people to see the potential emotional injury. You may be fine, but what is the overall effect of violence? Here's another way to see it: Lots of middle aged gay people seem fine to me. Do I think they didn't suffer growing up? No I think they suffered.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@TheDevil'sAssistant I won't completely deny the possible role of a beating in helping you grow. What is acceptable or even healthy depends on the society's zeitgeist. A slap where every kid gets slapped has completely different effects than a slap where the slapper would be instantly arrested and charged w/ the death penalty for child abuse.

I've said it before - the biggest problem is the mismatch between the coach's zeitgeist and the new ones.

Are they weak ? Maybe, maybe not. What is definite is that in the new zeitgeist, a slap is a much bigger negative than in the past that you are used to.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

However, it makes me wonder how and why children are so physically and mentally weak now days.

There is nothing physically or mentally weak about not wanting to be beaten hard enough to leave welts on the face or to crack open a lip and draw blood. That is what this teacher did, numerous times, to this student and others. This teacher unappropriate behavior is not a statement about the physical or mental health of children. It is a statement on the lack of mental health on the part of the teacher involved.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So... why is physical punishment still acceptable again? Why isn't this crap made illegal already?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Physical and moral harassment of kids - and then subordinates - has been the backbone of the Japanese elite to control the mass and enjoy impunity.

That worked in the industrial era, but in the innovation era, this will be the final killer. And it is almost done.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Manslaughter is a suspended sentence! How cool.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

TheDevilsAssistant: you know, you can spend time reading books, learning things and new culture. And the occurrence of literacy teachers slapping their teacher is pretty low vs. sport.

Who need to be strong in the way you believe? In my view: nobody!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hoserfella, if my kid came home like that, my fIrst question would be, So, what did you do? vice who didtthis to you? There's a difference between the two ways of asking. If it was because of the same reason like the story above, I'd have a few words with the teacher. Now, if my child was planning on trying to be pro one day, I would tell him to suck it up. But that's not the point. What I don't understand is taking your life because a coach slaps you? He couldn't tell his parents? He couldn't tell friends? Most importantly, he couldn't tell his coach to stop? He couldn't just quit the team? The only way out was to kill himself? I'm not taking anything away from children that are constantly bullied all day from peers. I understand the deep pain those children go through. however, this was an after school activity that the boy decided on going to on his own. However wrong the coach is, the highschool boy kept walking straight into this abuse. To deal with something he had complete control over by not going but killing himself seems weak to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

boy dies from a stress of getting beaten and the guy only gets one year? he should repay with his life permanently in prison and reflect on his crime till he rots in his cell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How harsh of a punishment would you be calling for?

The guy was convicted of assaulting a child. I'd say the sentence shouldn't have been suspended no matter what the outcome was.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

By this sentence the judge is saying it is ok to bully someone even to the point of death.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suspended sentence...that's fair I guess, as long as the judge brings the boy back from the dead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@hoserfella. I would agree that suicide is not an appropriate response to assault for someone who isn't mentally weak. It's clear that something besides this gym coach was causing him to have very low self esteem, thus not knowing how to cope with abuse, and this is the result.

The coach deserves his time. But if I were in that kids' position I'd much sooner start skipping gym class than obligingly continue to take his class and proceed to off myself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I understand the deep pain those children go through. however, this was an after school activity that the boy decided on going to on his own. However wrong the coach is, the highschool boy kept walking straight into this abuse. To deal with something he had complete control over by not going but killing himself seems weak to me.

You do not seem to understand the situation. Suicide has a long history of being at the least mildly tolerated in Japan. Japan has had one of the highest suicide rates for about twenty years now and it was not that low before that either. In this case, the student was on a basketball scholarship. his being bullied was known to be happening by other teammates, teachers and even his parents and no one lifted a finger to stop it. The mother even saw his bruises the night before and did nothing in the way of alerting the school or police. In other words, she accepted her son being injured. Thus, he saw no way out. He probably strongly felt could not quit the team or the school. No one was telling him what was happening was wrong. By saying nothing against the bullying by the teacher, they were all telling him to 'suck it up'. He did not want to and took the only option he thought he had. He was a minor. Adults commenting here shoud stop expecting minors that are getting beaten to act strong and should start expecting teachers to act like teachers.

The victim is not to blame here. Not at all. The teacher is. Fully.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@slumdog, as I said, something other than the abuse would have to be causing him to have low self esteem for a response as asinine as suicide to make sense. In this case it appears that his parents not loving him would be the TRUE cause. We both know that a loving parent wouldn't stand for that crap.

The kid may have wrote that he killed himself because he couldn't handle the abuse, but if you had the support/confidence that love gives you, you can handle a LOT more than 1 overgrown bully, even as a child, I can tell you that. Those damn parents raised a child with no self worth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

as I said, something other than the abuse would have to be causing him to have low self esteem for a response as asinine as suicide to make sense.

If he didn't receive the illegal beatings and if they were not accepted as normal by all that were around him, he would be alive. Bottom line. The kid was a top student and a top athlete. He did not deserved to be beaten. You can put some of the blame elsewhere, but the main cause was clearly the beatings.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why do other countries have harsher penalties for everything, constantly remind everyone of them through advertising, training, etc... and enforce them? Why? Because it works and prevents many crimes! But why doesn't Japan do the same?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@slumdog I disagree 100% If he didn't off himself to this he wouldve offed himself to whatever traumatic event life threw at him next. Each and every one of us have to deal with horrific things throughout our lifetimes, during childhood or oherwise. If you don't have a firm base of love or confidence to support it all, how would you ever get through it all?

If this kid thought being struck by a random man hurts, how would he have responded when his first love rips out his heart and laughs?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A suspended sentence! justice is served! And he can still teach?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Adults commenting here shoud stop expecting minors that are getting beaten to act strong

Your talking in general terms here. This student was an outstanding student. He should have had more common sense to deal with this caoch than to just killing himself. I dont expect high school students to act strong, they should be strong....well, at least to deal with something like this.

The victim is not to blame here. Not at all. The teacher is. Fully.

slumdog, I'm way far from blaming the kid here. I'm not blaming anyone....even the teacher/coach. What I'm saying is, is that the child had full control of his circumstances. Nobody said he had to drop out of school, but he had the choice of not going to the afterschool function to practice. If these few hours of punishment (and I bet it wasn't for the whole few hours), really got to him, then there has got to be other factors why he committed suicide.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How do you "deal" with it in a country where even after the abuse led to his death, the judge only handed out a Suspended Sentence? As the other commentators pointed out, nobody else was doing anything positive about it.

If he talks back to the coach, he just doubles the penalty from 30 to 60. Talk to his Mom? "Gaman shite ne". Talk to the other teachers ... "The coach loves you and is doing this for your own good."

Quit the club? Well, I can just imagine what would happen after this. Japan's clubs are often not as voluntary as in the United States, and in a school where they tolerate this behavior by the teachers that would likely be even more the case. He'd be making himself a real outcast and perceived failure if he quits. If he just doesn't go to the club, he'd be perceived as the troublemaker.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He'd be making himself a real outcast and perceived failure if he quits. If he just doesn't go to the club, he'd be perceived as the troublemaker.

...and what is he now?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@TheDevilsAssistant For real y'kno kids these days and their mentality says "I got human right and freedumb?" To that kid who killed himself, y'kno what punk do y'kno what that "human right?" do y'kno what that means, and weight of it. Going back 2000 years of suffering and the struggling to even get accepted, as a human being was a challenge, people died for that human right. Y'kno to that kid freedom and human right ain't free and he don't kno freedom, human right came with the pain, suffering, misery, struggling and lotta sacrifice.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So if this guy can give ten or so big blows to the face (much more humiliating and dangerous than a body blow or kick to thighs), in front of many witnesses, and with the result we have here (suicide),

and get only a one year sentence, suspended,

that pretty much means all other teachers can hit their kids at will, ne.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Although the sentence is fine to me (Japanese prisons are harsh), this man should not be allowed to teach again. I don't know why they would let him come back with that "nurturing" attitude.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

...and what is he now?

He's dead, but at least the judge was willing to admit the teacher is the problem, though he isn't quite willing to hand out a real punishment. And the school at least fired the guy. They would probably also be slightly more inclined to take such incidents seriously in the future lest another such incident further disrepute to the school.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

jumpultimatestars,

If this kid thought being struck by a random man hurts, how would he have responded when his first love rips out his heart and laughs?

Sorry, it is not the same. I do understand what you are saying about the lack of support around him. If you check, I have consistently mentioned this in other discussions on the subject. However, being rather severely beaten physically is not something a high school student or any human should have to expect to experience or more so accept experiencing in society. Lost love is.

TheDevilsAssistant,

He should have had more common sense to deal with this caoch than to just killing himself. I dont expect high school students to act strong, they should be strong....well, at least to deal with something like this.

He should have had more common sense to deal with this caoch than to just killing himself. I dont expect high school students to act strong, they should be strong....well, at least to deal with something like this.

slumdog, I'm way far from blaming the kid here.

Sure you are, right in the quote of yours above.

What I'm saying is, is that the child had full control of his circumstances. Nobody said he had to drop out of school, but he had the choice of not going to the afterschool function to practice. If these few hours of punishment (and I bet it wasn't for the whole few hours), really got to him, then there has got to be other factors why he committed suicide.

Read what I wrote again. He was on a basketball scholarship. Quitting the team equalled quitting the school. He was getting money to play and be on the team.

and I bet it wasn't for the whole few hours)

What difference does this make? His injuries were enough to still be seen in the casket even after make up was applied. Why is it you feel it is natural for him to have to put up with this punishment if he wanted to be on a sports team? I do not get the idea that it is the student's problem and that if he didn't like the punishment, he should have quit. The punishment should not have been there. That is where the focus should be. The other teachers and principal and his parents should not have accepted the punishment as a part of practice. They did though, right up until the boy committed suicide. Without a doubt there is more to the story. The society at large is responsible as it is still socially acceptable to have a coach hitting kids as long as nobody commits suicide. This has to change.

Now, to all the internet tough guys talking about how they used to take punishment from coaches or teachers. How don't know how is or was in your countries, but Japan has changed a lot and not all for the better. Yes, hitting students is illegal now. But when it was legal, teachers generally hit a student once. Now, when they do it, they mean business. They hit them several times and they cause serious injuries. These kinds of cases of hitting repeatedly are much more common now. I believe parents and many back seat drivers commenting here do not realize the difference. When it is done now, the hitting is generally much worse than it used to be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, hitting students is illegal now. But when it was legal, teachers generally hit a student once.

Actually, 体罰 was illegal since about 1947 in Japan (it was also intermittently illegal before then). However, it is certainly probable that it was more culturally acceptable before, and "moderate" 体罰 users that do limit themselves to hitting once were the norm. Now that 体罰 is increasingly unacceptable socially as well, the previous "moderates" now don't do it at all, leaving the "hardcore" gang who will really deliver a beating.

Your point that any beatings nowadays may well be worse than the norm before is well-taken.

He was on a basketball scholarship

Really, that is new to me and may explain why his mother probably told him to suck up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kazuaki,

Thank you for your comment. You have brought up many excellent points. Although corporal punishment has been 'illegal' since 1947, it was actually legal in lots of circumstances up until recently and in fact is still commonly accepted in many cases. Under the Ministry of Education guidelines, teachers are actually permitted to lightly strike a student as punishment as teachers are considered to be in a position as a guardian or parent while the student is at school. There are many such guidelines. When I spoke of recently becoming 'illegal', I should have been clearer. I meant that it is publically more recognized to be 'illegal' and teachers are more and more being discouraged from using corporal punishment. This has led to the vague situation we are in where when teachers actually use corporal punishment, it generally takes the form of an uncontrolled attack.

However, I agree with the main points of your post completely.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The culture of not "telling tales" against teachers is very strong, all over the world. When I was seven, my primary school teacher hit me so hard across the back of my head that I passed out cold. She panicked and I ended up in hospital having all kinds of tests: blood, brain and heart, to determine why a healthy seven-year-old boy would suddenly collapse like that.

Not once did I suggest that she might have been responsible and not one of my classmates (30-35 kids) ever said a word. Still kind of shocks me now to think how she got away with it.l

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agreed with the "don't tell on the teacher". I was punched a couple of times by a swimming coach, so was another teammate on the same day. I didn't tell anybody about it for years afterwards. I don't know if it was shock or disbelief or the fact that he was such a wuss that it didn't hurt. But nobody knew.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is it you feel it is natural for him to have to put up with this punishment if he wanted to be on a sports

I never said it was natural for him to put up with it. I said he should have walked away or grew some balls rather than to kill himself. many children get bullied by other children and peers that cause them to commit suicide. I get that. But those children are harassed constantly. They are bullied throughout the day, the get harassed after school, they get degraded over the internet and other internet media,and the list goes on. I feel for those children. In this case, I don't understand the highschool students decision to kill himself because only what the coach did. Weakness was his flaw.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I never said it was natural for him to put up with it. I said he should have walked away or grew some balls rather than to kill himself. many children get bullied by other children and peers that cause them to commit suicide. I get that. But those children are harassed constantly. They are bullied throughout the day, the get harassed after school, they get degraded over the internet and other internet media,and the list goes on. I feel for those children. In this case, I don't understand the highschool students decision to kill himself because only what the coach did. Weakness was his flaw.

OK, maybe he was somewhat weaker than he should be. But if I punch you and you die, can I say "You were weak, so it is not really my fault?"

In any case, if he is on a basketball scholarship like one of the other posters say, then it'll be hard to walk away even in oh say the States. The option of "growing some balls" to physically restrain the teacher is also out.

He is being bullied by his instructor. Or do you seriously think this is the first time the coach employed violence? Why are you relatively forgiving for suicides due to bullying by peers but unforgiving for suicides due to instructors (designated superior, with the backing of higher authority). Isn't the latter more likely to cause complete despair?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't understand the highschool students decision to kill himself because only what the coach did. Weakness was his flaw.

I pity any child/student that is told by his/her parents to 'suck it up' when they get hit by a teacher. Perhaps this student got tired of those around him suggesting he should 'suck it up' and decided to sadly check out instead. To any parent that would act that way I would ask, "Where is the love?"

OK, maybe he was somewhat weaker than he should be. But if I punch you and you die, can I say "You were weak, so it is not really my fault?"

Excellent points and excellent post.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But if I punch you and you die, can I say "You were weak, so it is not really my fault?"

I don't know? Are you constantly punching me on a daily basis? Am I walking up to you everyday knowing that you are going to abuse me every single time? If yes, than I have got some issues. You don't find it strange that Iwalk up to you on a daily basis knowing that I'm going to get punched and then kill myself because of it?

maybe he was somewhat weaker than he should be

Exactly! And that's the point I'm trying to make.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Am I walking up to you everyday knowing that you are going to abuse me every single time? If yes, than I have got some issues.

Maybe your misguided parents are telling you to 'suck it up' and that is why you take the abuse until you cannot take it anymore and do something drastic as this student did. The student had a right, a right, to participate in school team activities without being physically beaten. There are many that would have us believe the student is wrong for not 'sucking it up'. I think the teacher is wrong for dishing it out. The law agrees with me. If a person were to do the same thing in the local shopping center, they would be arrested. There is no reason it should be considered any different when a teacher or coach does it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

your bringing the conversation back to the coach. I already stated that the coach was notin the right for what he did. What I'm saying is , is that the boy probably had more issues than being abused by his coach. He knowingly kept walking into practice knowing how the coach was. The coach didn't come looking for him everyday to put a beating on him. If he thought killing himself was the only option to get away from this man, than the boy was weak. It's a sad loss of a young life, but I don't feel sorry for the kid. Growing up, life will keep knocking your ass out time and again. You got to pick yourself back up, dust off your hands and knees and keep pressing on. As it was said in a post above, what would this kid do when he gets his heart torn out by a girlfriend?

Like I said, regardless of if he had to go to practice or not, if it bothered him enough to kill himself, than why he repeatedly went to practice is beyond me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What I'm saying is , is that the boy probably had more issues than being abused by his coach. He knowingly kept walking into practice knowing how the coach was. The coach didn't come looking for him everyday to put a beating on him. If he thought killing himself was the only option to get away from this man, than the boy was weak. It's a sad loss of a young life, but I don't feel sorry for the kid

You specifically stated above that if your child wanted to be a pro-player that you would tell them to suck it up. I am telling you that being told to suck it by society is a large factor in the death of this student. The coach was a coach on the team that this student wanted to be on. The only way to do what he wanted to do was to be beaten by a coach on the team he wanted to be on. People telling him to 'suck it up' leaves the victim with little wiggle room.

Like I said, regardless of if he had to go to practice or not, if it bothered him enough to kill himself, than why he repeatedly went to practice is beyond me.

Because of people and society accepting this type of behavior on the part of the teacher and telling the boy to 'suck it up', the only option he saw was to take his own life. 'Suck it up' is not the answer. Stopping corporal punishment is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, I've stated that on other threads as well. If you are training to be pro, best of the best, than you need to be torn apart and built up from scratch mentally and physically. Obviously this kid wasn't on the right road.

Stop blaming the people around this child. As sad and tragic this case was, the kid didn't have enough inner strength to take a different path to fix what was obviously wrong. Listen to what you just said...The only way was to be beaten by the coach...or kill himself? What kind of decision is that? both options were in his control. What normal kid keeps walking into a beating to the point of killing himself when he had a million other instictive options? Maybe the blame is on those around him as well. But don't play it like this kid is 100% immune. There's many children out there that have no options to turn to. Many are younger than this boy was.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you are training to be pro, best of the best, than you need to be torn apart and built up from scratch mentally and physically.

There are plenty of bests of the bests that were not beaten by their coaches.

Stop blaming the people around this child.

They are to blame.

What normal kid keeps walking into a beating to the point of killing himself when he had a million other instictive options?

Kids, both normal and otherwise, have a right, a right, to an education that is free from physical abuse. It is the law.

The abuser is to blame for the abuse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okay...who is arguing the fact that education should be abuse free. It's not me. Those surrounding that kid are wrong for what they did or didn't do. They are not the blame for the child committing suicide.

The abuser is to blame for the abuse...exactly! Not the suicide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@TheDevilsAssistant when i was at school we had corporal punishment when you did something really wrong, a few wacks with the kane or leather strap on the rear (carried out by the top teacher or principle only!), yes bit painful and left a few marks but did wonders in discipline. as for teachers/older students hitting younger students with there hands that is just plain assault. had a case where a older student thought hed discipline a younger student with his hands, about a week later the younger students older brother came and had a meeting with that abusive student, lets just say that younger student never had a bully problem again ever!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

when i was at school we had corporal punishment when you did something really wrong, a few wacks with the kane or leather strap on the rear (carried out by the top teacher or principle only!),

wtfjapan, and I'm one that wish schools were still like that. But I understand in this new world of political correctivness, those good days are lost forever.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

when i was at school we had corporal punishment when you did something really wrong, a few wacks with the kane or leather strap on the rear (carried out by the top teacher or principle only!), yes bit painful and left a few marks but did wonders in discipline

Leaving aside the question of whether one believes in corporal punishment or not, what on earth has this to do with the topic at hand? The boy was 'punished' (beaten) because he did not play (to Komura’s) satisfaction. In whose book is that something really wrong? In what way is physical violence supposed to increase a person't sporting prowess? Maybe all Olympic hopefuls should be given a good beating before each event, to give us all a better show?

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And what lesson is to be learned here... None!! All I know is if a coach ever crosses physically with my kids - I'll do hardtime, that's all I have to say!

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hope this piece of crap never teaches again.

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I am a basketball coach here in the US. The girls I coach often frustrate me a lot because they dont listen and fool around. But physically hitting a child is just going too far... for any coach, for any parent. In Japanese it is the old way of disciplining students. Pain and fear work... it WILL cause kids to behave better but the whole principle behind it is completely wrong. Kids should be encouraged and praised as much as possible. Coaches should look at their players potential and treat them in that way so they begin to see it and feel it within themselves. Through this interaction a relationship of respect develops and amazing things happen. Pain and fear on the other hand get players to do what the coach wants in the short term (or maybe even in the long term) but it damages the players psychologically for a lifetime. Students should want to do something not out of fear but because of love - love for themselves and love for what they are doing just for the sake of the doing.

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Nothing will change in Japan until society as a whole stands up and speaks their mind without fear of repercussions.

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Parents of this young man who took his life should take them to the court and sue Mr. Komura and the school district for the wrongful death. This should not happen to any students. Discipline mean 'to teach'. Even if Mr. Komura was a teacher, the bully is defined as a person who uses superior strength or power to intimidate or harm those who are weaker, typically to force him or her to do what one wants. I am sure that it is not the intent of the school rules to bully students. Mr. Komura should never teach ever.

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In this case, the teacher should only be punished for raising his hand.

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Revoke this" worthless piece of crap teacher" license to teach. Suspend his pension benefits. And, do jail-time for leading this young (teenager - mind you) learner's unfortunate death!!

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