Workplace disciplinary action is always a delicate matter that requires a careful balance of people’s rights and a respect for the needs of the organization. Deductions in pay and public apologies are common tactics in Japan, but some employers just throw that playbook out the window and go straight to mutilation.
That was the case at a bento shop in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture where staff member Yuko Kono forcibly pierced the nose of a 24-year-old part-time worker. The piercing, which is expected to take three months to heal completely, was administered because the victim arrived late to work.
To make matters more surreal, this very same woman was arrested last April along with the manager Kumiko Chujo, who is also Kono’s mother, for abusing the same part-timer. In the previous incident, a customer complained that a hair had ended up in their bento. Angered, the two women forcibly cut all of the worker’s hair off with a pair of scissors.
The mother-daughter team was also arrested on the eighth of this month for further physical abuses. On 7 June, after a customer complained that a bento was served slowly, so Chujo pushed a part-time worker in her 50s down with both hands and then began kicking her several times, including in the head and face.
In another instance in March of this year, Kono told the 24-year-old worker, “You look sick. Why don’t we get a blood sample and take it to the hospital?” She then allegedly made the worker cut her own cheek with a flathead screwdriver.
These cases all happened so frequently that it’s hard to keep track of their outcomes, and there have been no reports of trials or lawsuits yet, so we can only assume all of the cases are still pending.
According to NHK, Chujo admitted to assaulting the woman in her 50s, saying, “I attacked her because I was angry about the complaint.” As for the hair cutting, Kono has admitted the charges, but Chujo is denying them, saying she wasn’t there at the time.
Meanwhile, Kono is said to have admitted to the nose piercing, but is partially denying the screwdriver charge, telling police, “I never said anything like ‘You look sick.'”
The other big question in all this is how this shop has continued to operate throughout all this, and why the 24-year-old has continued to work there after numerous horrific attacks. It is something that has left readers of the news confused and depressed.
“The haircut and piercing victim is the same person? Unbelievable.”
“What? Is this a bento shop or an S&M club?”
“Those women are clearly yakuza types, but I can’t understand why the other woman stayed there after the haircut incident.”
“Tell me where these savages work, so I can know to never go there.”
“Notice how this all started about the same time as Kagawa’s video game restrictions?”
“This is horrible, but the courts always seem to go easy on women attackers.”
“How do people become like this?”
“Thinking about the hell that woman’s life is, I couldn’t keep from crying.”
“There is a zero-percent chance these horrible women won’t do this again.”
“The head shaving was dangerous, and then it escalated to a nose piercing. This will lead to murder if it continues.”
It looks like the police and courts have a lot to sort through for the time being. Luckily, the younger victim reportedly has several threatening texts which, along with her physical injuries, which should provide ample evidence in her case.
However, it’s worth remembering that in 2016 a fish wholesale manager beat one of her employees to death but only received a suspended sentence after the court determined she showed adequate remorse and paid the victim’s family.
So it remains to be seen what form “justice” will take in this matter.
Source: Real Live, Hachima Kiko
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