crime

Mother held for allegedly drowning 12-day-old son in bathtub

57 Comments

A woman in Seya, Kanagawa Prefecture was arrested on Tuesday after confessing to drowning her 12-day-old son. According to police, Sumiko Takeuchi, 41, was bathing the infant, named Takeyoshi, on Tuesday morning while her husband, a 48-year-old unemployed man, was out shopping. At around 9:50 a.m. she allegedly held the boy under the water until he drowned.

Takeuchi's husband returned home and discovered the pair in the bathroom and called emergency services. Takeyoshi was taken to a Yokohama hospital where he was pronounced dead three hours later.

Takeuchi was quoted by police as saying: "I started to worry about his future because I lost faith in my ability to raise him." She also claimed she had intended to kill herself as well, but couldn't go through with it.

© Compiled from news reports

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She also claimed she had intended to kill herself as well, but couldn’t go through with it.

First time I've heard someone the Japan say this!

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Never heard that one before...

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This mother is all messed up in the head, and not only that, she has no feeling for life at all. She should be thrown into prison for 10 to 20 years with a daily medical visit to the hospital to get her head back onto the top of her body and not leave it on the bottom where only wastes comes out.

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WTF is wrong with these inbreeds who kill their own?

“I started to worry about his future because I lost faith in my ability to raise him.”

So your answer was to kill him? Nice going mum! Nothing like that wonderful motherly love shining through. I'm sure you will be haunted (or at least i really do hope so) for the rest of your miserable life.....but then again you'll most likely shake it off and forget all about your poor innocent baby when the judge slaps your wrist and tells you not to do such a mean horrible thing again and sets you free within a week.

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RIP for the kid. That guy sure married a "fine piece of work" in that lady.

41 is pretty up there for a woman to be having a kid. I imagine it was her first one (just guessing). I guess she didn't realize when she had that urge to have a kid that it would take a lot of work.

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even in the our times of greet personal hardships taking the life of a child because you fear that you can not raise them properly is no good excuse, if you feel that strongly then but your child up for adoption where at least they will have a chance to survive.

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scumbag.

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because I lost faith in my ability to raise him

first time mothers are usually NOT confident and that is totally normal.. this mother should have seeked help if she wasn't confident in her ability to raise the baby -- after only 12 days and making the final decision? that's crazy...

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Alot of seriously harsh comments here.

I agree that any mother who kills her child is horrifically cruel, but to be honest it sounds like this woman has SEVERE postpartum depression and/or postpartum psychosis. Medically it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and ANY mother can get this.

Probably coupled with the fact that her hubby was unemployed, probably not helping with the baby or the house and the fact that after you are released from hospital in Japan you have to wait a month before the community nurses come to your home to check how your doing.

I am NOT condoning what she has done at ALL. BUT I don't think we should jump to conclusions quite so quickly. RIP to the little boy, it was such a short life.

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Agreed, sounds like a very severe case of post-partum depression/psychosis. A lot of women suffer from this, but it usually doesn't end up with them killing the kid. Japan really needs to step up on a lot of mental health issues, but perhaps giving women a brochure when they leave the hospital, telling them that if they have thoughts of harming the child or themselves, they need to seek some sort of treatment. And making that treatment free or low cost ...

I would wager that women in Japan know far less about PPD than women in the western world, which isn't to say that women in the west know much. We just know celebs like Brooke Shields and Gwyneth Paltrow went through it. Are there any very visible celebs on TV in Japan talking about it? Sometimes that seems like the only way people learn about things ... (especially in Japan).

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So she'd been out of hospital less than a week.

Poor baby, never stood a chance. You want to believe this wasn't out of some malicious intent or hatred, but purely depressed desperation, but with so many stories like this it's difficult to know.

A few Japanese mothers I know in that age group say it's an echo from the bubble era where people want to stay the center of the world and are confronted with both proof that they're not (the child) and declining economic status.

Then again, maybe her being 41 is an issue though - could be 21 and it may be the same thing sadly.

It is true the support for new mothers is pretty much zero, and generally they're left to fend for themselves or seek help from their family (and many stay with parents for the first month) but perhaps that wasn't possible here. Health visitors tend to measure weight of the baby, tell people to only eat Japanese food and breast feed, and leave. I met a couple who hadn't had babies and were bemused by most questions.

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Above:

"Then again, maybe her being 41 is an issue though - could be 21 and it may be the same thing sadly."

should be: "Then again, maybe her being 41 isn't an issue though - could be 21 and it may be the same thing sadly."

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Damn. RIP little one. Depression it is.

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After giving birth a woman has many hormonal changes, especially in her 40s. The husband should have realized this and worked to set up a better support system for his wife.

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The husband should have realized this and worked to set up a better support system for his wife.

I'm sorry, do you mean he should have suspected she was likely to commit infanticide?

--Hey hun, not for nothing, but, I'm going to have some friends watching over you. No, no, it's nothing serious. Just in case you feel like killing the infant is all.

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I have not the words. RIP little angel.

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Of course this was post natal depression but also a horrific crime!! There is little or no help or explanation given on this subject to new parents. Fathers have (almost) no idea what PND and there should be a system put into place to help. Mrs buggerlugs was near 40 with our first kid and luckily granny (UK) buggerlugs explained to me what PND is and how to handle it. I can not even fathom how to process this news and I feel it (joke of a mother) should be hung drawn and quartered. BUT for the sake of children please jp government put a system in place asap!!! My tears are spilling fir you little angel, may a golden light lead you to heaven. RIP.

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I'm sick of those guys here writing about things they CAN NOT understand!!! How many of you here are female?? How many actually have kids?? A post natal depression can happen to ANY mother! Some mothers throw their kids out of the window! They ARE NOT themselves!!! If it happens to you or your girlfriend... THEN you will understand it!

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Probably the system is more to blame than anything else. Postpartum depression is a know mental illness, but the Japanese medical establishment is ill-equipped to diagnose and treat it. Given the fact there is a huge stigma in Japan for people who seek psychiatric treatment, so there are few trained practioners in the psychiatric field. And I bet she never received any postpartum depression counseling before discarge, which is standard practice in most hospitals in the U.S. In this instance why isn't the police interviewing the medical staff that attended her in the hospital; dare I say there could be a case of culpable negligence against the doctor and/or medical staff.

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And I bet she never received any postpartum depression counseling before discarge, which is standard practice in most hospitals in the U.S.

i had my first baby in the U.S.. was discharged after 2 days and didn't get any of the standard practice.. i had no families around except for husband and he was really busy and wasn't around much..

i had my second baby in japan.. i was lucky to have neighbors who were willing to watch my older child when i needed to sleep while the baby was asleep.. some offered to do grocery shopping, too. i did not get counseling, but i did receive letters and etc from the city and they asked questions about how much sleep i was getting, how i was eating and my mood, how much help i was getting and etc..

i think the problem is that many people in japan or in the city do not have close relationship with their neighbors or other mothers in the community, it is so important to keep socializing even after just having a baby.. if this mother was just staying home with the baby and didn't have friends in the area, i wouldn't be surprised that she was depressed.. get to know people around you and keep contact with them, talk to them and etc.. that'd really help.. i know it helped me greatly.

RIP little baby..

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Stop making excuses for her. She`s a murderer. Post partum blah blah blah, pick yourself up and get on with it. For all we know it could just be an excuse to save face or avoid time. One crack at life lady and you destroy one of the few perfect things in this universe. It seems we never do hear about follow up news with these types of crimes and there have been many recently. Why is that? Are these murderers secretly being released?

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I like what my ward did before our son was born.

We were called in for a lecture/course, it covered a lot of topics including PND. Us dads got to wear the pregnancy suit etc.

At the end of the lecture they asked us to exchange contact info with other parents who all lived in our neighbourhood and were scheduled to give birth around the same time.

From this course onwards we had an informal support group as well as neighbours, friends, etc. As with Fishy the goverment also checked up via calls and mails.

We are still in contact with many people from that group.

Not sure if this is true for all wards, etc.

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zenny-

yes, those classes are very common in every city, and when you go to maternity clinics, hospitals, they have those classes every month, and dads are encouraged to attend the classes as well. i also took some maternity yoga and swimming classes NOT because i wanted to do yoga or swimming, but because I wanted to meet other expecing mothers!

and it is an EXCELLENT idea to exchange contact information with other expecting parents in your area so that you can talk to each other when you are happy, when you are sad, when you need help, whenever you want to talk to an adult.

when some people do not want to socialize and stay home alone with a baby, they tend to get depressed more..

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Sounds like PPD for sure, but that is no excuse for what she's done, and she has to pay the price for it. I hope she gets locked up for at least 10 years. What a horrible thing to do to an innocent little baby. RIP, little one.

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Stop making excuses for her. She`s a murderer.

Exactly!!

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MarieInJapan at 11:40 AM JST - 19th January I'm sick of those guys here writing about things they CAN NOT understand!!! How many of you here are female?? How many actually have kids?? A post natal depression can happen to ANY mother! Some mothers throw their kids out of the window! They ARE NOT themselves!!! If it happens to you or your girlfriend... THEN you will understand it!

Don't really care what depression someone is going through. I have depression too! bipolar disorder, mood swings. Yeah I have them all. That don't mean I have the right to treat another human being in such a manner even if it's your own child.

If someone is stressing so bad, seek outside help or whatever but don't dare harm another person. Nobody has that right.

Only harm other people is self defense of course ;)

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I'm sorry, But to hold a 12 year old underwater in order to drown him is pure MURDER. Post pardum depression or not. Can you imagine the struggle the boy put up? She should get the death penalty or life in the hole.

Moderator: Please note that the infant was 12 days old, not 12 years old.

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Oh...my bad. I completly misread. Doesnt reduce the crime, but it does bring post pardum into play. My son's mother had a small experience with that. But still doesn't excuse murder IMO.

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She should have thought about killing her lazy husband for being unemployed not her innocent baby! RIP little baby boy.

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post pardum depression is a hell of a sickness, especially for a japanese woman, who is probably suffering from general depression anyway.

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This is sick. Really sick.

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Dress it up and call it whatever name/excuse you like.

In my eyes it is MURDER plain and simple. Mothers or fathers having no backbone is not justification for killing your OWN child. R.I.P Little man.

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RIP little guy!

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Terrible, horrible, call it what you like but don't blame it on Japanese people, please! These things happen the world over.

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My wife suffered for a year with PND, but she never had the inclination to want to kill her flesh and blood!

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MarieinJapan - you'd be surprised just how many dads DO understand this PND problem, but what this woman did has NO JUSTIFICATION! NONE!!

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LOL...that was cold blackpasenger.

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She should have thought about killing her lazy husband for being unemployed

Being unemployed does not always mean you're lazy.

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She'll get off light and easy...she murdered a family member.

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She also claimed she had intended to kill herself as well, but couldn’t go through with it.

Here's hoping that the judicial system will assist her in making her first intention come true.

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Postpartum psychosis is more severe and can be used as a legal defense in some countries. I'm no expert on postpartum depression but it seems to me the woman would feel hopeless and depressed, probably crying often and might try to kill herself and not her baby. What is clear is that more information on postpartum depression needs to be given to expecting parents. This is heartbreaking. Rest in peace little one.

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Always sad to hear about something like this. Particularly when you also hear PPD is involved. I hope the woman is being watched very closely. Its happened too often that the woman kills herself as well after the realization of what she's done kicks in.

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Both not working ???? Is a leading cause for self destruction. why can't the father work in construction or restaurant jobs ???? 2 restaurant jobs could bring in some kind of money.

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The man working and woman staying home is a not a law just culture. We know nothing about the husband`s situation. He might be a half decent individual.

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MarieInJapan at 11:40 AM JST - 19th January I'm sick of those guys here writing about things they CAN NOT understand!!! How many of you here are female?? How many actually have kids?? A post natal depression can happen to ANY mother! Some mothers throw their kids out of the window! They ARE NOT themselves!!! If it happens to you or your girlfriend... THEN you will understand it!

= LAME EXCUSE

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MarieInJapan at 11:40 AM JST - 19th January I'm sick of those guys here writing about things they CAN NOT understand!!! How many of you here are female?? How many actually have kids?? A post natal depression can happen to ANY mother! Some mothers throw their kids out of the window! They ARE NOT themselves!!! If it happens to you or your girlfriend... THEN you will understand it!

REGARDLESS of whether or not it can "happen to any mother". REGARDLESS of whether or not they are "not themselves". It still doesn't excuse and still doesn't exempt them from the punishment of the crime. Guilty as charged.

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“I started to worry about his future because I lost faith in my ability to raise him.” She also claimed she had intended to kill herself as well, but couldn’t go through with it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah! It happens in other countries too, but it is always for the same pathetic BS in Japan. It is not PND in Japan. It is called PJD, Pathetic Japanese Diplomacy!

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This is a terrible tragedy, indeed. I know PPD can be severe, but murder is murder regardless. If she is not put in jail, her mental situation must be intense enough to have her be put in a mental institution. Either way, I don't think she should be allowed to just run out of that court with no punishment. Murder is murder. That poor child had a life ahead of him that could have been filled with wonderful happiness and beauty, and that mother took that life away. PPD doesn't justify murder unless she is insane to an extent. And, don't blame the father. You know nothing about the father. You automatically read "unemployed" and you believe that the father is to blame. He may have been a decent man, working everyday to find a job. My own father was unemployed for the longest time and he was the most caring man in the world. He may not have had a job, but he tried everyday to find one, and he would come home and take care of his children like a good father should. The father of this child may have been a deadbeat dad, too, but you also don't know that. Jumping to conclusions by one simple word will land you in irrational arguements and make you seem like a idiot. R.I.P poor child.

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Both not working ???? Is a leading cause for self destruction. why can't the father work in construction or restaurant jobs ???? 2 restaurant jobs could bring in some kind of money.

Whiskeysour, the need for construction workers typically goes down in the Winter months... especially if the weather has been not cooperating. You're not likely to find many openings for a new-hire at a construction site in January.

Also, there's no indication that money was the cause of this (other than the article making sure to point out the father was unemployed). All new parents are in a state of panic because here's this new person that they are responsible for, and NO INSTRUCTION MANUAL CAME WITH HIM/HER! Perhaps her fear of raising him "wrong" is what caused this, rather than a fear of not being able to put food in his mouth.

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She drowned him means she watched him dying slowly.. That is so cruel! I am fed up reading these kind of news really. And then all the talks about depressions and what it causes. Unfortunately, I know a few people in my family who suffer from different kind of depression. And none of them killed their own flesh and blood! I hope she rots in hell! RIP little Takeyoshi-chan..

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As I said ... postpartum psychosis Is not the same of postpartum depression, miniaiko , shizukamorley and almost everyone else.

Giving the comparison that "I know someone who had depression and they didnt kill anyone" is completely unfair, because It doesnt seem that this woman had depression.

Depression is something managable, as a very sensible poster said above, its something that will make you feel sad, cry alot and generally not yourself. Postpartum psychosis is something which will get you automatically sectioned. It is a very, very dangerous disease caused by hormonal and chemical irregularities following childbirth. It is pretty rare, however is very often fatal to the mother and/or the child.

As I said before, I will NEVER condone someone killing their child, but as someone who has seen a close family member (who has had NO history of depression, mental illness etc) in the grip of post partum psychosis I feel that "normal" mothers (including those with PPD) will not go to the extent this woman has. Therefore I think that something must be medically wrong with her and that you should all be ALOT less judgemental.

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himehentai: as you said? I didn't read your comment on this post. And I won't. Even if you or other people, including doctors, have a good explanation for this horrible incident, I won't like it nor will I feel sorry for the lady or whatever. It might be a rare illness she is suffering from, but it doesn't make this case more bearable. AGAIN, RIP little angel. It's insane that some people here still talk about this crazy lady while a baby has lost his life, that, as mentioned before from some other user, could have been full of happiness.

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Himehentai, the thing is that PPD often BECOMES PPP. Saying that someone with PPD doesn't ever kill their kids ... well, no. Not if it goes away naturally when their hormones balance out, or if they get help for it.

Well over half of new moms experience some form of depression following birth. Something to think about. This woman probably had mental problems before which were exacerbated by the baby and then the situation with her husband.

Ignoring what caused this woman to snap ensures it will happen again. That's why we should focus on it.

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Himehentai - your comments are absolutely correct and very rational and sensible. PPP is NOTHING like depression or even PPI ("illness", the new PC term for PND/PPD).

Monkeyz - PPD does NOT often become PPP - it is an extremely rare reaction.

This case is absolutely tragic and shocking, and if you don`t feel inclined to feel sorry for her go rght ahead, but as some have rightly pointed out, this woman is almost certainly very ILL.

However - I have a lot of experience of researching and treating PPD and referring some of those to psychiatrists. Without knowing all the facts and even meeting this woman it is difficult to say for certain, but generally, in my experience, people genuinely suffering with psychosis would not be lucid enough to even be able to explain to someone their feelings at the time, why they did it, and that they planned to also kill themselves. That`s why in this case (with the facts available) I would lean more towards severe depression than an actual psychotic episode.

It is an absolute tragedy, and RIP little one. As a mother, I cannot for the life of me fathom what would cause a mother to kill her newborn. BUT as a counsellor for these women, I can. I don`t for a second condone it, and it is breaking my heart to read about it as much as anyone else, but hysteria gets you nowhere.

No "normal" mother, even one suffering with depression, willingly kills her baby. Whether this was a psychotic episode, depression, a cry for help or pure vindictiveness will be for the courts to decide, not us.

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This 12-day-old child had as much right to the protection of the state as this 41-year-old woman continues to have -- perhaps even more so, in my opinion, since the child was the weaker party of the two. Just because the child is no longer amongst the living does not mean that the state has no need to be concerned with his fate any longer. Murder is a crime, and the state, acting on behalf of our society, has every right to see that justice is done in this instance. Medical treatment for the mother might be the proper and just thing for her, but I don't see how you render justice for the infant as well without administering punishment to his murderer.

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Aren't there any clinics that will cure mental health disease for all parents with kids? They really need those.

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I always find it surreal that these articles have quotes of why the person did the crime. In other countries, you don't seem to have that.

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