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Gang-rape incident a by-product of Kyoto's lenient academic culture

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On the night of Feb 25, some 95 people attended a pre-graduation "sayonara" party for university seniors at a pub in Kyoto City. At some point in the evening, a co-ed, aged 19 at the time, fell into a semiconscious stupor from overindulgence in alcohol, was escorted into an adjacent room and sexually assaulted by six members of Kyoto University of Education's American football and soccer teams.

On June 1 -- more than three months after the incident -- university president Mitsuyo Terada appeared at a press conference to announce that the institution would slap them with an open-ended suspension for having committed "obscene acts."

"A university is not an investigating body," Terada stated somewhat lamely. "The measures we took were intended as corrective in nature."

A police source informs Nikkan Gendai (June 3) that it was not until March 27 that the woman, described as "unable to hold her liquor," consulted the police regarding her assault.

"The six men were arrested on June 1," the source relates. "Four admitted to going all the way; two insisted they only 'touched' the victim but did not rape her.

Kyoto University of Education is a public institution with roots going back to 1876, when it was founded as a pedagogical school. Its adjusted standard deviation score (class curve) of 53 would place it in the mid-tier in terms of academic standing. According to its English website http://www.kyokyo-u.ac.jp/ehp/english/index.html, 52 foreign students are enrolled.

"The university is well regarded as an institution that graduates teachers," remarks Yutaka Doi, a Kyoto-based author. "This city, with a population of 1.47 million, is home to 37 universities, of which seven are public. Kyoto University of Education rates in the top segment. But I think this incident ruins whatever image they had as a 'clean' school."

Four years earlier, Nikkan Gendai recalls, members of the American football club at the elite Kyoto University, a world-famous institution, had been involved in a gang rape.

With 138,509 university and junior college students -- approximately one-tenth of the city's total population -- Kyoto is a said have long enjoyed the status as a "student-friendly" town. But for Kyoto University of Education not to expel the six for committing rape is taking indulgence too far.

"The problem is that the perpetrators were students in the Faculty of Education," opines the abovementioned author Doi. "In Kyoto, these students still engage in chug-a-lug contests at parties. Under the pretext of preserving tradition, they think they're entitled to special privileges, and that they can get away with anything.

"They're more overbearing and insolent than students in Tokyo," Doi adds. "I think it was this kind of smug attitude that led to the rape incident at Kyoto University (in 2005) and this recent one."

It would seem, the reporter concludes, that the downside of Kyoto's convivial climate for students is that it fosters a sense of entitlement that all too often leads to their running amok.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

49 Comments
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man.. that makes me sick to my stomach. Its no wonder it doesnt happen more often. I downloded a few dozen (it was a big torrent) gigs of japanese hentei and I have to say even though its animated it often has things in it that are the most shocking things I have ever seen in my life. rape and gang rape, being common. something quite a few japaense people pay for and enjoy watching.

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The social and sports clubs are usually given rooms or facilities on campuses, but the universities don't assign faculty or staff to oversee the club operations. In addition to drinking and carousing a lot of bullying goes on too. I often used to read of upperclassmen beating some "impudent" freshmen to death because he was not energetic enough in following their orders.

And yet belonging to one or more club is practically a prerequisite for a four-year degree from these places. If that doesn't serve as proof that Japan is a nation of masochists, I don't know what would.

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There is a gentle spirit which is masculine and stands for what is right. The Japanese would do well to foster this in their youth.

Inakarob : what are you talking about?

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inakaRob - Great comment! You downloaded dozens of gigabytes of hentai, and you seem surprised when you said you saw rape, gangbanging and tentacle sex?

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They confuse manhood with barbarism. the most famelic looking man can be more of a man than a body builder or sports person. It is about principles and character. Integrity, selflessness, egalitarian attributes, loyalty, honor, etc.

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Its OK because they are foot ball pros or top teachers in future life so they deserve leniency and the victim was obviously a looser who got drunk so deserved the rape. Gee there are some generally accepted screwed up ideas in this culture.

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There is a connection between chug'a'lug competitions and gang rape? The rape is terrible and the offenders should be jailed (hard to go to university if you are in jail). But linking students having parties to criminal behaviour? Drinking beer is a special privelege that only Kyoto college students can get away with? How is this different to any group of adults who get drunk and do bad things?

As for social clubs not having supervision, it's probably because at university, the majority of students are adults, and if they are bullied should remedy the situation themselves in an adult fashion.

If students don't like being in a club, quit. It's a scary world isn't it.

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i'd venture a guess that it has nothing to do with the academic culture and everything to do with jmen's caveman-like personalities

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So how long will they be in jail? Why isnt that reported?

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inakaRob, you downloaded tons of p0rn for free while those japanese men paid for it. both of you enjoyed it. and yet you're still sick to your stomach?

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inakaRob you clearly wanted to download it, lots of it, and it probably has something to do with the shock value. It's no surprise that people from all over the world download Japanese hentai and porn. When an accident happens on the freeway almost everybody looks as they drive by. Some people get more excited by that than others.

Back on topic, in addition to all the other obvious aspects to this story, pubs need to have security and be liable for these kind of crimes. This was more like a house party where you can use private rooms as you please, not a licensed place that serves alcohol.

They need to get cracking on prosecuting them now that they're in custody. Looks like some of them have already squealed. "I was only helping them rape her" might help in the sentencing phase I guess.

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"According to its English website http://www.kyokyo-u.ac.jp/ehp/english/index.html, 52 foreign students are enrolled."

Relevance?

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Relevance?

Actually there were more foreign students, but the rest were either bullied into leaving or died from cirrhosis of the liver.

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Geez...not just Kyoto,why not title it with Japan ?

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GB (bytes) of porn: Makes you wonder how much one needs?

You need to be responsible for your conduct. That is part of being an adult. These people that are not responsible are their own worst enemy = Expect less people to goto this university in the future.

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Honestly, now that it comes to it, I'm rather surprised they didn't expel the students as well. Is that common? I mean, there is an element of innocent until convicted, but with the 99% conviction rate...

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Lenient academic attitudes my foot. How about a bunch of drunk guys who went too far, it's pretty simple if you think about it.

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Idly mentioning the number of foreigners at the university in a rape story is not racism? Why do you think so?

The mention of the number of foreign students should be read in context; the school's roots go back over 130 years, academically it's mid-tier, it has 52 foreign students, it's well-regarded, it's in the top segment of universities in Kyoto. All points in its favour, yet in spite of all the school's merits not only did the rape incident occur, the school handled it badly. It could be argued that mentioning the number of foreign students as an indicator of the school's good standing is racist, but it's racism at the opposite extreme of the intent of some posters to equate foreign students and rape. It's a contrast, not a correlation.

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Well said, Cleo. I'm constantly amazed by by the knee-jerk reactions of posters in here, who take one look at the word "foreigner" in a story and automatically assume it's a provocation of some sort. For what it's worth, I would think a national university with a rather low ratio of foreign students is something of an anomaly in this day and age and may point to outmoded, insular attitudes. The writer was building his case by saying the school's "hallowed traditions" are vestiges of earlier times, several decades ago, when it was mostly spoiled rich boys who went to college in this country. The small number of foreigners provides one more piece of evidence that the school is something of an anachronism. That's the impression I got at least.

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“The university is well regarded as an institution that graduates teachers.” That explains a lot - - the schools reflect this kind of training.

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It's got a hensachi of 53 - a whisker above average. In other words, almost anyone with a pulse and an IQ in the low triple digits can get in. Not to be confused with the world-class Kyoto Uni (which unfortunately has also had its share of bad 'uns).

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It is not the university's job to be judge, jury or jailer. It is the police and legal system that should come down on the rapists like a ton of bricks. I just hope the poor woman is getting counciling and is not treated unfairly by her comtemperies.

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According to its English website http://www.kyokyo-u.ac.jp/ehp/english/index.html, 52 foreign students are enrolled.

In what way, shape or form is the inclusion of the number of foreign students relevant to this story? There is no journalistic condition that requires it. You are implying - what exactly?

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In what way, shape or form is the inclusion of the number of foreign students relevant to this story? There is no journalistic condition that requires it. You are implying - what exactly

It's called "information," woqev. People log onto news sites on the Internet to read things they don't know about. Having lived in Kyoto many years ago, I am interested in the institutions there and students who matriculate therein. The number 52, as far as I can tell, is implication-neutral. What I can't comprehend is why you object to it so vociferously. It's obvious enough that this is not a foreigner-bashing story.

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"wogev" would have been less vociferous if he had take the time to read some posts before his own ( of cleo and Beelzebub for instance ) !

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Bizarre. This can only happen in Japan. It speaks volumes about the moral decline about the country and the myth of Japanese "higher" education.

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Rather than mention how many foreigners go there it should mention haw many Japanese as it was Japanese who committed gang rape. These guys admitted it to it. This should lead to immediate expulsion from the university and a trial which sends them to jail for 20 years. Why this hasn't happened is beyond me.

Imagined they gang raped your sister, mother or daughter.

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There were six (6) rapists, all of them Japanese. The number 52 refers to the number of foreign students attending the university, and there is no suggestion anywhere in the article that any foreign students were involved in the rape incident.

Incidentally, though as several posters have pointed out it is irrelevant in terms of the rape story, there is a breakdown of foreign student nationality on the university home page. Most are from Asia, although Europe and the Americas are also represented. Of the 52, 15 have Japanese government fellowships, which in my naivety I take to mean that the Japanese government welcomes these students and considers them an asset to Japan, not a potential rape-gang. http://www.kyokyo-u.ac.jp/ehp/english/number.html

In what way, shape or form is the inclusion of the number of foreign students relevant to this story? There is no journalistic condition that requires it. You are implying - what exactly?

The intended implication, as I explained before, is that in spite of this being a prestigious university with a reputation good enough to attract students from overseas, a Bad Thing happened there. The 52 foreign students are given as a positive, not a negative.

(That's the intended implication, at least; as I also pointed out earlier, the school is only slightly above average nationwide in terms of the academic level of students it accepts. Being in the 'top segment' of universities in Kyoto leads me to suspect that some of the other 37 must be pretty dire in academic terms. And the foreign students may be of a higher level academically than their local classmates.)

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This sounds to me like someone is laying the groundwork for a lawsuit.

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Sounds to me like Cleo is a bit of an elitist. Anyone who's studied the smallest amount of psych. could tell you IQ isn't fixed, nor is personal growth. SOme of the biggest dimwits I've ever met here have come off the Kyodai/Todai assembly line.

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SOme of the biggest dimwits I've ever met here have come off the Kyodai/Todai assembly line. A person can be academically brilliant yet still have the emotional maturity of a pot of jam - and vice versa.

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The title of this article is not appropriate as there is nothing in the article to substantiate it. Gang rapes by university students in Kyoto are rare, as they are at Japanese universities in general. That is why they are big news when they occur.

Anyone familiar with university life in Japan knows it is at best mundane and at worst catatonic.

This is a cheap, ignorant and sensationalistic article that exploits a singular ugly incident for the sake of selling some dubious weekly tabloid.

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If students don't like being in a club, quit.

clubs usually form the centre a student's social circle. leave your club and you lose your friends

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This is a cheap, ignorant and sensationalistic article that exploits a singular ugly incident for the sake of selling some dubious weekly tabloid.

No, Jean, it's a cheap, ignorant and sensationalistic article that exploits a singular ugly incident for the sake of selling a dubious DAILY tabloid.

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This was an improvement over the original article reporting the incident. The original one only pointed out that one of the suspects was in the American Football club. At least this time the included the sport that the other 5 were members of (soccer AKA football).

I still say the main problem with this story is why the girl took a month to go see the police? Did she suddenly go, "Dang! I was raped last month!!"? Or did she miss her period and realize that "bad dream" she had when she was drunk wasn't really a dream?

(Back to the thrust of the article) So the girl goes to the police at the end of March, but the university doesn't suspend the students until two months later when the boys were charged. Did the university have a set policy for penalties resulting from sexual transgressions? I'd be interested to see THAT document before saying the university was too lax with these particular students. There may have been legal issues pertaining to that document that prevented the university from acting until the charges were officially filed.

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Anyone familiar with university life in Japan knows it is at best mundane and at worst catatonic.

I don't think either of my kids would agree with you on that. They both had, and Son is still having, a great time - study hard, play hard. It's what you make of it.

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Thanks for the correction B. So you can buy this thing on a daily basis. Yuk.

Anyway, i you know Kyoto it is a largely subdued and not particularly woopie-do city. Also it is not more a college town than nearby Osaka and Kobe. I academic culture in all these places is about the same is it is anywhere in Japan. It is one that hardly lends itself freely to group rape. It article is what happens when you get a pack of ill-educated hacks to write about universities.

I can well understand why the girl waited so long to come forward about this. Being gang raped is not easy to talk about. She has my complete sympathies.

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So you can buy this thing on a daily basis. Yuk.

That is what the "Nikkan" in its name means. If you include the sports tabloids there are about six morning and three evening publications in Tokyo alone, any one of which would be likely to carry similar contents. They are every bit as sleazy as the Daily Star and other tabloids in the UK.

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Right--Nikkan Gendai. Daily. I see what I am missing by avoiding the tabloids, the afternoon TV shows, pop culture, pachino parlors and the like.

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''Lenient academic culture?'' So, like a faculty instituted intellect derelict Kyoto University 24-7 schedule of rigors for discipline will prevent such incidences from happening in the future? What? Ever study Frat Pack Party Psy 1001? Sad story none the less....

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Gang-rape incident a by-product of Japan's still-lenient attitudes toward the crime.

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"Gang-rape incident a by-product of Kyoto's lenient academic culture"? Utter rot - it's nothing whatsoever to do with a lenient academic culture - it's their society as a whole. Go into the adult section of any DVD rental store or look at the openly accessable shelves of any BookOff and you'll see countless examples of the seemingly national obsession with gang-rape, train molestation and incest. In a culture where most expressions of extreme emotion are taboo, they seem to find some sick release in deviant fantasies and behavior. No wonder these jocks thought gang-rape was OK - it's as natural to them as "Playboy" was to my culture and generation.

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Gang-rape incident a by-product of Kyoto's lenient academic culture

Why single out Kyoto. This is a national problem.

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MagnusGarstin, exactly.

"Why single out Kyoto. This is a national problem."

Because the hack tabloid writer is probably from Kanto.

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"four admitted to going all the way ( raping her )"

"the institution would slap them with an open-ended suspension for having committed "obscene acts"

So now rape gets just a suspension from school? That's what I call lenient punishment.

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Fadamor, what does it matter how long it took for the woman to go tho the authorities - rape is rape, regardless of how much time has elapsed.

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Jeancolmar, jacquii, Sarge, MagnusGarstin.....You all make very good points. I echo all of you. The punishment was too lenient...those that don't understand the complexities of being a rape victim will of course question why the victim took so long to report it, the actual crime is not a result of a lenient school system, and yes...the current state of Japanese pop culture illustrates the glorifying of gang rape, train molestation...etc. The last time I was in Japan, June of 2008, I was absolutely terrified by the stories my mother told me about what was going on over there. All of the other times I've gone to Japan to visit my family, I never feared for my safety. Japan really has to do something substantial to promote a social shit away from it's current decline in morality, biases against women and the family structure. Don't get me wrong though, my husband and I live in Florida with a teenaged son are also aware of the violence and twisted morality of youth here. We do our part, however, to intervene and raise him to be the proper man he should be.

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Japan in general has a very twisted way of looking at sex. Most men there cannot relate to women in a respectable way and look at them as objects. For sex crimes, their judical system does not enforce consistant rules and the conviction depends on where they stand in society. Most likely this women is destroyed for rest of her life. This young lady probably thinks she's the cause this trouble and eventually lose confidence in life. She needs a good Psychologist. These young thugs that gang raped her, if convicted, should be put away for long time. This is not a acceptable behavior in any society. Maybe this is is reason almost half of the women between 30-40 has never been married.

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Again, someone is raped while they are in school and they only get a slap on the wrist. Were is the justice for the women that was raped not only by 1 man but 6. Who cries for her?

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