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14-year-old boy found dead in apparent suicide at home

35 Comments

A 14-year-old boy apparently hanged himself at his home in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, police said Thursday.

According to police, at around 6:10 a.m. on Wednesday, the mother of the boy who went to a municipal junior high school in Izumi Ward, called 119 to report that her son had hanged himself in his bedroom. He was taken to hospital where he was confirmed dead, Fuji TV reported.

Police said a handwritten note was found on his desk, which had pessimistic statements.

The Sendai City Board of Education said it is investigating to see if the boy was being bullied at school.

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35 Comments
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I'm going to guess it goes something like this: the boy was being bullied. He told his parents about it, and they patted him on the head with a 'yoshi yoshi' and with mom calling the school. The teachers said they hadn't noticed any untoward behaviour, but would keep an eye out. The teachers asked the boy to gather with the bullies and forced them to shake hands. Bullying increased. Teachers pretended not to notice. The boy had nowhere to turn, and with no support, felt this was the way out. The school will deny any knowledge of bullying, and any contact from the parents. The parents will confirm they called the school. The school will then admit the parents called, and bow, and apologize, and say they will keep an eye out for similar behaviour. The BOE will promise transparency and that it will not happen again, saying they did not know about the incident. When it is revealed they did they will bow and apologize, vow transparency, and say it will never happen again. Someone will take a small paycut. Rinse, repeat.

Of course, I could be way off the mark since we have no idea, but it's usually something along those lines. The point is they need a better support system, and regardless of whether this was actually bullying or not, teachers and schools need more discipline power in general, and the ability to kick kids out of school (or suspend them at any rate) who are not listening to the rules and bullying.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I cannot imagine how terrible it would be to come home and find your son had hanged himself. How long would you blame yourself for not noticing what was going on or for not talking more? It would be devastating.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

the tendency to expect only bad outcomes; gloomy; joyless; unhopeful

Sounds more like depression, bullying is too much of a logic jump until we get more information

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Anyone here open to the possibility that it could be pressure from the parents - long study hours, juku etc. - that tipped this kid over the edge?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Truer words have never been said.

What makes you think that Smith's observation is not the most likely scenario?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What makes you think that Smith's observation is not the most likely scenario?

Was thinkin' that too. After reading smithinjapan's post, I thought it was a well articulated comment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No, bullying is a huge problem in Japan too.

@strangerland this is a comment board and smith made sure to include he was just speculating. I don't remember any rule that said speculating was forbidden. You know as well as all of us that an extremely high rate of these case end up being bullying

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"pessimistic statements" sounds like bullying again. So sad.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Smith - Dead on correct. Nice post!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

SmithinJapan said it. Right on,we'll get a version of it. Deja vu even at our local school; if the incident can be buried (rinse!), let's do so. And not a thing changes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You can say the same thing about being a teacher. If you are strict from the beginning, students will obey and respect.

And that is where you fail young patowan! Respect is earned, not commanded! By this statement you believe that intimidation is the key to being a successful teacher? In fact, it is the key to creating monsters! And, it can also lead to students feeling intimidated and bullied, which can result in these kinds of suicides. Please allow me to give you some teaching advice, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!" If you want your students to respect you, you should respect them first!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Depression due to bullying.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sad news. They are not going to stop forever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Gees! I know kids can be cruel to each other, but kids also need to learn to stand up for themselves.

You have to stand tall from the beginning because if you don't, people walk all over you. You can say the same thing about being a teacher. If you are strict from the beginning, students will obey and respect. If you start out easy-going, students walk all over you. I started off easy-going as a student and was sometimes preyed on. I fought back though and the bullies moved on to someone else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't have hope for a change in these institutions as I think the deciders are quite pleased with themselves about they way things are. The teachers and administrators are brainwashed into a shoganai spirit or else they are bullies or depressed themselves. I always raise my eyebrows at students who want to become school teachers. Seems like one of the very worst jobs in Japan unless you go into a special private school with a special philosophy. There are ways to reduce bullying and support youngsters but who really wants to fight for a more humane approach? I'd like to have a reason to think things could get better. I just don't see a lot of real commitment to make something new.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I don't have hope for a change in these institutions..."

If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a...

CHANGE!!

You've got to get it right while you've got the time, because when you close your heart, then you close your...

MIND!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Fadamor - What are you saying? Should we all write the same scenario down that we have seen time and time and time and time again in Japan when smithinJapan said exactly what we were all thinking? We are just giving him credit.

Would you like to propose another scenario that differs from past experiences that we have seen?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@TheGodfather I certainly admire people who keep working for a better world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Sendai City Board of Education said it is investigating to see if the boy was being bullied at school.

I'm sure this will be very efficient and produce great results.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Of course, I could be way off the mark since we have no idea

Truer words have never been said.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The Sendai City Board of Education said it is investigating to see if the boy was being bullied at school...

By the TEACHERS!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I shall remember this boy and his family this morning when I pray in church, as I do every morning, where I remember by own dearly loved one, who passed away from this world in the same way. too many, too many. r.i.p.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

No actual experience here with Japanese school bullying, but I did watch the J drama 35歳の高校生 and it seems some of the descriptions here mirror what were depicted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So sad. I've got two boys myself. Bullying is a part of school life anywhere I'm afraid and it's easy to say stand up to it, be stronger etc. but there are often so many factors involved that it's impossible to say really how best to deal with it. Each case is different. Parents and teachers can only do so much.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I certainly admire people who keep working for a better world"

Arigatou gozaimasu... :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's not an observation - he didn't observe anything. And 'most likely' is irrelevant - this are real people we are talking about - so what actually happened matters, not some speculation.

Sure it is, observation is nothing more than a comment/opinion/speculation about something someone has read, seen, heard, touched, smelled, or any other senses you can think of.

Smith read this article and gave his opinion on what he thinks most likely occurred to fill in the missing gaps of this article. That is an observation by definition.

Why is it irrelevant? This story is incomplete with the details, anything that could help fill in the gaps, including conjecture, would be entirely relevant.

Yes what happened does matter but until that information is released we have nothing else to go on and so the best way to help further our understanding of this story is to make an observation/guess/hypothesize/speculate or whatever word you want to use. The only time this becomes a problem is if we act upon these observations/theories/speculations.

And there is nothing that says criticism of said speculation is forbidden, which is why my comment still stands.

Which begs the question, why do you think Smith's scenario is not the most likely scenario?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A wild dog barks at the moon...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's have an 'hogo shakai" and try to solve the problem which obviously is rampant and nothing is still being done inspite of this 'hogo shakai".....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Jay - The weak minded person who voted your post down is the same type of person who is in fact..... a bully here. Thank you for praying for the boy and his family. You have my utmost respect for even saying that you will and I hope many people will do the same thing, as I will do before I go to bed and when I wake up tomorrow. Shame on that person who voted you down for your comments. They are the problem. I voted you back up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gees! I know kids can be cruel to each other, but kids also need to learn to stand up for themselves.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Of course, I could be way off the mark since we have no idea

What makes you think that Smith's observation is not the most likely scenario?

Was thinkin' that too. After reading smithinjapan's post, I thought it was a well articulated comment.

@Smith - Dead on correct. Nice post!

And the JT judges and juries once again convict without any evidence. At least Smithinjapan made an ATTEMPT to acknowledge we know absolutely nothing about this kid's suicide (albiet after postulating his own take on what happened). The rest of you...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@strangerland this is a comment board and smith made sure to include he was just speculating. I don't remember any rule that said speculating was forbidden.

Which is why his comment still stands. And there is nothing that says criticism of said speculation is forbidden, which is why my comment still stands.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I thought school bullying is exclusively American trade mark,as we see in films,but never imagine such a behavior in Japan,or at least no way to compare with States,but i heard suicide in Japan mostly because of over stressed.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's good to check if he was being bullied at school after he's dead.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What makes you think that Smith's observation is not the most likely scenario?

It's not an observation - he didn't observe anything. And 'most likely' is irrelevant - this are real people we are talking about - so what actually happened matters, not some speculation.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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