Photo: Wikipedia/Lionel Rigal

High school kendo coach caught forcing students to pay birthday-tribute money

By Ingrid Tsai, SoraNews24

Extracurricular activities are common, if not sometimes mandatory, in Japan for middle school and high school students. Whether it’s getting some exercise or pursuing something one is personally interested in, club time should ideally be fun and engaging. However, for one kendo club, participating students were forced to cough up money for their coach’s birthday.

Supervising a kendo club in Ehime Prefecture’s Ozu city, the 61-year-old individual was recently caught by school authorities for making all 29 members pay 5,000 yen each in tribute for his birthday. In total, he pocketed 145,000 yen from the poor students. And while this event itself is horrifying, the extortion didn’t end there.

Since 2009, the offending coach has demanded money from high school students to celebrate his birthday six times. Students who didn’t pay were excluded from participating in kendo competitions whereas students who paid more money than was demanded were treated favorably. and if the total amount of money collected was not to the coach’s liking, he would rebuke the club captain as a show of aggression.

Netizens quickly took to Twitter to express their shock and disgust at the man’s horrendous behavior:

“Wow, his heart must be strong… to not die from the shame of extorting students for money.”

“Soooo is he gonna get arrested or not?”

“Like a high school bully shaking down the pockets of his kohai…”

Thankfully, the school has already dismissed the coach as of April 16, though it’s unknown whether he will be pursued with further charges or be even arrested. Hopefully he never supervises youngsters again and the affected students receive a new and much kinder coach in the near future for an amazing form of martial arts.

Source: YouTube/ANNnewsCH via Livedoor News/Abema Times via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese teacher apologizes for peeing on students’ futon during club retreat

-- High schooler “forced” to quit school sues Kumamoto prefecture for a single yen

-- Hilariously intense kendo match shows off the psychological side of the samurai sport 【Video】

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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You guys! Again? Oh, gosh. You shouldn’t have!” It’s like asking your ‘friends’ to throw you a “surprise party”.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Looks like he had to “remind them” every 2 years or so.

- “Since 2009”, the offending coach demanded money from students to celebrate his birthday “six times.” -

On the alternate years, the students were more “conscientious”. Probably another ’virtuehe instilled in their ‘training’.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

He should be investigated further more for other illegal activities, guaranteed there are several more based on this fact.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Strange that he’s not named and shamed.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

And the parents didn't realize something was strange? This guy should lose his teaching license and also should be charged.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Agreed @Mark 7:24am. What about the other five or six birthdays?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

”Tip of the iceberg”? @Mark 7:24am

“¥5000 x 29(+/-) = ¥145,000. Only 6 birthdays? How about 12 years with 12 birthdays?” -

6 ( +6 / -0 )

At 61 I would speculate the guy has been doing it for long time. Just in the past the amounts were much smaller.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Sorry, @dbsaiya 7:33am How should this be any different. The government doesn’t even take the ‘teaching licenses’ away from ‘known pedophiles’ that can then migrate from school district to school district without any criminal background checks or a National Convicted Sex Offenders List.

- “And the parents didn't realize something was strange? This guy should lose his teaching license and also should be charged.” -

Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the school board and ‘selective’ prosecution. The board will make an apology, offering “We will endeavor to ensure there is no ‘such’ reoccurrence”.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Its Japan. He will say he was drunk and will be back to teaching in no time!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This extortion had been going on since 2009. Who would not have known about it?

This coach was extorting in absolute broad daylight. But everyone from the administration to parents apparently kept quiet.

This coach broke the law but he wasn't arrested. I wonder if even the tax people took an interest in this.

The long silence has been deafening.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just odd so odd, where did he even get the idea? And how did he finally get caught did one of this years students report him?

3 ( +3 / -0 )


You should keep dreaming as well.

Unless the parents are adamant about pursuing further charges, and I hope they are, it will end with him being fired. He'll be at another school in a different district. It happens all the time.

Maybe he'll stop extorting students, or maybe not.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Extortion is a crime, and he and the school and BOE should be held accountable, criminally and financially!

ALL the money must be returned, and the "coach" should be spending time rolling hand towels in an enclosed supervised facility for a period of at least as long as he has been doing this!

(Yeah I know, it wont happen, but one can dream!)

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I know a few kendo coaches in that area. I wonder what his name is and why the article didn't reveal it.

I pay a lot of money for my kid's school club with various fees. I'd better check them more carefully so I don't end up paying for the coach's birthday present, income tax, or hair transplant or something.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The surprising thing here is how blatant it is calling it birthday money. I don't know why the same money wasn't charged as "zappi" (various expenses), travel expenses, printing expenses or something. I almost admire the honesty. The article is sensationalist and moronic in saying he is shaking down the kids, because it is obvious that it wiil be the parents paying. Just as they will be paying for kendo equipment provided from the official club supplier and not the cheapest place they can find on Rakuten.

My kid's ballet teacher charges for the yearly performance (usually around October) on January 1st, so anyone who quits at the start of the school year in April ends up paying for a future event they are not going to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He's simply teaching them how succeeding in Japan works. The more you pay your senpai, the more favour you gain.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I would rather pay ¥5000 than having my wrist broken by a kendo stick. He will spend the money on cigarettes and alcohol and probably get cancer. What goes around, comes around.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is the truest of the Japanese. All else is phoney.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ask every student who paid to come forward then, even if it takes years, make him pay back the full amount to each of them along with a written apology.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, that will probably called baasutoribuhara.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a legend!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If I had been a student with him and had been "fired" out of competitions, it would have made me use my stick but outside the club to recover that money.

Herd mentality is a strength collectively, not at individual level which kendo should teach.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its shocking that this went on for so long. However, perhaps the "birthday money" was seen by some parents as compensation for the coach's time volunteering. Doesn't sound like he was a teacher at the school, but just an outside volunteer from the community. I assume that the students were afraid to report the coach because it would be obvious who told the authorities (because they hadn't paid) and they may have feared the consequences.

Even parents though don't often question behavour like this from oyaji coaches. If a coach is making the students practice more than 6 days a week etc, parents rarely get involved with what goes on at "crub".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another fine example of Teacher , they are a special type of person arn't they !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since 2009, the offending coach has demanded money from high school students to celebrate his birthday six times.

Thankfully, the school has already dismissed the coach as of April 16, though it’s unknown whether he will be pursued with further charges or be even arrested.

Yes. Thankfully. And it only took about 13 years to do it.

What does "dismissed" even mean? Was he fired or arrested? Or just "sent to" the BOE head office to work where they put the other embarrassing teachers? But of course, still receive full pay and benefits.........

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Par for the course in hierarchy-obsessed Japan. The pyramid of stercus is all about trickle down: you take crap from your "superior" until it's your turn to give crap to your "inferior".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In my job, there's a practice where the human resources department would collect money from the employees to buy management-level bosses gifts. When I was a new hire, I'd always give, but I've noticed that the gifts they give was too cheap for the collected amount, and there was no party afterwards. So in the succeeding years, I would not give when they asked and was always given the stink eye by the people around me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He should be investigated further more for other illegal activities

I expect he had a whip-around

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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