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Bullying suspected as cause of 16-year-old boy's suicide

32 Comments

A 16-year-old high school boy who committed suicide in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, may have been bullied, school officials said Thursday.

The boy, who was a member of the baseball club at Sogo Gijutsu High School, had told his parents that he wanted to quit the club on the day before he killed himself, NTV reported. The boy hanged himself at his home sometime before 6:30 a.m. in Feb 24.

The school's baseball team is quite famous for its outstanding performance in the Spring National Invitational High School Baseball Tournament.

The school's headmistress told reporters that earlier this month, the boy's belongings from his locker were found strewn about when he came to school after being absent the previous day. He told his parents that he had been harassed by other baseball club members about his absence.

Baseball club members have admitted bullying the boy, NTV reported.

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32 Comments
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when will the Japanese as a whole learn that bullying is not the answer to achieve excellence?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I hope that stories like this will make at least a few people see that there is a dark side to always expecting people to not take days of of school/work for the sake of the 'group' because sometimes it just isn't possible. One day of work or practice should not effect a good office or team negatively, and we need to teach our children some compassion. Rest in peace young man, sorry that no one was able to see your pain and help you see that you should never let the bullies win.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This makes me sick. What kind of society breeds this contempt? And its pointless and fruitless self-sacrifice? There's something wrong here, and it concerns me greatly.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Let me guess.... the school will hold a PR session, where some group of people in dark suits will bow deeply towards the reporters and cameras, along with repeated vows that this won't happen again......

meanwhile, the bullys will not be punished, nothing will change, and the who damn thing will repeat itself again at another school in 4-6 months.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Japan will not change. If the J-goverment cared, you will not see 30,000 people a year in Japan that has committed suicides in the past 15 years in row. The J-goverment just don't care if these people commit suicides. The statistics cannot lie. Alot of these young adults have hard time fitting in with the norm and there are only very few doctors to help these people that have problems. For Japaense families, if you come forward with a problem, it's more about shame that your family member has depression. Japan is a society that places great importance of belonging, and suicide may be seen by those involved as a way to overcome the kind of alienation that comes with being a social outcast.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Not another one ..... RIP. I hope the authorities take appropriate action against the bully and his/her parents.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here's hoping that the Spring National Invitational High School Baseball Tournament Association refuses to allow the team to participate this year so these bullies can be made an example out of. Absolutely disgusting.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This makes me sick. What kind of society breeds this contempt?

uhh, bullying is an unfortunate reality in practically every country in the world.

The J-goverment just don't care if these people commit suicides.

the gov't is no more able to prevent suicide than it is able to prevent global warming. they can give people as much info as possible, but it is ultimately up to individuals to make their own choices.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

it is the decay of a society that at its core can not care for the well being of its youth. Bully behavior does not stop with school as I see many salarymen and women bullied and emotionally abused by others who use this and a gang mentality tactic to lift themselves above others. In a country that is so humble and polite to strangers and is so socially sophisticated in many ways that westerners admire and yet do not understand... there is no excuse for not having more programs, films and now social media campaigns that address and work to stop this age old.. disrespect for others and one self.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Been here just for two years but really sad to read this kind of news.. So..I made a point to ask my 12years son~ how is school today ~ tell me if there is~ are you happy~ It's important to make connection with our children..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Don't be so quick to assume he felt bullied by other students. The rigorous training schedule and intimidatory training practices of being a member of a high school baseball club are enough to push anybody to suicide. Two hours training on the mornings before school, two to three hours after school, four or five days a week and games on Sundays. All that plus, keeping your school grades at an acceptable level. They don't eat well, they don't sleep well, they are under constant pressure from the coach to perform. Anybody is gonna crack under that kind of pressure. It must be Ike being in one of those bad boy camps in China.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

uhh, bullying is an unfortunate reality in practically every country in the world.

Yes, but not to the level that it is in Japan. It's institutionalized here. It happens to some level in pretty much every organization in the country

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A few years ago I met my son on the way home from school, watched 2 6th-graders bullying him he was in 2nd-grade at that time.

Stepped in and the 6th- graders told me it is the norm and a privilege to bully younger kids. Called a meeting with the principal and their parents, told them if it happens again I will take the bullies personally to the police and lay charges against the parents and school and make it public.

Parents were shocked and admitted they knew little about their offsprings doing. No problem after that. Kids and parents never knew my son was a hafu.

RIP, to the 16yr old.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not to sound hardhearted or anything but I'm wondering if students are seeing these suicides in the media and it is encouraging them to do so themselves. Giving them an escape from their difficult lives. Bullying is bad, but I wonder if it is the straw that broke the camels back. Students here really need another outlet. Counseling, mentors, etc.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Have to agree with the idea that there is something fundamentally wrong at the core here. We all know the way this society is, but they continue to breed the same practices with no real solutions ever mentioned. Bowing and giving an apology does not deal with the problem. Things get more frustrating by the day here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bullying is a pervasive problem in Japan's highly regimented school system. Pupils who are different from their classmates are often the victims, and frequently are reluctant to admit the bullying to parents or teachers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bullying is a major issue in pretty much all parts of the world as said above, and frankly bullies are scum. I don't really care what their background history is but to cause problems for others who haven't done anything to you is wrong on so many levels. Death is a means of escape and the people who suicide can be classified as either selfish or backed up against a wall. Even family cannot be counted on as reliable let alone teachers or counselors sometimes. That's why at these times, friends are the best source of support although some people don't have such social connections or they end up hanging around the wrong people. Being a shut-in is also a means of escape. A few of Japanese society's rules are to blame. Some of their values need to be fixed up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If one of the government's officals child commeted suicide then it might be taken seriously, however, who would dare bully their cyhild.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This once you're a club member you can never escape thing is really weird. You try a sport, find you don't like it/you're no good at it, but you're stuck there for the next three years, several hours a day before and after school, at the weekends and during the so-callled holidays. Expressing a desire for a change is like you're betraying the whole of the rest of the club. One of my daughter's friends in junior high joined the swimming club and after a few months she had to stop swimming for medical reasons, a condition that was not going to clear up anytime soon. Instead of doing the sensible thing and letting her join a less physical club, like needlework or pottery or whatever, or even letting her go home and get some rest, the school had her sitting beside the pool 'supporting her team members'. Sport and exercise - which should be a safety valve for kids needing to let off steam - instead becomes a pressure cooker.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well the schools drill into the kids that sports is the most important thing in their lives, so this terrible event is the school's fault.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@star-viking Not just the school is at fault - J-society doesn't seem concerned either - seriously there is a lack of real empathy around .The best way to move this forward is talk to mention it to as many people as you can.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

True.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I say if the bullies were on the team i would make them spend to hours per day at the grave site of he victim and them have thm go practice baseball as a reminder of what their selfish acts lead to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sweeping the problem under the rug was the action men in suits always excelled at. This time I hope something changes because these days Japan probably can't afford to ignore problem like this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Teach children kindness and compassion to others at an early age. It needs to start from home and school that has been forgotten in Japan.

Also J. Government is not working hard enough to impose proper anti bullying laws in society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2013 was 27,195. That equal out to 74 suicides per day, or 1 every 20 minutes. The pressure in Japan is unbearable for those who can not make in stressful society.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

weak

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

felix88Mar. 01, 2014 - 06:59AM JST

weak

Bully is weak and coward. A real man is very kind and compassionate in leadership skill. That's why they are called "gentlemen". You are not learning a core value of Eagle Scout and I assume YOU ARE NOT.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, I'm not and I don't care, growing up in what you guys call 3rd world I've been through worse stuffs from 1st grade up until high school, I never think of killing myself and sent one of my bully to the hospital in high school instead. If you can't stand up to bullies in high school, you in for a world of hurt in the world. Kids these day need strong father figures to prepare them for these kind of things.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is an interesting take on the problem! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo0SHLxc2d0&feature=share

0 ( +0 / -0 )

felix88Mar. 01, 2014 - 09:26AM JST

Yes, I'm not and I don't care, growing up in what you guys call 3rd world I've been through worse stuffs from 1st grade up until high school, I never think of killing myself and sent one of my bully to the hospital in high school instead. If you can't stand up to bullies in high school, you in for a world of hurt in the world. Kids these day need strong father figures to prepare them for these kind of things.

Once you forgive others who were mean to you in the past, then you set yourself free forever. Good luck with that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Real education starts always at home from an early age by teaching good moral values and behavior, respect to one self and others, teaching our kids to think, and also becoming good and firm parent figures for our children to follow. As well as to teach our kids in how to defend themselves both physically and mentally in case there's no responsible adults around to help them. Some people out there might not use reason and that's when we have to refer to the proper authorities about the bulling incidents for a best solution in order to solve the problem. And if that doesn't work, then we have to defend ourselves with some physical action in the event than words, proper reasoning with the bully/ies, and verbal warning don't work on them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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