Ashikaga High School Photo: Wikipedia/あばさー
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High school volleyball player beaten by coach, teammates for violating no-dating rule

26 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

While it’s become common knowledge that many Japanese talent agencies prohibit idol singers from dating, there are similar rules in place at some Japanese high schools. The logic is that teens should be focusing on their studies and wholesome extra-curricular activities, as opposed to squandering their precious youth trying to get a date (when exactly they are supposed to become interested in romantic companionship is a question anti-dating schools quietly sidestep in its entirety).

Tochigi Prefecture’s Ashikaga High School isn’t so strict as to have a blanket ban on dating, but its boys volleyball team, a regular competitor at national championship tournaments, does set internal limits on its members’ love lives. Players aren’t allowed to date anyone else involved with the volleyball program, such as the equipment managers, who in Japan are usually female students, so as to prevent jealousy and animosity from breeding among teammates.

However, young love isn’t always so easily contained, and one boy on the team, a 17-year-old second-year student, began dating a first-year female student equipment manager. Their tryst was discovered, though, and it’s now come to light that on June 29, the 66-year-old coach confronted the boy about violating the team’s internal rule. After telling the boy to kneel on the floor in the traditional Japanese style, he began to berate the teen for his actions, kicking him in the chest repeatedly and striking him on the back when he toppled over, angrily declaring “This is corporal punishment.”

Ashikaga High School principal Shigekazu Matsushita relayed all this at a press conference held on Nov 30. In addition to the above incident, the boy was assaulted multiple times by his teammates both in the dormitory in which he lived and in the school gymnasium.

Sadly, real life doesn’t always operate like a feel-good youth sports movie, and despite the deplorable actions of the coach and players involved in the attacks, it’s been another successful year for Ashikaga’s volleyball team, which once again earned entry to the national high school tournament, scheduled to take place between Jan 4 and 8. Matsushita announced that the coach will not be travelling with the team to the venue, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Startlingly, the coach will not be fired for the incident, though the school says he regrets his actions. Instead, he’ll be allowed to serve out his current contract until its end at the conclusion of the school year in spring (the school has said his contract will not be renewed). Matsushita also said that the attacks on the boy by his teammates “are not recognized as incidents of bullying” by the school, one of the more reprehensible denials of bullying in recent memory.

Making things even more troubling is that in 2008, in a separate incident, a pair of third-year students who were members of Ashikaga’s volleyball team were expelled after months of assaulting their underclassmen teammates, including punching them and scalding one student’s face with hot water in the dorm’s shower facility, because they “had been playing poorly” or “had bad attitudes.” The two third-year students were subsequently expelled (it’s unclear whether the team’s current coach was also in charge of the team at the time).

However, there is a happy ending, of sorts, in that both the recently assaulted boy and the manager have since left the team.

Sources: Livedoor News/Sankei News via Jin, Eduon

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© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
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"Startlingly, the coach will not be fired for the incident..."

Ummm..., no. This is Japan. Not startling at all. In fact, he's due for a raise and extended contract, I'd think.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Startlingly, the coach will not be fired for the incident, though the school says he regrets his actions. Yep good ol Japan with its culture of bullying disgusting ,the teacher and team mates should be charged with assault.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

So the coach felt that the no dating rule is so important that beating the student and encouraging the team to beat him was "normal" all are complicit in the abuse of a male student who did a normal thing, a human thing form an attachment with another person. The brutality, systematic brutality that's endemic and overseen by elders gives children no chance of being happy or ever being having a normal adult life.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Startlingly, the coach will not be fired for the incident, though the school says he regrets his actions. Instead, he’ll be allowed to serve out his current contract until its end at the conclusion of the school year in spring (the school has said his contract will not be renewed). Matsushita also said that the attacks on the boy by his teammates “are not recognized as incidents of bullying” by the school, one of the more reprehensible denials of bullying in recent memory.

Funny how these things come to light before major tournaments! In this case it IS justified and not the case of some kid seeking revenge either!

It's assault, the parents should file a complaint and the dude tossed in jail! THAT would be a great object lesson for other so-called "coaches" throughout the country who pull the same guano!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Coaches beating on and abusing their charges isn't just limited to Japan.

Disgraceful.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

After telling the boy to kneel on the floor in the traditional Japanese style, he began to berate the teen for his actions, kicking him in the chest repeatedly and striking him on the back when he toppled over

Matsushita also said that the attacks on the boy by his teammates “are not recognized as incidents of bullying” by the school

?! This is disgraceful! Have I read this story correctly?? How on earth has this teacher, and the school bullies, not been arrested for their assaults? The police must be aware of this?

Players aren’t allowed to date anyone else involved with the volleyball program, such as the equipment managers, who in Japan are usually female students

Why create this potential in the first place? Why place young girls in duties alongside the boys team?

However, there is a happy ending, of sorts, in that both the recently assaulted boy and the manager have since left the team.

How can this be a happy ending? The assaulted student and the young girl had to leave the team because of the assaults. Nothing less.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I guess this will make the morning, afternoon, evening news non stop for the next 2 weeks like that other OMG violent action.

I mean if society is truly serious about, bullying, harrassment, standover-ism, abuse and violence in sports, where better a place to begin than at the early stages in schools.

Then I wouldn't have to be privy to incidents like a few years back where the baseball coach of a "famous" baseball highschool in these parts, brought a student to his knees with 3 perfectly executed right hooks to the side of the head. My friend, who was very disturbed by it all, was advised not lay formal complaints as the attention might affect his family.

Sorry, but I don't know any other "modern" society where this violence occurs regularly - that of serious abuse meted out to kids under the name of tough love or guidance. It probably does, but I've never got a whiff - not in the last 30 years anyway.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yep, many societies have abandoned the tough love model realising the future cost well out ways the benifits. But it's Japan and even 2 nuclear bombs and a nuclear meltdown won't change anything. From Sumo to funeral bulling is endemic a society who's best happiest time is bullying juniors. Even the suggestion of mentoring is met with teeth sucking. I believe the term Bizarre is too good a term.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Just another story that reminds us that Japan is really a weird country with equally weird people....

Prohibition of dating in certain high schools or activities for students who should instead at this age basically start to enjoy to do that (prohibition that would also constitute a violation of fundamental freedom in any country with rational people), the absence of punishment after corporal punishments and physical assaults, everything is there.....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

In a normal country the police would have been involved PRONTO! But TIJ, not even a mention,  while a high school student is assaulted multiple times by a supposed COACH & supposed  team mates.........  I am sick & tired of reading similar stories non-stop now for close to 30yrs!

Thank goodness I didn't grow up here, I played LOTS of sports in & out of school, but in Japan I likely wouldn't have participated much if at all, the bullying is so much a part of sports & life in general here, what a sad sad place to grow up

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I really don't like the satirical tone of the article. This is a very serious incident. It's nothing more than common assault and the fact that it was lead by a teacher makes it even worse! However, this being Japan, the society run on bullying, intimidation and thuggery, I am in no way surprised there is no penalty for the teacher or the other students involved in the assault.

I also think the school's rule of no dating would be in breech of civil liberties and the parents really need to take a close look at the school's contract. I don't know of anybody that didn't date when I went to high school. That was one of the best things about high school. I've been teaching in high schools and colleges in Japan for over 15 years and have worked in over 25 different schools, public and private. I cannot count the amount of times I've been disciplined by the schools because because the students were having too much fun and actually enjoying their schooling. Japanese private high schools are more like a prison than a school.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

a 66 year old beating up children, some life..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Laws? What laws?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

" the 66-year-old coach" at 66 he should be retired.

Bullying seems to endemic in Japanese schools, this attitude needs to stop pretty soon, but I can't see that happening soon as it seems to be tradition, but hang on guys arnt we in the 21 century? as far as the kicking him the chest and beating him oh his back, I am sorry but that is just common assault, If this had happened in a UK school the poor old teacher would have been visited by the parents and I am sure that the teacher would have had the same treatment dished out to him. and this "no dating policy" I am sure that if this was implemented her in the UK, I am sure no one would turn up for the games meetings! No wonder Japan has so many mental health issues it seems to start off at an very early age, and the repressive attitude carries on through school live and then onto work the place, and then passed onto the children of there families and the cycle goes on.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Instead, he’ll be allowed to serve out his current contract until its end at the conclusion of the school year in spring (the school has said his contract will not be renewed).

In other words, they're firing him without any fears of liability. The coach could indeed sue the school would he be fired on the spot, as he probably did not breech any major rule by his behaviour.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Poor bloke! Funnily enough, in a different country he would have been hailed a hero by his teammates for sh***ing the team manager ;)

Have to say, as much as I find this story sad/wrong on so many levels I am also gobsmacked and 'impressed' (I guess) by these young lads self-discipline (well except our young hero). They're just pushing it wayyyy too far though. As for the 66yo coach, he obviously has no idea how to manage/coach a team with different personalities. Should be sacked.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Ebisen - in other words, they're firing him without any fears of liability. 

No, that's not quite right. This old fella has greased enough palms over the years to ensure a fat severance payment and pension. The high school does not disagree with his actions, so they are gonna let him retire with his cash. I know for a fact that, if this had happened in Australia, the teacher would have been fired and disbarred immediately and both he and the students would be facing criminal assault charges. As I keep saying, Japan keeps its crime rate low by not making incidents like this a crime.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It is... It is so full of degenerates... I am astonished every time...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I hope this gets some speed as national news and makesenough noise so that those worthless officials can't ignore it anymore.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

kicking him in the chest repeatedly and striking him on the back when he toppled over

If I did this to someone in public, I think I'd be arrested for assault. So when are the cops going to come knocking on this scumbag's door. And it they don't, when is the boy's father going to inflict a similar punishment on the coach. I can think of a few things I'd like to do to the person who hurt my child!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Brutal assault takes place and the perpetrators get away with it. Welcome to Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And this is why kids here jump off roofs and the schools deny any knowledge of the cause-well, here is a possible cause!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The other weird thing here, which I touched upon earlier, is this constant employment of young girls as kit managers or team managers in boys school teams in volleyball, baseball etc. This is the problem my friends. If you think relationships in the teams will create jealousy or favouritism, then don't employ the girls in the first place! I understand that Koshien lost its patience with this practice last year.

And it reminds me very much of office environments in Japan. These office 'teams' comprised of male managers always employ the young cute girls to accompany them to business meetings or to sit in the office looking pretty and doing these laborious jobs such as photocopying or making tea. No different to these sports team roles as kit managers or team managers.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Want to start to end bullying in Japan? The coach should be fired and the teammates that participated removed from the team. The team can finish the season without the offenders. And the no dating rule should be banned at all schools.

Unfortunately I don't expect this to happen.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

And this is why kids here jump off roofs and the schools deny any knowledge of the cause

A very serious point from kuri.

When my son played for a baseball team we soon discovered that it wasn't really about playing baseball, but about washing cups and attending to the regular cleaning rosters. He lost his desire to play baseball. I see it in my working life. The mindless service to respect cleaning schedules and managers being rude to their staff. Its the 'KY' law, where the team get upset with anyone who does anything outside of the expectation to be mute and brainless. This country has serious psychological and suicidal issues that all come from this.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@Cricky bulling is endemic a society who's best happiest time is bullying juniors.

Agree......I don't believe Japanese understand what the problem with bullying is, but I keep mentioning it and have some converts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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