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Mother, 1-year-old daughter drown in hot spring in Toyama

44 Comments

A 30-year-old mother and her 1-year-old daughter were found dead Monday night at an open-air spa facility in Asahi, Toyama Prefecture. Shizue Fujii and her daughter Juri were found drowned in the spa around 6:40 p.m.

According to police, the mother, who came to the spa with other families, had been feeling unwell and she seems to have lost consciousness in the spa, while holding her daughter in her arms.

Police said the two were the only ones in the spa at the time of the incident.

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44 Comments
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I bet murder-suicide.

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I'm going for poisonous gas!

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Wow, how did that happen?

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It would be quite easy to pass out in a hot spring, but quite difficult to drown yourself in one I would think.

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Thats a horrible tragedy.

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Smells like murder-suicide to me.

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Well, it's back to an old question whether it's a good idea to take one-year-old babies to a hot spring. As far as I know it isn't, so the next question is, why the mother took her baby there and stayed in a bathtub usually way too hot for babies long enough to pass herself out and drown them both?

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agreed, taking a 1 year old into an onsen is insane. shame

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Taking her into the onsen is not a good idea, but what options does she have?

Baby-sitter or nursery/ creche in the spa?

Leave her in her room, for her to fall out of the balcony, or some other type of accident where the mother was not around to watch over her? Can't win here.

Prolonged heat, peripheral vasodilation as a cooling response, loss of blood to head, fainting, loss of consciousness, slumping into pool, inhalation of water and drowning, daughter pulled under or followed same progression.....

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she seems to have lost consciousness in the spa, while holding her daughter in her arms

What in the hell is wrong with this culture in Japan...?

If you want to kill yourself fine... Have at it!!

But you have NO right to harm or kill anyone else!!!!

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Agreed sad Tragedy.

From the article sounds like the mother didn't feel well to start with. Feel sorry for the rest of the families on the trip.

Said that have been to just such trips where families get-together for a weekend at a resort/onsen, usually great fun Usually you are together at meals and in the evening rest of the day everybody does their own thing.

We took our 2yr old son to the onsen but he was not allowed in the water.

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It seems like an accident not a homicide/suicide.

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onsen water is typically between 42 and 45 degrees, far too hot for an infant

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Incorrect, babies can have a hot spa as long as its only for a short period of time, helps them sleep.

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We see it time and time again...Ignorance Spawns Tragedy. And when it comes to parental skills in Japan, a country that should know better, ingorance seems to be the norm.

Sad indeed.

S

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onsen water is typically between 42 and 45 degrees, far too hot for an infant

Some onsen have lower temperatures for children and people who don't like it that hot.

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recommended temperature for a baby's bath should never be above 39 degrees

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and RoT i said typically

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It seems like an accident not a homicide/suicide.

I'd have to respectfully disagree with you...

You almost here about these murder / suicide incidents every week in Japan... In the U.S. it's usually some distraught husband taking out his EX over a custody dispute or something, and the kids just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in Japan, these parents have this impulse to take their young with them over a bout of depression...

Although, there is slim possibility that she could have just passed out, But it's a pretty slim chance... Japanese are accustomed to taking Onsen baths from a very young age, it's almost baked into their genes.... They can handle their onsen as well as 50 year alcoholic can down 15 beers and seem perfectly fine.

Now if this was some teenage american chick in this same situation, I would be much more inclined to believe that she was sloshed and passed out.

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I took my kids to spas when they were babies and they loved it. Common sense tells you not to put them in the scalding baths (heck, Mum is isn't going in those!), and the tinies find the cooler (but still hot) springs very soothing.

Actually the last few times I've been to an onsen the temperature of the water has been much lower than before; I don't think we can assume that she put the baby in a bath that was too hot.

It sounds as though this mother passed out in the water, as she was feeling unwell. If she was feeling unwell, you'd think some other member of the party would have offered to take the baby off her hands, or go with them to the bath.

Very sad, and I doubt 'parenting skills' had anything to do with it.

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most places don't allow small children. Why this place allows them?

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most places don't allow small children.

Never heard of that.

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Maybe parenting skills had nothing to do with it... but how about common sense "skills" ? If you're feeling unwell, do you go into an onsen and take your 1-year-old with you, alone ? Or do you give the baby to someone else and go lie down? Nausea, headache, dizziness, whatever her unwell condition was, I don't think onsen would make her feel better, so why did she go in and take her baby in with you? Perhaps that's why some people are suspicious.

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take her baby in with HER -- geesh...

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I suppose it depends on how 'unwell' she had been feeling. Splitting headache, violent stomachache, heavy nausea, too dizzy to stand - yes, give the baby to someone else and go lie down is the obvious step to take. But maybe it was just a general feeling of tiredness after the journey? The kind of thing someone might think they'd feel better after a nice relaxing bath? The 'she was feeling unwell' thing could be something no one thought anything about until this happened, and then 'Come to think of it, she did say....'

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Cleo.

Stop making sense and being reasonable. Guys and gals here already tried and judged her just so that they can continue their favorite past-time.

Which is slamming other people.

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I agree with Cleo. Many people feel better after a spa. Its just a very sad accident.

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Wow, you guys honestly insinuate suicide or neglect? I think it was just a tragic accident here. The mother wasn't feeling well and probably went to the hot springs to relax and maybe feel better. Unfortunately she probably did pass out and drown. My sympathies...

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Based on what is written in the "story," I am inclined to believe that this is a case of bad judgement resulting in tragedy. My reason for feeling this way is that drowning as a method of suicide is usually carried out in a body of water that is deep enough to prevent the person having second thoughts. Moreover, having nearly drowned myself on one occasion (after getting caught in mangrove roots), I can tell you that the sense of terror is overwhelming. As such, I don't see how somebody could calmly immerse themselves in such a shallow body of water and wait for the inevitiable.

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I guess the water temperature must be above 42 degrees and she must in water for more than a hour and lost consciousness by heat exhaustion.

Being in 42 degrees for lond time is not safe for adults but safe for children.

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Awe, c'mon! Murder/suicide? Don't be so bloody ridiculous. Clearly she was murdered by the onsen fairies!

It's just another tragic accident that should never have happened. It was more than likely she passed out from heat stroke and drowned with the baby. A consequence of two very stupid mistakes. 1) going to an onsen while ill 2) taking a baby into an onsen.

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Drowning oneself isn't exactly an easy feat. Doing so while holding a baby can't be much easier. Of course, an autopsy may prove otherwise, but it sounds like this was just a tragic accident.

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I agree with the above- your body and brain's instinct for survival will pretty much prevent you drowning yourself in shallow water- you have to be out of your depth. Once you try to inhale water your body spasms violently and you would have a hard time staying under water as shallow as in an onsen. Only small children, or unconscious people drown in shallow water. It's pretty easy to conclude that she just passed out, and was not trying to kill herself or her child.

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I bet you she has been going to an Onsen when ill most of her life and felt better afterwards. All the gaijins here who judge because they have seen pictures of onsens in brochures and heard stories from their pretend Japanese friends should mind their own business. this was an accident or a horrible murder, but definitely not mother/infant suicide. the fact that is even mentioned is a disgrace. Cleo called it right down the middle.

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How many of us have entered a hotspring and then when we got out, felt dizzy? I think it might be rather common. I believe this was just an accident from an unfortunate combination of events that resulted in the death of two people.

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Tragic accident, I'm sure the mother didn't bank on passing out and drowning with her child. Get real people this wasn't a murder suicide.

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no-one knows what happened EXCEPT the mother showed a terrible lack of common sense.

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Betting you do have a point. I use to do a quick dip in the Upper Hot Springs in Banff, Alberta Canada, during the skiing season, & yes often felt a bit dizy.

Thing is finally the light came on THAT was the reason I was with head colds for even in the coldest days, like others, I was hiking in for a shower with my hair all white from being under & above water. Yes I was a bit dumb in my 20s.

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Yeah, like others have said, this is either a tragic accident or a murder. The murder/suicide thing just doesn't hold up.

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I am guessing she just felt relaxed and fell asleep in the hot springs. Other family members should have gone in with her, but I guess they never thought about that...

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FOr those of you who seem not to understand that the onsen is hot and while sitting there, you dehydrate your body, that is why some feel dizzy after standing up to exit. This seems nothing more then an accident, regretful but it is only that. If you are feeling ill of anykind, the onsen is not the way to go, lay down in your bed.

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To me it looks like an accident.

Ok, scenario here: She started to feel dizzy/sicker stood up slipped and hit her head becoming unconscious. Just as viable as the murder/suicide and even murder scenarios posted here.

Like I said before, I have been on such trips before. Sounds like she and her child traveled alone to spend a weekend/day with friend/families.

She hit the spa by herself as she had no other female companion with her, who most likely had a great time with their kids doing other stuff. Guys and gals bath separate here(most times).

I know that because I am asked to go this year because I am available and can take care of the 6+yr olds guys who can no longer join their mothers on the womens side.

Bad situation as NOBODY else joined the spa at a time that could have saved her. Which also excludes murder as those outdoor spas are freely accessible and people can come and go at any moment.

Just my view.

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Nobody around to notice her? or was she in a seperate bathtub (some onsen have those) Otherwise i am clueless how this could have happened and usually Onsen workers regularly come to check and clean stuff.

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She was found at 6:40pm. Most of the other guests would still be at dinner, and the baths would be pretty empty. She may even have chosen a slack time so that having the baby with her wouldn't inconvenience other bathers.

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