Junior high school judo teacher is charged and disciplinary dismissed for seriously injuring a student; punishments for injuring students have begun to change

December 15, 2020
Kobe Shinbun NEXT

Judo violence has finally been taken seriously. When a junior high school judo club teacher (50) was charged with inflicting bodily injury on November 2, Ms. Kobayashi (71), former Secretary of the Japan Judo Accident Victims Association, nodded approvingly. “This is the first time a person who injured someone using judo techniques at a school hall was charged with inflicting bodily injury.”

She recalled her anger from 16 years ago. Her son, a judo club member at a junior high school in Yokohama, was called by a judo coach to attend practice after he had declined recruitment to a high school. The coach, who had lost face, repeatedly threw him on the mat and used strangling techniques. Her son lost consciousness, developed acute subdural hematoma and still suffers severe complications. The case was referred to the prosecutor on suspicion of inflicting bodily injury but the teacher was released. The Kobayashi family was told that the coach’s action did not go beyond reasonable use of force applied during judo practice.

“People are beginning to recognize violence hidden behind judo practice as a criminal act,” said Ms. Kobayashi. However, it is unclear how many people actually oppose of teachers using violence when teaching students.

In 2019, a volleyball club student of a high school in Amagasaki had his eardrum ruptured and fainted when a coach slapped him hard. The questionnaire carried out by the Amagasaki Board of Education indicated that 34 students of the same high school and 348 students of all high schools in the city had experienced physical punishment in the last 6 years. 40% of the 1486 people who were questioned by the Kobe Shinbun indicated that corporal violence is either necessary or necessary to some extent.

A man in his 20’s said when the coach from his high school soccer club constantly scolded him and made him jog for miles, he became depressed and was absent from school. However, he said the coach had given him the strength to withstand stresses. Another man, in his 40’s, said he had been slapped dozens of times by the coach at his high school judo club, which made him recognize he was not focusing during training.

There are people who endure or accept violence. Opinion of many people indicated that a teacher’s violent action should be accepted if they have affection for their students. The above case, where the teacher was charged, may simply be the tip of the iceberg.


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