The Memorial Day For The End Of The War and My Grandparents’ Memory

On the 15th, it was the Memorial Day For The End Of the WWII.

No ordinary Japanese had known this, on that day they’ve told to come in front of the radio, then (secretly recorded) emperor’s voice started. It was difficult to hear what he meant(I hear quality of broadcast was not good) but grown-up understood the war was over, some began to sob. Children sensed that by watching adults.

BTW, my grandfather who passed away 3 years ago in the age of 101 was once served Army. He fought against China in Japan-China War, he didn’t talk about it much but perhaps desperate for participating the war. He lost his men in the battle, as well as Chinese enemy. He used to live in China(Manchuria) and missed there in later life.

In the WWII he was in the intelligent sector.

After the war he got married and became a farmer, broke the land alone and made it to rice fields or veggie fields. He was late 30s then. There were lots of critical moments when rice for family was gone then. When we visited, both of grandparents looked very happy, my grandfather let us ride his tractor, gave us lots of vegetables or fruits.

But in the calm and happy life, he could never forget about the war. Used to read lots about it alone and silently, and according to my mother, one day he just said “how absurd!”.

I hear even among Nazi members there were family oriented men. I’m not saying every Japanese soldiers were actually good men(But too much exaggerated in bad way, especially in the film industry, I suppose). Just saying in every country involved in every war, there are some portion of honest people and they suffer for a long time after the war. In that sense, I’m proud of him being such a hard-working, modest, honest and thoughtful person.

Lastly, my grandmother already sensed that Japan was losing the war around in 1945. Perhaps it’s not only her thinking in that way.

Below link has extensive information about the war.

56 years ago

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Animated “Barefoot Gen”, Remembrance of Hiroshima A-Bomb Suffering

Many ppl know the name of “Hiroshima(memorial day 6th of August)” and “Nagasaki(9th of August)”, but not many foreign people know what actually happened.

This animation was originally manga, and author actually suffered A-bomb. On animating, some details are changed. You cannot make an actual movie and express cruelness like that…

Both English and Español are available. Latter version is full.

Barefoot Gen, Hiroshima Destroyed

Gen Pies Descalzos 1 Subtitulos en Español

Bullied Boy’s Suicide Following News

Responding to some Googits…

Shiga police search school, city office over suicide of bullied boy

July 12, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

OTSU, Shiga Prefecture–Police searched a municipal junior high school and the Otsu government office on July 11 in connection with the suicide of a student who had been relentlessly bullied by his classmates.

Prefectural police seized 130 items, including a teacher’s daybook and documents on student guidance, from the principal’s room, teachers’ office and the municipal education board’s office.

Specifically, they were trying to gather evidence for assault charges against three classmates of the 13-year-old boy over an incident at an athletics stadium in Otsu in late September last year.

“It is extremely regrettable that police searched the school. But we want to cooperate fully with the police investigation,” Otsu Mayor Naomi Koshi said in a statement released on July 11.

The boy killed himself on Oct. 11 last year by jumping from an apartment building that his family was living in. Six days later, the school conducted a questionnaire survey on all of its students to find the reason for the suicide.

Based on the results of the survey, the school admitted that the boy had suffered from bullying but concluded that a cause-and-effect relationship between the suicide and the bullying was unclear.

In February 2012, the boy’s parents filed a lawsuit with the Otsu District Court against the Otsu city government and the three classmates, demanding 77.2 million yen (about $965,000) in compensation. The city government indicated that it would fight the parents’ lawsuit.

Early this month, however, sources revealed the extent of the bullying against the boy by citing replies in the questionnaire survey, including, “The boy’s teacher turned a blind eye (to the bullying)” and “The boy was forced to do ‘practice’ suicide.”

The revelations prompted the Otsu city government to set up a third-party committee to reinvestigate the incident.

Police also came under fire after it was revealed that from October to December 2011, the boy’s father tried three times to submit a report to the Otsu Police Station about the classmates’ violence against the boy. Police refused to act on the report, saying the allegations cannot be confirmed.

The Shiga prefectural police and the Otsu Police Station became inundated with critical telephone calls and e-mail messages.

Twenty-four officers took part in the July 11 searches. They also received the results of the questionnaire survey and questioned several officials of the school and the municipal education board. They plan to question students, other teachers and education board members.

“It is rare for a school to be searched by police in relation to an investigation into bullying,” an education ministry official said.

Mayor Koshi said on July 10 that the Otsu city government now intends to reach an out-of-court settlement with the boy’s parents.

“I think the boy killed himself due to the bullying. We will investigate his case on the belief that there was a cause-and-effect relationship (between the bullying and the suicide),” Koshi told reporters.

According to the education ministry, 75,295 bullying cases were reported by schools throughout the country in fiscal 2010, up 2,517 from the previous fiscal year.

However, the ministry says the increase was not caused by a spread of bullying but by the schools’ heightened efforts to deal with such cases.

The ministry compiled the statistics by gathering reports from education boards throughout the country. Those subject to the survey were elementary, junior high and senior high schools and schools whose students require special assistance.

The fiscal 2010 figure did not include schools in the three prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, which were seriously damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

By Akiko Fujita ABC news

Jul 17, 2012 10:25am

City Apologizes to Family of Bullied Teen Who Committed Suicide

Facing mounting public scrutiny for their handling of a bullying case that drove a 13 year old boy to commit suicide, the Japanese city of Otsu signaled they would settle a lawsuit filed by the victim’s parents today, acknowledging for the first time a direct link between the harassment and the teenager’s death.

Defense lawyer Yuichi Shiraki offered an emotional apology on behalf of the city, outside a packed courthouse.

“The school’s insufficient actions and probe by the board of education…led family members and the victim to the depths of despair, leaving no choice but death,” Shiraki said, his head deeply bowed. “On behalf of the city of Otsu, I deeply apologize.”

The acknowledgement came less than a week after police launched an investigation into the boy’s suicide last fall, amid growing suspicions the school and board of education tried to cover up the incident.

The middle school student jumped from his 14th floor apartment last October after enduring excessive bullying at the hands of his classmates. In an anonymous survey conducted by Otsu’s board of education, students reported the victim was pressured into shoplifting, had his legs and arms tied while bullies duck-taped his mouth. Some reportedly watched as their classmates forced the teen to eat dead bees, “pantsed” him, and forced him to “practice” committing suicide. Other students reported seeing teachers join in on the harassment, laughing at the victim as he was choked.

In one of his last acts, the victim texted his tormentors and left voice mails saying, “I’m going to die.” They texted him back to say, “You should die.”

Those revelations sparked national outrage with angry parents accusing teachers of looking the other way.

The number of bullying cases have declined in recent years, according to data from the Education Ministry, but critics argue those figures just provide a snapshot of the scope of the problem, since many victims are too afraid to come forward.

On Monday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda denounced bullying as an “embarrassing and dirty” act, during a live interview with Fuji-TV. He then addressed the victims directly.

“There are people who care about you. I promise you there are people who want to protect you,” he said. “Please believe that and report the abuse to your father, mother, teachers, friends, anybody.”

In court, the three students accused of harassing the victim denied doing anything harmful, saying “We were just playing around,” according to Japanese media reports.

The Board of Education has maintained they could not prove a direct link between bullying and the student’s suicide, though chair Kenji Sawamura denied saying the abuse was not a factor.

The city has launched a new investigation into the case, while police plan to interview hundreds of students and parents before deciding whether to proceed with their own criminal case.

The teen’s parents, who are seeking more than $950,000 in damages, acknowledged the city’s apology but called for the truth to come out so other victims could be saved.

“Watching the press conference by the city and board of education, I cannot help but think my son was betrayed by them,” the father wrote in a statement read by his lawyer.

Just heard on the news, that dead boy’s parents may file the criminal lawsuit in charge of assault today, which was revealed in the civil court yesterday. Because none of the a 3 bullying students admitted what they had done and lack of the Board of Education of responsibility.

Pupil Suicide after Severe Bullying

As promised in “about” (seems that not many ppl are reading it lol), this is one of the Japanese darker side.

(Added in July 11th: It’s from ABC news)

By Akiko Fujita Jul 6, 2012 10:29am
Kids and Laughing Teachers Bullied Suicide Teen

The suicide of a 13-year-old boy in southern Japan after classmates systematically bullied him — even making him “practice” suicide — while teachers ignored the abuse or laughed has prompted soul-searching among educators across the country.

One of the boy’s last acts was to text his tormentors and leave voice mails for them to say, “I’m going to die.” They texted him back to say, “You should die.”

The middle school student, whose name has not been released, jumped from his 14th floor apartment in the city of Otsu last October after enduring heartrending tales of abuse at the hands of his classmates.

His father filed several reports with the police, but officers never accepted them, saying that they could not prove that bullying led to his suicide, according to Japanese media reports.

Details of the harassment are coming to light eight months later, following a student survey conducted by the city’s board of education. In that anonymous survey, students write the bullying escalated to “punching and kicking” in September last year, about a month before the teen jumped to his death. The victim was pressured into shoplifting, had his legs and arms tied while bullies duck-taped his mouth. Students watched as their peers pressured the teen into eating dead bees, “pantsed” him, and made him “practice” committing suicide.

In the survey, some classmates report alerting teachers to those “practices,” but say nothing was done.

Instead, teachers reportedly laughed as bullies tried to choke the victim.

“He was forced to eat paper, students choked him. Teachers only gave a verbal warning, but then joined in on the bullying by laughing,” comments in the survey read.

Today, the tearful mayor of Otsu, said that she would launch a new investigation into the teen’s suicide to “seek the truth,” calling the board’s survey “inadequate.”

“I feel awful I have to put students through this again,” Naomi Koshi said. “I cannot apologize to the students enough.”

Local media report Otsu has been bombarded with hundreds of calls and emails from angry parents since the bullying came to light on July 4. A bomb threat was called into the board Thursday, forcing students to go home early.

The teen’s family has not commented publicly on the case since the new details surfaced, but in a letter sent to Koshi, the boy’s father called on the mayor to “seek the truth” and come up with a new anti-bullying policy.

“I want bullying to disappear from every school in Japan,” he wrote. “I want schools to become a safe place again.”

It’s not rare that tragic suicide cases of pupils are sensationalized in Japanese media. In my childhood, at least you didn’t get bullied if you don’t join bullying. Maybe it’s partly because I was good at studying in those days. Though, nowadays, if you don’t join, you will become a next target. Perhaps insidious bullying exists everywhere, but it’s too much.

As a patient who experienced multiple suicide attempts, if you are told “you should die” when you are considering suicide, you’ll commit it.

After the incident, in the Japanese net, many people confess “Actually I was bullied too…” in Twitter, while some go too much and bullying pupils’ names(supposedly) are exposed. Not tempted to watch TV.

This is from Dr. Yosyan’s website, “New Monologue of A Pediatrician”(Japanese only, title translated by me), with permission. As I couldn’t paste its html in WP, captured as an image instead.

From the left to right, Year, Death of Children(under 19), Suicides, Accidents, Population of Children, Death Rate of Children (per 100,000 population). You can see death from suicides of children is around 500 per year.

One of the reason bullying happens in Japan could be that you should harmonise with surrounding people, not only in my opinion but widely said. You should wear uniform (depending Prefectures, some high schools have none) in the same way, act in the same way, anyway to be different from other people negatively draw attention from others.

I’ve no idea where this nation goes…

Many people, especially from abroad, would wonder why such a developed country has high suicide rate (30,000 per year). I’ll tell you why, although in my opinion and experience, near future.