PROBLEMS FACED BY TEACHERS IN JAPAN
Parents protesting a school play of
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs A February 2003 survey by a Japanese teacher association found that 80 percent of the 1,100 elementary, middle school and high school teachers asked said they felt stress and anxiety related to their work. Many complained that new rules that require them to prepare detailed curriculum and lesson plans gave them too much of extra work. Another survey found that on average teachers do 80 hours of overtime work a month.
Stress come from out-of -control students, inability to use strict, disciplining measures, complaints from parents, demands by the education ministry, time spent at endless meetings and training sessions, inability to change, and problems at home with aging parents or problem teenagers. Often times teachers who are in their 50s are suffering the worst.
Teachers have also been the victims of violence. In 1998, a female teacher was stabbed by a male student with a butterfly knife tt a middle school in in Kuroiso in Tochigi Prefecture. The student had been reprimanded for tardiness.
Each year about 500 to 600 teachers out of about 900,000 are deemed incompetent by the Education Ministry on the basis of failing to communicate with students of lacking knowledge in their subject. Of the 506 labeled inept in 2006, a total of 103 resigned “voluntarily,” two were transferred to clerical position. Only six were discharged outright. In fiscal year 2002-2003, 289 teachers were found to be incompetent and three were fired.
Burnt Out and Depressed Teachers in Japan
More and more teachers are suffering from teacher burnout. One teacher told the Yomiuri Shimbun, "My class is pure chaos and this has made me neurotic. A state of total disorder reign in my class and I am exhausted, both mentally and physically." Some have become seriously depressed and have suffered dramatic weight loss and have difficulty getting out of bed.
Teachers who are already busy preparing lessons, grading tests and overseeing extracurricular activities have fond that demands made by the Japanese bureaucracy put them over the edge. Some teacher suffer from depression or stress-related illnesses.
The number of teachers that took sick leave because of depression and other mental disorders rose in 2009 for the 17th straight year to 5,458 cases. Of these 39 percent were in their 50s, 35 percent were in their 40s, 19 percent in were their 30s and 7 percent were in their 20s. Out of the total, 44 percent were in elementary school, 30 percent were in middle schools and 16 percent in high school.
The number of primary, middle school and high school teachers who took time off because of depression or some other mental health reasons reached a record 4,675 in the 2006 academic year, up from 4,178 in 2005, which itself was a 17 percent increase from the previous year and triple the number ten years earlier. The rise is attribute to increased work load and pressure from colleagues, students and parents.
In the 2007 school year nearly 5,000 schoolteachers took leave of absence because of depression and other mental disorders. More than 60 percent of the teachers who took sick leave in 2006 did so for metal health reasons. Administrators also feel a lot of stress. One principal killed himself because he felt responsible for the death of a 14-year-old boy who was killed when a soccer goal was blown on top of him by a gust of wind.
One survey found that half the teachers that have checked into a hospital had problems related to trouble with parents. One teacher lost his appetite and went into a deep depression after parents repeatedly called him---almost everyday for several weeks---complaining that he made a scratch on the their child’s educational material. Another became depressed when parents called her late at night at home to complain about a student that had hit the parent’s son. Another became depressed after the hiding of the indoor shoes of one her students as a prank became a major issue at a PTA meeting.
Teachers and Monster Parents in Japan
Snow White protest Teachers are increasingly being stressed and pushed to the limit by pushy, demanding “monster” parents. Parents have asked that their children be excused from classroom cleaning duties; complained that their children suffered mentally by being giving questions below their grade-level; complained the school had failed to protected their child from some minor injury at school; and complained the school had not given their child proper guidance after the child caused a bicycle accident. Some parents go over the heads of the teachers and principals, e-mailing complaints to local boards of education of even the national Education Ministry. One education board member said he fielded once listened to a complaint that lasted six hours.
In one extreme case, at a girl’s primary school in suburban Tokyo, all 25 of players in a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves were Snow White because no parent wanted their child to be dwarf or a wicked witch and they harangued and hectored teachers to side in their favor.
Monster parents are a break from old-style parents who observed respectful silence and deference when it came to teachers. In the past parents apologized for any misdeed performed by their child. The media has demonized the new monster parents, with frequent reports about their extreme behavior and even a television drama about them
There are stories of parents demanding that scores of sporting events be changed, ordering their children to install listening devises in the classroom, and “teacher hunters” parent groups that act together to get a teacher they dislike fired. In some cases monster parents have entered a school and harassed and shouted in the face of a disliked teachers until they sign a resignation letter on the spot.
Yoshihiko Morotomi, author a book on monster parents , told The Times of London, “The monsters are created in family restaurants and coffee shops---places where the mothers meet each other to talk and relax. Simple chats spiral into “emergency meetings”...the conversation becomes more emotional and radical and suddenly what began as a simple complaint becomes a monsterised army of parents.”
A May 2006 suicide by a rookie teacher was blamed on her feelings of being overwhelmed by parental demands.
Teachers Spend Thousands of Hours Doing Activities Unrelated to Jobs
In October 2011, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported: “More than 850 teachers have misused thousands of work hours in Hokkaido and Okinawa Prefecture by engaging in activities unrelated to their jobs, the Board of Audit has found. According to sources, the Board of Audit conducted spot checks of the working conditions of teachers in Hokkaido and Ishikawa, Tottori and Okinawa prefectures. It found that 855 teachers at 191 public primary and middle schools in Hokkaido and Okinawa Prefecture misused a total of 4,575 working hours in recent years. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, October 21, 2011]
The Board of Audit intends to ask in its audit report, due to be released in November, that the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry order such teachers to return part of their salaries to the state. The board's checks followed the revelation that members of the Hokkaido Teachers' Union engaged in union activities during their work hours in relation to a case involving violations of the Political Funds Control Law by the union. No major problems were seen in Ishikawa and Tottori prefectures, the sources said. [Ibid]
“The board inspected working conditions for public primary and middle school teachers at 209 schools in Hokkaido and 68 schools in the three prefectures. It checked entries in the teachers' attendance records and interviewed teachers, according to the sources. In Hokkaido, inappropriate work behavior was found at 172 schools. Of this figure, for four years since the 2006 academic year, a total of 442 teachers at 52 schools did not work during working hours even though they were required to be at schools during long-term holiday periods such as summer vacation. Their total misuse of working hours came to 2,045 hours. [Ibid]
More than half the schools checked used unmanned security systems, and in some cases teachers turned off the security systems after working hours started or turned them on before working hours ended, the sources said.This led to times when no one was at school facilities during working hours. A total of 81 teachers at 47 schools did not attend training programs during summer vacation or other periods, although they told school principals they would attend. Time misused in this way totaled 1,006 hours. In one case, the reported training venue was a library, but the facility was closed on that day. [Ibid]
“At 19 schools in Okinawa Prefecture, teachers took extended breaks in working hours during schools' summer vacations, or attended meetings of educational research organizations not related to their work without using their paid holidays for the purpose. There were 208 teachers involved in these cases, who misused 1,183 hours. [Ibid]
Teacher’s Criticism of Students
Recalling her school years Sawa Kurotani, a Japan-born professor of anthropology at Redlands University, wrote in the Daily Yomiuri, “When I look back, I am struck by how overwhelmingly negative most of the feedback was---not just in terms of athletic, but also in academic, artistic and social realms---that I receive in my childhood and teenage years in Japan. From kindergarten to high school, all I remember is criticisms on everything I didn’t do: “Miss Kurotani, you are terrible at writing kanji.” (Forget the fact I could read all of them). “You didn’t paint within the lines.” (It looks fine to me). “Why can’t you work with other kids in the group? (But I already finished my part.).”
“I do not believe that I happened to be an unusually poor student or that these experiences are unique to me. Rather, I realize now that the Japanese educational institution is centered on finding and correcting shortcomings of students. Implicit in this notion is that there is a right answer to a correct way to do things, and any diversion from it must be corrected.”
See Learning Kanji Under Schools
Teacher Tests and Corruption in Japan
The exam system is vulnerable to corruption. In 2008, there was scandal in the Oita school system in which relatives of prospective teachers and principals paid bribes to members of the board of education to “bump up” test scores so the job seekers could get jobs in the system.
In one case the No. 2 board member gave orders to an official in charge of hiring teacher to “upgrade” the scores on the tests of 15 applicants so their scores would be high enough to get hired for the 2007-2008 school year. Teachers whose exam results were doctored were fired.
In a case that went to court, Tesuro Yano, a former compulsory education division official at the education board, and his wife Kaoru, a former vice principal, a gave ¥1 million in gift certificates to Katsuyoshi, Eto, a current compulsory education official, to manipulate the exam of Yano’s 23-year-old daughter so she could pass it and get a job in the 2007-2008 school year. The Yanos also offered gift certificates worth ¥1 million to Masoto Ninomiya, the No. 2 person on the education board. Eto also received a bribe---¥3 million in cash and ¥1 million in gift certificates---from Ikumo Asari, a school principal, to allow his 26-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter to pass the primary school teacher’s exam. Eto is believed to have manipulated the scores himself.
An investigation found that 139 teachers in Oita Prefecture that were promoted to principal or vice principal in April 2008 were given unfair increases on their promotional test scores. In October 2008, Asari, the former school principal, was found guilty of giving bribes to education board officials to secure teaching jobs for her son and daughter and was given a suspended sentence. In December 2009, two former primary school teachers were fond guilty of giving bribes---$5,000 worth of gift vouchers---to senior officials---including Eto. They were given suspended prison sentences.
Such corruption and bribery schemes are believed to be widespread. A case similar to the one Oita occurred in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1990. Nationwide a surprisingly high number of children of teachers pass the teacher’s exam.
Corporal Punishment Rife in Japanese Schools in 2012: Survey
Corporal punishment is banned in schools in Japan but is still relatively common. According to a nationwide survey conducted at public primary, middle and high by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry 840 cases of physical punishment were confirmed at 752 schools from April 2012 through the end of January 2013. Regional legal affairs bureaus dealt with a record 370 corporal punishment cases in 2012, a spike of some 32.6 percent from the year before, according to the ministry. About 2700 kids physically punished in 2012 by their teachers according to the Japanese government. [Source: Kyodo, March 2, 2013]
In June 2013, Jiji Press reported: “An education ministry survey has found that more than 10,000 students received corporal punishment from more than 5,000 teachers across Japan in fiscal 2012. According to a preliminary survey report released in April, 840 teachers at 752 schools physically punished 1,890 students in the 10 months from the start of the last fiscal year in April 2012. However, in a follow-up report, the numbers of victims and teachers soared more than fivefold as relatively minor cases were apparently discovered through a questionnaire given to parents and children. [Source: Jiji Press, June 3, 2013 ||||]
“Jiji Press added up figures released from 44 prefectures and 16 major cities, as well as preliminary survey results from the seven local governments that have yet to disclose the outcome of their follow-up survey. Junior high schools accounted for nearly half of the teachers and students involved in physical punishment. Elementary and high school teachers each accounted for 25 percent of all abusive teachers, while about 30 percent of the victims were high school students, more than elementary school pupils. ||||
“By prefecture, Nagasaki had the largest number of teachers who used physical punishment, at 452, followed by Oita with 383. A senior official in the Oita prefectural board of education said the figures include cases in which parents said in the questionnaire they did not regard the act in question as corporal punishment. “It was hard to judge, but we took it as a good opportunity for teachers to change themselves so that they do not easily punish children physically,” the official said. ||||
According to another survey: Thirty-nine percent said no corporal punishment at school is ever tolerable, while 55 percent said it can be acceptable depending on the situation. Four percent said it is always acceptable. Among the 59 percent who supported corporal punishment, the largest group, 61 percent, said the punishment is acceptable when teachers have a trusting relationship with children. It was followed by 40 percent who said the punishment is acceptable if it is effective in providing children with life guidance. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, April 19, 2013]
Corporal Punishment in Tokyo Schools
In May 2013, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported: The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education on released a report disclosing the names of 43 public schools where "malicious" physical punishments of students were reported. A total of 182 teachers and coaches hired from the private sector at 146 public schools physically punished students during the 2012 school year, the Tokyo board of education said. Of the 182 educators, 153 were teachers, the report said. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network, May 25, 2013]
In its report, the board detailed 44 cases of corporal punishment at 43 schools that were deemed to be malicious in nature. It also stated that 31 teachers and other educators had injured students. Of the 182 educators, 31 were employees at primary schools, 110 at middle schools, 40 at high schools and one at a school for special needs education, the report said. While 95 of them physically abused students during class hours and other education activities, 87 others did so during club activities.
Citing instances of injury, the report detailed a case in which a high school teacher slapped and head-butted a defiant student, resulting in a sprained neck. In another case, a middle school teacher forced students who were tardy to a summer swimming class to sit directly on hot concrete at the side of the pool, causing some to sustain burns.Among cases in which students were not injured, a schoolteacher who coached the baseball team at a metropolitan-run high school in the Tama district repeatedly meted out physical punishments such as kicking students in the legs. In one instance, the teacher made students run about 40 kilometers after their team lost a game against another school. At another metropolitan-run high school, a soccer coach hired from the private sector forced students to stand topless for hours while listening to his tirades. Sometimes he told the students, "You should die," or "I'll kill you."
As reasons for using physical punishments, 45 said they had "become emotional," while 49 said they "couldn't convey their intentions to students in words even if they made many efforts to do so." Eighteen said they thought they "would be allowed to [physically punish] their students as they had built a good relationship," while 10 said they "wanted to respond to expectations for good results [in club activities]." According to the education board, 29 teachers were punished for such actions in fiscal 2011. However, the number jumped to 51 in fiscal 2012.
Osaka High School Boy Commits Suicide After Being Slapped by Basketball Coach
In January 2013, the Osaka City Board of Education said that a 17-year-old high school boy committed suicide in December 2012 after receiving physical punishment from his basketball coach. Jiji Press reported: “The second-year student at Sakuranomiya High School in Osaka was slapped in the face the day before his death by the 47-year-old teacher in charge of the municipal school's basketball club, which was captained by the student. Along with a suicide note, the boy left a letter to the teacher that expressed his suffering after receiving the punishment. The teacher has admitted the use of physical punishment, according to education board officials. [Source: Jiji Press, January 9, 2013 <^>]
“The student had served as captain of the basketball club since September 2012. The letter showed he was struggling with the physical punishment and his responsibilities as captain, the officials said. He was discovered after hanging himself on the second floor of his home on December 23 at about 6:30 a.m. The day before, the teacher had slapped his face several times following mistakes in a practice match. <^>
“The teacher started working at the school 18 years ago. As well as the basketball clubs for both male and female students, he is in charge of health and physical education there. The boys basketball club took part in a national interscholastic tournament three times in the last five years. During the year that ended in March 2012, the education board received information about corporal punishment carried out by the teacher. The school, however, reported there had been no cases of such punishment. <^>
AFP reported: “The boy, who had an excellent academic record, was captain of the school basketball team which the 47-year-old teacher had coached since 1994, Fuji TV reported. Officials said the boy hanged himself with a tie at his home. His mother found a letter to the teacher and a note in which he said he couldn’t cope with being physically punished. The teacher was questioned by school officials and has admitted slapping the boy in the face several times, Fuji reported. He said he did it to toughen the boy up, the officials said. [Source: Japan Today/AFP, January 9, 2013 /=/]
Corporal punishment is banned in schools in Japan. However, after the boy’s suicide, the school conducted a survey of 50 past and present members of the basketball club. Twenty-one of them said they have been physically punished by the teacher, the education board officials said. The coach has apologized to the boy’s family in the wake of his death, local media said, adding that police were questioning the man. /=/
In September 2013, the Osaka District Court sentenced the basketball coach and teacher, Hajime Komura, to one year in prison, suspended for three years. AFP reported: “Presiding judge Kenta Onodera said the former teacher ‘blindly believed’ that use of physical punishment was effective, despite complaints from parents of students. “The suicide shows the victim suffered physically and mentally,” Jiji Press news agency quoted the judge as saying. “The use of violence because the student did not play (to Komura’s) satisfaction was unreasonable.” [Source: AFP, September 27, 2013]
Boy Struck 30 to 40 Day Before Suicide: Mom
Kyodo reported: “The student in Osaka who hanged himself after enduring repeated beatings by his basketball coach at Sakuranomiya Senior High School told his mother: “I was hit many times again today, probably about 30 to 40 times,” after returning from practice. The 47-year-old coach admitted slapping the teen in the face when he made a mistake and said it was intended to “stir him up,” the board said. The coach said he only slapped him “several times.” [Source: Kyodo, January 11, 2013 ==]
“Two assistant coaches in their 20s witnessed the attacks but didn’t try to stop the coach, the board said. The two are alumni of the school and were coached by the same man. “We could not say anything against him, we couldn’t intervene in the way he trains the team,” one of them was quoted by the board as saying. According to the Osaka school board, the student, at his brother’s advice, wrote a letter to the coach on Dec. 19 in which he said he was being punished for mistakes that other members of the team would not be punished for, and that he was having a difficult time dealing with the physical abuse. However, the student never handed the letter to the coach, although he showed it to his teammates. According to a source at the board of education, they may have told him the letter would only anger the coach further. The boy frequently told his family he was having a hard time conveying his feelings to the coach because he would get nervous when trying to talk to him.” ==
The Yomiuri Shimbun reported: “Thirty-eight out of 50 male and female students belonging to an Osaka high school basketball club said they saw the club's coach physically punish a 17-year-old boy who committed suicide on December 23. According to the Osaka school board, 22 boys and girls saw the coach physically punishing the boy on Dec. 22. Thirty-eight boys and girls also said they saw the coach physically punishing him before that date. Twelve boys and nine girls said they had been physically punished by the coach. Forty-eight boys and girls said they had seen the coach punish other members. The students who said they saw or received physical punishment said this generally took the form of being slapped in the face, beaten in other ways or kicked. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri, January 10, 2013 */*]
According to the education board, the student's mother began noticing unusual changes in her son's facial expressions about a week before his death. The boy, who arrived home after the practice game at about 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, reportedly told his mother: "We lost the game. I was beaten so much today, again." He then went to his room. His mother found her son slumped on the floor with his head down in his room at about 1 a.m. on Dec. 23. When she looked into her son's room at about 6:30 a.m., she found he had hanged himself. */*
According to those who attended the wake for the boy the following evening, the mother questioned the coach when he came to offer his condolences. The mother asked the coach, "Would you take a look at him?" The boy's lip was cut and the cheeks were swollen. She told the coach in front of the family altar: "I may be able to understand if you gave him one or two slaps. But it's very clear from his face he was slapped many times." She then asked him, "Is this due to coaching or physical punishment?" The coach apologized by saying: "It was physical punishment. I'm really sorry." The mother then reportedly collapsed in tears. */*
The Osaka municipal government's whistleblower hotline received a tip in September 2011 that corporal punishment was rampant in the basketball club of Sakuranomiya High School, but the city's board of education and the high school administration decided "there was no corporal punishment," it has been learned. According to the Osaka City Board of Education, a caller said: "A male teacher in charge of the basketball club has been giving severe corporal punishment to students. It seems that students can't do anything about it as they think they will be kicked out of the school if they resist the teacher. I would like the city to investigate it and improve the situation." At that time, the then principal of the school interviewed 13 teachers in charge of sports clubs, but did not interview any students. As none of the teachers admitted physically punishing students, the principal judged that there was no corporal punishment. After the education board accepted the conclusion from the school, it also made a report in which it said: "We do not recognize there were physical punishments in the club." */*
Basketball Coach Viewed as Godlike Figure
Kengo Hibino and Akira Fuyuki wrote in Yomiuri Shimbun: The suicide by a student slapped by his basketball coach has exposed a remnant of old-style coaching reliant on the use of physical punishment. In particular, coaches posting exceptional records tend to become self-righteous, with no one daring to challenge them. Students committed to the club are often emotionally troubled. At Sakuranomiya High School, the boys basketball club, a nationally recognized powerhouse, was the premier team. [Source: Kengo Hibino and Akira Fuyuki, Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri, January 16, 2013 ^=^]
“After the teacher in question came to the school and took over as coach in 1994, the team rapidly improved. It qualified for the inter-high school championship three of the past five years. The 47-year-old coach was highly regarded for "having raised the level of basketball in Osaka," even coaching the team representing Osaka Prefecture at the national athletic meet in 2004. ^=^
“The coach gained a reputation for building teams by emphasizing defense and an up-tempo running style. The coach won the trust of parents, saying: "I'd like to emphasize the process of winning, rather than aiming solely at winning. I'd like to treat the boys the same way I treat my own child and make men out of them."According to Osaka City Board of Education guidelines, teachers assigned to one school for 10 years or more should be transferred to another school. Yet successive principals at the school did not transfer the coach to another school, making him the longest-serving teacher at the school. A former principal said: "The school isn't one where a coach is replaceable by just any physical education teacher. The school is one where students who want to 'learn from a specific teacher' want to come. We couldn't find anyone to replace him." ^=^
“The coach gradually came to be seen as a godlike figure. It has also come to light that the club established a dormitory for club members, without approval from the school, about 10 years ago. The club used the dormitory—several rooms at a private, three-story apartment near the school— until last October, despite the current principal's order to close it. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto criticized the school, saying, "The club had too much autonomy and operated in its own little world." ^=^
“The coach's use of corporal punishment was known among some players' parents. In spite of the incident, some of the current members' parents and former club members are thought to be preparing to call for the coach to be allowed to stay at the school. One parent said: "As it's a strong team, it is natural for a coach to sometimes hit club members. Our boys joined knowing they were going into a difficult environment."Akemi Masuda, a sports journalist, said: "Coaches become overconfident about their methods if they achieve good results. If they stay with one school, they tend to surround themselves with former players, creating an atmosphere in which no outsider could meddle." ^=^
Investigation Into the School of the Basketball Player Who Killed Himself
The Yomiuri Shimbun reported: “According to the Osaka education board, the municipal government's whistleblower hotline received a tip in September 2011 that physical punishment was rampant on the basketball team. At that time, the teacher told the school principal he did not use corporal punishment.After the student's death, the school conducted an inquiry on Dec. 27, which revealed 21 of 50 male and female students in the basketball club said the teacher physically punished them. Some students said the corporal punishment started immediately after their enrollment at the school. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri, January 12, 2013 ~~]
“When the education board asked the teacher on Dec. 28 about the whistleblower's report, the teacher reportedly told the education board he had stopped using corporal punishment at the time the tip came in, but admitted using it before the whistleblower call. The teacher reportedly told the education board he "did not regard hitting as physical abuse because club members improved." ~~
“An assistant basketball coach said he saw the coach slap the boy in the face "about 11 times" the day before the boy committed suicide, the education board revealed Friday. The number was less than what the boy told his family. A student who saw the boy the day before his suicide said the boy's face was swollen, according to the inquiry conducted by the education board. ~~
“The education board revealed Thursday that the teacher in charge of the school's volleyball club hit a first-year male student in the head in November. This followed a three-month suspension in 2011, which included taking a training course, due to the corporal punishment he meted out to six members of the club. Principal Yoshihiro Sato confessed to the board he was aware of the coach's use of physical punishment. Sato reportedly told the board; "I was concerned about the possible negative impact on the teacher's future and saw the teacher was remorseful." He also told the education board that he "intended to report the physical punishment if it happened again."
About three and half weeks after the suicide the Yomiuri Shimbun reported: The Osaka City Board of Education has suspended the Sakuranomiya High School basketball club indefinitely and planed to impose penalties on its coach and other officials over the suicide of a 17-year-old student. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri, January 17, 2013]
Teachers and Sex in Japan
Sex club version of the
school room sex fantasy Molestation and statutory rape of children by teachers is a serious problems in Japan. The number of teachers punished for sexual behavior with children rose 40 percent between 1999 to 2009, when 138 teachers were punished for inappropriate sexual conduct with children , including 100 who were dismissed.
In 1999, 116 teachers were disciplined for committing indecent acts on students. Of these 56 were fired and 13 were charged with crimes. In 2001, there were 122 such cases. Experts believe that vast majority of cases go unreported.In 2002, 98 teachers were fired for obscene acts. In 2003, 155 teachers were disciplined for “indecent acts.” in 2005, 124 teachers were disciplined for sexual offenses, including child prostitution and secretly taking images of women. In 1995, only 27 teachers were disciplined for such acts.
In 1999, a 37-old teacher in Kanagawa Prefecture was charged with committing an indecent act with a middle school girl after offering her money. The same teacher operated a prostitution club with services provided by middle school girls. Around the same time a 35-year-old English teacher was dismissed after allegedly video-taping female students through a skylight in a girl’s bathroom while they changed their clothes. A 49-year-old male teacher was jailed for touching the breasts and lower body of a mentally disabled girl while she took a shower.
In 1998, a 35-year-old high school teacher was accused of taking videos under girl's skirts by standing under a staircase. In January 1999, another school teacher was arrested after he donned a wig and skirt and videod naked girls at a hot spring resort with a hidden camera.
In June, 1995, the principal of a major college preparatory school was arrested for running a prostitution ring involving 280 girls between the ages of 14 and 17. A few months earlier a Tokyo teacher was arrested for running an introduction service using 321 high school students.
See Child Pornography.
More on Teachers and Sex in Japan
the Japanese schoolgirl thing In July 2001, a 34-year-old middle school Social Studies teacher picked up a 12-year-old girl, who he met through a telephone dating service, and handcuffed her and drove off with her in his car with the plan of having sex with her. While the car was traveling on an expressway she jumped out of the car and was hit by a truck.. She died after she bled to death on the side of the highway.
In January 2002, a Saitama teacher was arrested for paying a 13-year-old girl $380 for sex, a high-school teacher n Kagoshima prefecture was charged with “sexual conduct” with a 16-year-old student, and a Tokyo middle school teacher was sentenced to a year in prison for groping a high school girl on a bus.
In December 2003, a Board of Education senior official in Tokyo was caught trying to secretly video tape women changing in the dressing room at a hot spring resort In December 2006, a primary school teacher in Tokyo was reprimanded for running a website that showed photographs of six children that died traffic accidents and other children that been disfigured or seriously hurt in accidents. He was also charged with distributing child pornography In 2006 one teacher was charged with distributing child pornography and a principal in Saitama was arrested for groping a woman who was waiting for a taxi at a taxi stand at 1:00am. He was drunk at the time.
In October 2004, a 40-year-old junior high school teacher was sentenced to 18 months in prison for molesting two 13-year-old girls. Most of victims were students at his school. He molested them in his car or a karaoke where he would take the girls.
In September 2007, a vice principal was arrested from removing the underwear of passed-out, drunken woman at a bar and taking photographs of her body. Another vice principal, at an elementary school, was disciplined for repeatedly molesting schoolgirls. He used the pretext of taking their measurements so he could touch their bodies. Another primary school vice principal paid a girl to have sex and took obscene photographs of a number of women he met on the street which were published in a magazine. Yet another vice principal was sentenced to three years in jail, suspended five years, for lewd acts. He met six teenage girls through a dating service and sold lewd photographs he took of them.
In November 2009, a 46-year-old middle school teacher was arrested in suspicion of putting a spy camera in a girls toilet in his school, Tokiwamatsu Middle School, in Chiba Prefecture.
In September 2009, a 43-year-old former teacher was given a ten-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting 20 female students at a primary school in Hiroshima Prefecture between 2001 and 2006.
Victims of Teacher Sex in Japan
Victims who attempt to come forward are often given a harder time than the perpetrators. The New York Times reported a story about a 16-year-old who was given genital herpes in 2001 by her teacher and told her parents about it. When they confronted the teacher, the teacher denied the claim and warned that of they reported him, the girl would be expelled from school. In spite of the threats the family reported the teacher to police. He was fired and given a one-year prison sentence. However, the girl became an object of taunting by students at her school and her parents sent her abroad to go to school.
In February 2002, a 51-year-old teacher was fired and given a two-year prison sentence for fondling a girl in a school office. After the teacher was arrested she ridiculed by other students and chided by her best friend for ruining the life of the teacher. The victim told Mainichi Shimbun, “When I was the supermarket, I was surrounded by some senior students I had never spoken to before. They shouted, “That’s the sexually harassed!--- and laughed at me.”
In October 2004, a 40-year-old junior high school teacher was sentenced to 18 months in prison for molesting two 13-year-old girls. Most of victims were students at his school. He molested them in his car or a karaoke where he would take the girls.
See Rape, Women
Sex Abuse by Teachers Plagues Shizuoka Prefecture
In October 2011, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported: “Alleged sexual transgressions by teachers in Shizuoka Prefecture have become so common that the area's leading educational administrator recently declared himself helpless to stop them. There have been five disclosed cases of alleged sexual improprieties committed by school teachers in Shizuoka Prefecture, including a school principal, between August and Octover 201 alone. In those cases, the teachers were fired for sexual harassment or arrested for voyeurism. [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, October 24, 2011]
“The latest came in October when a 47-year-old teacher at Shizuoka Prefectural High School of Science and Technology was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault on a female student. In September a high school teacher who had been through a training session on sex abuse was arrested on suspicion of using a camera to look up a woman's skirt. [Ibid]
“A 17-year-old male second-year student at Shizuoka Prefectural High School of Science and Technology said: "Many female students have begun to distrust their male teachers because of these incidents. When our school held a meeting to explain the situation to all students, a girl began weeping, and I couldn't face the scene.” [Ibid]
Image Sources: 1) 3) 4) xorsyst blog 2) Guven Peter Witteveen 5) Joan Sinclair's book Pink Boxes 6) Goods from Japan
Text Sources: Source: Miki Y. Ishikida, Japanese Education in the 21st Century, usjp.org/jpeducation_en/jp ; iUniverse, June 2005 ~; Education in Japan website educationinjapan.wordpress.com ; Web-Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan; Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO), Daily Yomiuri, Jiji Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, The Guardian, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and various books and other publications.
© 2008 Jeffrey Hays
Last updated Japan 2014