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Transgender Fussa man found dead with face skinned off

Kyodo, Staff Report

In a bizarre case, a former woman who was in a relationship with his adopted hormone-injecting son was found dead in the western Tokyo suburb of Fussa on Thursday with his face skinned off by a knife, the police said.

Media reports said the victim was Yoshi Tsuchida, 38, a former woman who had undergone a sex change. The rest of his body bore no injuries and lay wrapped in a blanket, with a plastic bag over the face.

The body was discovered by a man in his 20s who shares an apartment with Tsuchida and identified himself as his adopted son, the police said. The man called an ambulance.

The Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported Tsuchida had undergone a sex change operation and had been in a relationship with the “son,” who was injecting himself with female hormones, the newspaper said.

Police had received several calls earlier this year from neighbors who reported hearing shouting from inside the apartment, the report said.

The man reportedly told police the two had returned home separately at around 5:30 a.m. and went to sleep in separate rooms. He said he found Tsuchida’s body when he woke up later.

The apartment is in a residential area about 500 meters northeast of JR Fussa Station.

  • Charles Lewis

    I mean, I think I understand what happened, but then again, maybe I don’t. So, Mr. Tsuchida(who used to be a woman), had his face skinned off. The body was discovered by his adopted son(name hasn’t been released); who has been taking female hormones, and was in a relationship with Mr. Tsuchida….?

    • Paola Mejia

      I agree the story is a bit confusing..

  • Finlay

    “son” … “former woman” … this isn’t very responsible use of language, you know.

    • Piro Ichiro

      So you read a story about a person who has been skinned and who became a man to have intercourses with a child that he adopted and who is in the process to become a woman, and what shocks you is the use of the word “son”?

      • Finlay

        Well, yes. Mate, trans people are not shocking, and focusing in on adult adoption, which in Japan is used as a legal loophole when there’s no same-sex marriage is not useful. Another article describes her as his “daughter”, which is more accurate – but leaving out the legal complications and just saying “partner” would be better. This stuff is important. Now get your bigotry and go, I have nothing more to say on the matter.

      • Buck

        Is it bigotry though? If the report just
        said “partner”, the readership would be missing out on so much of the story. These details add to the complexity and a fuller understanding of this tragedy. How would you word it so the readership can understand this component, while still being politically correct?

      • Louis

        ‘assigned female at birth’. It takes less than a minute to search for this information on the internet. Journalists shouldn’t be getting word usage wrong. It’s bad practice.

      • Buck

        how about “natural women at birth”?

      • Piro Ichiro

        Ok so whoever does not agree with your opinion is a “bigot”. In fact your opinion is not just an opinion. It’s the Holy Spirit who came down to Earth to speak the ultimate Truth directly in your ear. Your Highness, please forgive me for being different from you, for being far from your perfection.

      • Finlay

        Well, yes. Mate, trans people are not shocking, and focusing in on adult adoption, which in Japan is used as a legal loophole when there’s no same-sex marriage is not useful. Another article describes her as his “daughter”, which is more accurate – but leaving out the legal complications and just saying “partner” would be better. This stuff is important. Now get your bigotry and go, I have nothing more to say on the matter.

    • Buck

      They are quoting what another newspaper reported.

  • Jamie Bakeridge

    This is grossly bigoted reporting using phrases such as “former woman”.

    • Piro Ichiro

      Everything is “bigoted” when it’s not written in Newspeak.

  • Nobu Tarou

    Deep condolence to a person who dead while her (his?) face skinned off. This is a news of the person of just a stranger to me, but feel very socked and sorry for hearing such a cruel treatment after his/her demise. Its really scaring. I never want to read such a creepy news again. Respect the dignity of the dead.

  • Nobu Tarou

    Deep condolence to a person who dead while her (his?) face skinned off. This is a news of the person of just a stranger to me, but feel very socked and sorry for hearing such a cruel treatment after his/her demise. Its really scaring. I never want to read such a creepy news again. Respect the dignity of the dead.

  • Selina Monte Carlo

    This is the most insensitive and transphobic reporting of this story I’ve seen so far.

    Shame on you Japan Times for publishing this.

    • Piro Ichiro

      “Transphobia”. You self-proclamed “victims” are so sensitive that every word hurts you.

      • Louis

        A few words are so important. The way in which the media use their language is very important as they are in many ways credible sources of information. Therefore, if the media uses phrasing such as ‘a former woman’, it in turn conveys that this phrasing is acceptable. This phrasing is unacceptable and therefore is an example of the transphobia in the article.

        Also, isn’t the sentence, ‘You self-proclaimed “victims” are so sensitive’, a rather sweeping generalization? The amount of hatred and damning language that the trans* community receives, I would argue it is the opposite. It takes a strong and courageous person to advocate against any sort of discrimination. Would you also consider activists that fight against sexism, racism and the like sensitive too?

      • Piro Ichiro

        The way in which the media use their language is very important indeed. The fact that the victim is ‘a former woman’ is a FACT. F.A.C.T. This person was born a woman, and then through surgery became a man. FACT. When you are something before becoming something else, you are a ‘former’ something. This is not a bias or an opinion, or a judgment for that matter, it is a FACT.

  • Jasper Martin

    is gay marriage legal in japan? Many gay people will legally “adopt” their love interest in order to obtain inheritance rights, etc. That being said, both of these individuals were both trans, in varying stages of transition.

  • Jasper Martin

    This is almost like Norman Bates in Psycho. Or perhaps Hannibal the Cannibal. Trans people can be super weird.

  • Buck

    I read the article, I think “”assigned” sex at birth” is problematic. Nobody
    assigns your sex, it’s what you are naturally born with. It is in your genes. You can have a different gender, so I can see using “assigned gender at birth”. Nevertheless, you are not addressing the point I am trying to make. That information the reader needs is not being delivered if you only use terms like those you suggested.

    • Louis

      Oh, apologies! I see now. I can’t speak for Finlay though.

      But, I did read it as the ‘bigotry’ wanting to be stopped was that of Piro Ichiro, rather than the article itself.

      I do agree that the use of ‘partner’ would have prevented the first paragraph from sounding as if it was intentionally representing this transgender man as a person who was engaged in incest. This man has just died.

      Like someone previously posted before, some same-sex couples go through the adult adoption process to get legal rights as they are not allowed to get married. This context was not included, and could have been helpful.

      • Buck

        Fair enough

  • Buck

    When they refer to “former women”, I am sure most people assume (correctly) they are refering to sex and not gender. Women and female are essentially synonyms.

    • Louis
      • Buck

        I generally disagree with the article you linked. That is really an opinion, subjective assumptions.
        I concede that so is my position. But most people don`t have malcontent or pejorative intent when they refer to a trans women as female, or a women as a female. Nevertheless, I generally agree we use male and female more when referring to persons or animals sex over the other terms. Even given this, I don`t understand why so
        many people are easily offended on what is essentially semantics. Why not be more upset that a person was murdered and brutally had their face skinned?

      • Louis

        I agree with you that many if not most people don’t tend to have pejorative intent.

        However semantics really matter when discussing minority groups and the stigma surrounding them. For example, it would be distasteful to call a person in a wheelchair ‘physically challenged’ or a heterosexual relationship a ‘normal relationship’.

        And yes, it’s a good point. It may seem strange to discuss transphobia on a crime article. I can only speak on behalf of myself, but I am shocked and saddened by a loss in the community. But I feel powerless to change that fact, but I dont feel powerless when it comes to how this crime is represented and percieved by its readers. The article presented some transphobic remarks, and that’s why I commented.

        The desensitization of crime through the media is another issue, but one that I agree is something which is interesting and not something that should be overlooked.

      • Buck

        Good point. Given how this discussion as turned to semantics, why do you consider it to be
        “transphobic remarks” and not incentive or distasteful. Calling someone or something transpohobic is too strong, too severe. The term implies an antagonistic attitude. It’s like labeling someone or something racist or sexist because they are incentive or ignorant of an issue. I wouldn`t have taken issue if commenter’s simply said, “trans incentive” or distasteful, or the author is ignorant. Anyway, I have learned something and I hope other readers have as well. Maybe we can all take pause and think of the victem now.

      • Louis

        I guess I could also use the words/phrases ‘trans-insensitive’, ‘distasteful towards the trans* community’ or ‘inconsiderate of the trans* community’.

        For me, transphobia/transphobic, sexism/sexist, homophobia/homophobic etc. are all types of discrimination or prejudices that are based on a person’s gender, sex, sexuality etc. Regardless of the degree the discrimination is.

        By not using these terminologies I risk missing crucial reasons why I think the comments/remarks are insensitive or ignorant. One layer is to point out the callous remarks, and another layer is point out why they are callous.

        But yes, I would like to express my condolences now too.

      • Buck

        Good point. Given how this discussion as turned to semantics, why do you consider it to be
        “transphobic remarks” and not incentive or distasteful. Calling someone or something transpohobic is too strong, too severe. The term implies an antagonistic attitude. It’s like labeling someone or something racist or sexist because they are incentive or ignorant of an issue. I wouldn`t have taken issue if commenter’s simply said, “trans incentive” or distasteful, or the author is ignorant. Anyway, I have learned something and I hope other readers have as well. Maybe we can all take pause and think of the victem now.

      • Buck

        Good point. Given how this discussion as turned to semantics, why do you consider it to be
        “transphobic remarks” and not incentive or distasteful. Calling someone or something transpohobic is too strong, too severe. The term implies an antagonistic attitude. It’s like labeling someone or something racist or sexist because they are incentive or ignorant of an issue. I wouldn`t have taken issue if commenter’s simply said, “trans incentive” or distasteful, or the author is ignorant. Anyway, I have learned something and I hope other readers have as well. Maybe we can all take pause and think of the victem now.

      • Buck

        Good point. Given how this discussion as turned to semantics, why do you consider it to be
        “transphobic remarks” and not incentive or distasteful. Calling someone or something transpohobic is too strong, too severe. The term implies an antagonistic attitude. It’s like labeling someone or something racist or sexist because they are incentive or ignorant of an issue. I wouldn`t have taken issue if commenter’s simply said, “trans incentive” or distasteful, or the author is ignorant. Anyway, I have learned something and I hope other readers have as well. Maybe we can all take pause and think of the victem now.