• Osaka


Regarding Eric Larson’s Feb. 14 letter, “An institutionalized hazing system” — about what is happening in public schools in Iwate Prefecture: It is dreadful and it reminds me of the sad and horrible experiences during the flourishing militaristic period in the 1940s. I used to be afraid to go to school every morning because several senior students were standing at the school gate scrutinizing our school uniforms and belongings and checking if we were dressed correctly.

If your uniform was missing a school badge or lacking a button, you would be taken away and chastised severely. Our conduct was watched by disciplinary senior members. If you were found walking near a girls’ school, for example, you would later be struck severely with a wooden sword in front of the junior students forced to sit rigidly on the hard floor in the hall. The students watching this fanatic and barbaric disciplining of their classmate would be stricken with terror.

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