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.

I lament that some schools still use militaristic discipline and that there are teachers who think that this authoritative approach toward sensitive young men is good for their lives in the future. A lot of companies are adopting such discipline so that people will go on living an obedient and unthinking life.

The Japan Times Feb. 4 editorial, “Overbearing education proposals,” criticizes the Education Resuscitation Council for being “preachy,” “meddlesome” and “obtrusive.” It is a very timely article. I am afraid our country is going backward very rapidly. Is it good for us to be always modest and subservient to whatever the authority or establishment dictates?

yoshikazu uehata

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