• Tokyo


It was interesting to see that The Japan Times happened to publish three directly connected items in the Jan. 13 edition. On the front page was the Kyodo article “High school coach tries to justify abuse of boy” plus a photograph of Japanese Shinto devotees enduring a self-purification test in which they douse themselves with cold water; then, on the inside, was an editorial about a website in Saitama Prefecture to “combat bullying.”

I believe that, despite a veneer of civility, sophistication and peacefulness, there is a deep, inherent streak of violence pervading Japanese society, including violence in the classroom and the schoolyard, in the workplace, and in sports. The violence is not only physical but also verbal, sexual, racial and age-related harassment.

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