Avoiding corporal punishment

Regarding the June 2 article “Severe sports training methods became taibatsu in time“: The writer concludes: “The trick is to determine in modern society where hard training ends and assault or violence, which is and always has been a criminal offense in Japan, begins. And that is not an easy thing.”

Not true. This makes it sound as if Japanese trainers just can’t help what they do. It’s easy to determine; just go to the U.N. human rights charter. Here are some hints:

(1) Don’t use physical punishment at all and under any circumstances.

(2) Don’t get verbally personal under any circumstances. Keep your criticism focused on the matter, not the person. (Say “you are slow” — not “you are lazy.”)

(3) Stop when the pupil says “Stop!”

This is easy enough and practiced everywhere around the world where people call themselves civilized. If, as a result, the student doesn’t get a gold medal, the world won’t come to an end! Participation in international events like the Olympics should be dependent on a country granting these basic human rights, especially to children! Not to do so is yurusanai! (unforgivable).


hans peter schneider
buchholz, germany

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • Bob Whiting

    There is a story told about forner Yomiuri Giants superstar Kazuhiro Kiyohara when he played for baseball powerhouse PL Gakuen in high school. As a sophomore, he made the starting lineup and began to hit home runs. But each time he returned to the dugout, instead of being congratulated, he was punched in the face by senior students who warned him not to get a big head. Before long, he was bursting into tears with each out of the park blast, as he realized what was awaiting him after he crossed home plate.

    If only Kiyohara had invoked the UN human rights charter his teammates surely would have left him alone and Kiyohara would not have been the bully he became when he was a senior and was tasked with educating the younger players on the team.