Bullying in Japan

Bullying is something I’ve had to deal with when I was in junior high school. However, it’s nothing like the bullying experienced by some kids in Japan.

Recently, there was a boy who was bullied into practicing suicide. He was forced to rehearse many times by his bullies until he finally did commit suicide.

It seems like there are gangs of bullies in schools who target the weak and thrive on power. Teachers are powerless to stop it because of how monster parents threaten teachers if they ever discipline students. Teachers used to be respected, but now the very parents who trust them to teach their children weaken their position.

I don’t tolerate bullying in my classroom. But I really dislike parents whose inability to parent allow their kids to do what they want. They refuse to discipline, so their children don’t fear it. On the other hand, there are kids who are disciplined too much, so they need a way to get their frustrations out. A balance is needed.

The worst thing is that parents turn a blind eye to bullying that goes on in schools and think it’s just kids being kids. They think it’s nothing to worry about. Believe me, it is a serious problem!

If you have kids who are bullying or being bullied, find out what’s happening. You may be shocked. It needs to be stopped.



Filed under Daily Life, Teaching

13 responses to “Bullying in Japan

  1. I was thinking about writing a blog post about it, too.
    Actually I already did MANY years ago before it all became so big in the news, because it has been in daily life of Japanese kids for a long time now and as I’m a teacher I got to see it, too…..

    Recently, though, I have the feeling that it has gotten much more brutal!!
    I mean they’re still kids … where do they even get the ideas for it???
    Practice for your own funeral and practice your own suicide???

    Just today they were talking about a Youtube video on the news where a jr. high school student (15) bullied an elementary school boy (7).
    Yeah … you’re so great and strong and cool for threatening such a tiny, young boy. Go, you!
    What were those guys thinking??? It makes me sick! 😦

    I think many of us experienced bullying in school, too, but like you said it can’t be compared with what is going on in Japan!
    I wonder WHY it’s SO extreme here.
    One reason is definitely that the teachers and parents … and also classmates aren’t doing anything about it.
    I can understand the classmates partly. They might be afraid that they could be turned into the next victim if they try to stop the “evil ones”.


    • It is frustrating, isn’t it? Sometimes, as I’m chiding a student for bullying in the lesson, he looks at me as if it’s none of my business. it is if it’s disrupting my lesson! In fact, the boy that was being bullied wouldn’t come to class for several weeks, and his mother never knew about it. He comes now, and the bullying is not apparent in the lesson, but they horse around too much. Some kids can be quite frustrating.

      The extreme bullying here seems to show that kids are desensitized to violence. And some parents are so spineless, I bet they’re even bullied by their own kids! I’ve had one student who would kick and punch his mother and she wouldn’t do a think about it. Didn’t even punish him. And then he started elementary school, and he said that he hated school because he always got in trouble. He had no discipline at home, so he’s not used to discipline at school.

      • Unfortunately that’s quite common. Until kids enter school, most parents let them do whatever they want! That’s why kindergarten kids aren’t even scolded when they grab their teachers’ boobs or … down there.
        “They’re little kids, they don’t know better.” – Yeah right, that’s why YOU gotta tell them, jeez!!! -__-; ….

        • The youngest kids tend to target many crotches. I understand that they used to target the butt a few years ago. It’s quite irritating. And then there are the kids that imitate Crayon Shin-chan…

    • Mebella

      Understand your frustration with bullying in Japan. Yes, bullying does seem to be a priority EVERYWHERE nowdays. i am curious. Are you speaking in reference to a Japanese child? I would like to add facts. In Japan, bullying used to be very predominant however, it is definetly NOT as predomnant anymore. Schools in Japan have done an excellent job at NOT going overboard with bullying issues and rectifying them quickly.In some places in America, schools have done a good job too. But I would like to comment on another issue that is relevant to Japan though. Many military and civilian families are sent to Japan every year and – for the majority- their children attend DODEA schools. in DODEA schools there seems to be quite a bit of bullying that goes on frequently. Even though school educators act as if they are concerned- the majority consensus is that ” kids will be kids”.
      Does that mean that they don’t make ammends to do anything? No, in most cases- supervisors will contact parents but the childs behavior still continues, until the victims parents get frustrated with the system and the victim is removed and home schooled. Why? because even when rules are implemented by educators especially Supervisors- they are NOT followed through. Therefore, the bully becomes stronger only realizing that “nothing is going to happen to them.” this type of behavior happens frequently at the elementary levels here. Also, it happens in America. i can show you news article after news article on children as young as 8 whom have commited suicide due to lack of involvement from our educators. Because in most cases , by this age children have started to pull away from parents or parents give the old adage of ” kids will be kids” ” this isn’t the last person your going to meet like this. you need to learn to ignore it” So, how does this stop? Well, I know as a fact, most Japanese schools require parents to meet up after school on occassion throughout the year and sit as a whole and listen to the teacher and respond. Also, mothers frequently get together so they will learn to GET along with each other in case a situation of this problem arises. most mothers – if not all realize this bonding leads to a higher GOOD.Mothers frequently talk to each other with respect even when you don’t like the other person or their child because they realize ….in my personal experience- that in order to work as a society we need to look past the things we don’t like so our children will have positive experiences instead of experiences that create a hostile learning environment and chaos.

      • I think the most important point in all of this is that the parents must become involved. Not just in their children’s lives, but also talk to other parents, as well as teachers. I don’t like how some parents try to dictate to teachers how to run a classroom. This is interference and doesn’t help. They need to allow teachers to teach, and if there are any problems with bullying, then report it. When I was bullied, I told my parents. My parents had a meeting with the principal of my school, and the parents of the bully came in as well. My bully attacked me one more time, and it all ended with his parents getting upset with him, as my parents wouldn’t put up with it any longer. He never bothered me again.

  2. I see it happen at school all the time and it’s appalling. In fact, a lot of the time, I am the victim…not taken seriously as a teacher because I am foreign. Just last week I had a student tell me he knew where I lived and that he was going to come and rape me. This same student says sexual explicit things to me every day and has also touched me inappropriately in the past too. I told my company, but as yet, no action has been taken. More than likely, I will be the one to have to move schools, rather than this student being punished for what he did. If a student did that to a teacher in Australia, the student would undoubtedly be expelled and up on harassment charges too. My concern is that if this student isn’t stopped, what will he do to the girls at school?

    • Makes you feel powerless, doesn’t it? If that happened in Canada, the student would also be expelled and brought up on charges. Something needs to change. I’m sure it’ll take an ALT filing a lawsuit to make any changes, though I don’t know how seriously it’ll be taken.

    • That’s horrible, but unfortunately seems to happen quite often.
      Japan needs to change many aspects of its education system ASAP! There are just so many things wrong with it!
      Yes, in my home country the teachers have MUCH more power, so if a student doesn’t follow suit, he’ll just be kicked out.

      Japanese people also tend to ignore the things that happen around them (e.g. gropers in the train).

  3. Yes, it’s a serious issue. Parents have a big responsiblity but they don’t aware of it.

  4. Pingback: 2012 in Review | Jay Dee in Japan

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