IPC Digital et al.: Shizuoka Iwata City General Hospital doctor refuses care to Brazilian child, curses out parents and tells them to “die” (kuso, shine)


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Hi Blog.  Sorry to have gotten to this so late (projects loom), and thanks to all of you to sending me this information.

Have a look at this.  A Japanese doctor in Shizuoka, Iwata City General Hospital (shiritsu sougou byouin), is extremely unhelpful and disrespectful towards his Brazilian patients (not to mention refuses treatment).  It has made the news.  Unlike, say, this “Japanese Only” hospital reported on Debito.org back in 2012, which wound up being ignored by the local media.  It pays to video these things — they go viral, and force apologies.  Not sure how this will stop it from happening in future, but glad that somebody is paying attention this time.

Portuguese videos first, then Portuguese article, Google translated English version, and finally Japanese articles.  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

(NB:  I do not endorse the quality of the commentary given by vlogger Gimmeaflakeman.  I am not a fan.  I include it here only because it is cited in the Portuguese article below.)




Vídeo de suposta discriminação em hospital repercute entre internautas japoneses
ComunidadeJapãopor Paulo Sakamoto – IPC Digital 26/01/15
Courtesy of lots of people.
O vídeo que mostra um brasileiro acusando um médico de ter recusado o atendimento e ofendido a sua filha com xingamentos, desejando a sua morte (Kuso, Shine), repercutiu em fóruns de discussões e blogs japoneses.

Dezenas de postagens em blogs do livedoor.biz e outros fóruns, destacaram o acontecimento com o título:(ブラジル人が子供の病態悪化のため夜連れて行った病院先で、日本人医師が子供に「クソ、死ね」という暴言を吐く) “Brasileiro leva filha doente ao hospital durante a noite e médico japonês diz “morra,****” para a criança”. A grande maioria dos comentários foram contra a suposta discriminação.

Alguns internautas japoneses destacaram que, mesmo diante da aparente exaltação do pai, o médico deveria ter atendido o pedido de transferência e que jamais deveria ter usado essas palavras com a criança.

Mesmo em fóruns anônimos, onde não é necessário se identificar para postar um comentário, a maioria dos internautas mostraram indignação com a suposta atitude do médico, dizendo que “certamente, deveria ser despedido” e que “a universidade deveria ser responsável pelas atitudes erradas dos médicos”.

O canal do YouTube Gimmeaflakeman, de cultura e língua japonesa, usou o vídeo como tema para uma aula de japonês. O autor do vídeo usa as palavras ditas pelo brasileiro e pelo médico como exemplos. Confira o vídeo abaixo:


(Google Translate version follows)

Video of alleged discrimination in hospital resonates with Japanese Internet
Community Japan by Paul Sakamoto – 01/26/15, IPC Digital

The video shows a Brazilian accusing a doctor of refusing care and offended her daughter with curses, wishing his death (Kuso, Shine), reflected in forums of discussions and Japanese blogs.

Dozens of posts in livedoor.biz blogs and other forums, highlighted the event with título: (ブラジル人が子供の病態悪化のため夜連れて行った病院先で、日本人医師が子供に「クソ、死ね」という暴言を吐く) “Brasileiro takes sick daughter to the hospital overnight and Japanese doctor says “die, ****” for the child. ” The vast majority of comments were against the alleged discrimination.

Some Japanese netizens pointed out that, despite the apparent exaltation of the father, the doctor should have attended the transfer request and that should never have used those words with the child.

Even in anonymous forums where it is not necessary to identify to post a comment, most Internet users showed outrage at the perceived attitude of the doctor, saying that “certainly should be fired,” and that “the university should be responsible for the wrong attitudes of physicians. “

The YouTube channel Gimmeaflakeman , culture and Japanese language, used the video as the theme for a Japanese class. The author of the video uses the words spoken by the Brazilian and physician as examples. Check out the video below:

[as above]


The Asahi:

医師がブラジル人患者家族に「クソ、死ね」 静岡・磐田
朝日新聞 2015年1月28日22時47分





The Sankei via Yahoo:

産経新聞 1月28日(水)7時55分配信










ブラジル人が娘を病院へ連れて行き日本人医師が”クソ 死ね”と発言して問題に

日本人医師が患者に向かって”クソ 死ね”と発言したことがネット界を騒がせている



Medico Japones Humilha Filha de Brasileiro(日本人医師がブラジル人の娘を侮辱、クソ死ねと発言)

動画の中では問題の”クソ 死ね”発言の瞬間は映ってはいないが、医師たちが皆頭を下げて謝罪している様子がうかがえる







21 comments on “IPC Digital et al.: Shizuoka Iwata City General Hospital doctor refuses care to Brazilian child, curses out parents and tells them to “die” (kuso, shine)

  • I have had truly horrible experiences at hospitals and trying to get medical treatment in Japan, and I don’t believe it is because I am a foreigner, it’s just that the attitude is so damn bad here in many places. I’m not going to start comparing to other countries because that would be a false dichotomy, but I will say I’m glad I have medical insurance coverage at least. The attitude here can be downright dismissive, unethical (when it is disregarding serious medical issues), and often makes me hesitate to even go to doctors (and dentists as well, after three months of extreme pain caused by malpractice of one dentist). Yeah, I’ve had a rough time I think roast nine years, and I have heard a few horror stories far worse than mine,

    However, even this video surprises me. Whatever the excuse, what the doctor/staff did in this situation looks absolutely inexcusable. There should be a full investigation into this by the hospital and government. There is no, NO excuse for that behavior and those words said.

  • (Just a bit of an addendum. I am sure I have received some difference in behavior at a times, but none that were obviously connected to blatant racism. Rather awful attitudes and questionable practice. However, I am not denying that exists though, as it most certainly does.)

  • Dorgival Temoteo says:

    Esse fato Acontecu comigo e fui eu que coloquei o vídeo indignado por me humilhar e mandar eu ter ido embora sem atender minha filha, e ainda mada minha filha morrer, já que não me atendeu ou mesmo o hospital não tinha condições de atender eu pedi pra transferir a minha filha pra outro hospital e negou e manda morrer

    — Sorry, the two lingua franca at Debito.org are English and Japanese. Please run this through a translate and repost, thanks.

  • Shocking to hear about this, what a literal nightmare for the family. In my experience in Nagoya though I’ve never had anything but outstanding levels of care despite being a demanding (though always polite) patient. I guess you can find nutters in all walks of life, you’d just hope not in medicine (though sadly you find them).

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    You can indeed find crazies and nutjobs anywhere in the world, and there is an argument to be made that Japan either has more than it’s fair share of them (random slashings, massive suicide rate) or that recognition and treatment of mental health issues is sub-par for a modern, developed nation (or both; that Japan has more crazies, and less treatment).

    However, since hard date is lacking in that area (handy, isn’t it?), I’d be against brushing this incident as a case of ‘one bad apple’, and say that we need to LOOK AT THE CONTEXT in which it happened.

    The context is important.

    In a nation that has become more right-wing, revisionist, and recidivist- by choice at elections- we have to consider that the current social climate in Japan is one that not only fails to criminalize and prosecute racism, but allows a right-wing ‘elite’ to lead them by the nose and set the tone.

    In any other modern nation, yes, maybe we should give the doctor the benefit of the doubt due to all the ‘stress’ and ‘responsibility’ that he has. But in Japan, a country with an almost endless string of such ‘bad apple’ cases, perhaps we should just accept that this is part of a pattern, not a ‘one-off’ case.

    And let’s not forget the above doctors own words- it was the doctors inability to communicate that caused the doctor stress in turn causing the doctor to be verbally offensive and unprofessional. The doctor, the doctor, the doctor.

  • I think Jim put his finger on something.

    The doctor I think, I hope, is one bad apple in a barrel of doctors with various levels of skills, competency and ethics, all of which should be iron clad bounded by certain qualifications, rules, and codes of conduct and ethical practice.

    I personally have found the level of medical care in Japan excellent; inexpensive for insured items. I’ve had a couple of dodgy doctors at small local clinics and one clear misdiagnosis in a quarter century, and one reasonably clear case of unethical practice, at a Hospital in Hokkaido where they wanted to do an operation on me that it turns out wasn’t really needed.

    But what is shameful about this is that whatever the doctor’s other skills, or lack of them, he felt able to say these things.

    Here however you have a situation where an obviously callow and arrogant bigot thinks he can get away with this blatent bigoted bullying, against a child…

    Who knows how many doctors in how many countries may be racist, or sexist, or anti-gay, or have personal dislikes or prejudices. In the vast majority of cases, at least in the U.S. or Europe and other advanced industrialized countries with legal systems that have anti-discrimination laws, professionals will keep their prejudices private and, you’d think, not let them impact their professional duties.

    Here you sort of have a quadruple whammy. First you have a doctor expressing his private bigotry and racism. That he can think that these days is a gross failure of Japanese society, it’s education system and mores. How shameful. Oh Japan isn’t like that? Then why is the seat next to you always empty on a crowded train. Second you have a failure of professional ethics in the extreme. Or do you? Do doctor’s in Japan receive training on not to be racist? If they don’t that’s another whammy in itself. Third you have a failure of Japan’s legal system. The doctor clearly thought he could get away with it as who is going to sue him under what law? Fourthly you have the damage done to the boy and the family, emotional wounds that, who knows, cannot be recompensed by money, and probably can’t be recompensed by money because there are no laws to sue the doctor/ hospital with. If the family is poor, without considerable support, it may also have a hard slog going through a legal system

    Of course, the hospital should pay compensation to the victim and punish the doctor- at the very least sanction him with a demotion or pay cut, or fire him. At the very least, after a fine and a demotion, he should receive some basic educational training and learn to keep his nasty pathetic and childish private thoughts to himself, and be a bit professional. Fat chance?

    But without anti-discrimination laws, what is the recourse of the family in this case?

    This whole incident reeks of the deeply embedded racist and paternalist culture here anyway. Chicken and egg. How are you going to change the law without changing attitudes.

    Ganbatte Dr. D! 🙂

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    So sad to see vulgar words coming out of doctor’s mouth.(It’s not in the video, but he admitted that he cursed at the father.) I think this kind of doctor should be stripped of medical license for good. That’s not a role model of medical professional.

    Regarding the vblogger Gimmeaflakeman(a.k.a. Victor), he’s not engaging in the context all. He just walks the talk for minutes until his mouth gets dried up–the reason why he usually brings alcohol with him in talk. I sometimes watch his videos on the YouTube, but I hardly see any substance in his commentary.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    Jim Di Griz, #5

    >and there is an argument to be made that Japan either has more than it’s fair share of them (random slashings, massive suicide rate) or that recognition and treatment of mental health issues is sub-par for a modern, developed nation (or both; that Japan has more crazies, and less treatment).

    I think it’s more likely to be the former. Japan’s health and medical care are, in general, neck and neck with other developed countries. They are even better than the US or other countries in some areas(i.e., prescriptions, alcohol/drug rehabilitation, surgery, pre-natal care) depending on the community or region.

    The problem is more with attitude and willingness to talk. That doctor just simply didn’t give a try for understanding the patient’s need. And his damn selfish attitude is well shown in his language of excuse.

  • I think FaithNoMore made some extremely good points about this being a multilayered failure. It points out not just why the doctor acted in this manner, but why was this allowed to happen in such an environment. There are multiple factors that should have not only helped prevent such treatment, but also during such treatment, and afterward as well.

    Jez, the fact that no one else near the doctor is even really speaking up is absolutely disgusting. It really rings true to the dangers of how much harm can come when no one speaks up against evil. For a doctor to act in this manner, for it to threaten a kids health (maybe life, but I have no idea) is within my definition of evil.

    After a full, transparent investigation, this doctor should be addressed and systems should be put in place.

    But you know it won’t happen. Because… Japan, that’s why. A nation that does not have avenues for the weak to really stand up against the system, and where people dare not speak up against the powers that be and their so-called “superiors”.

    Yea, a bit of a rant, but this video really angered me. The whole situation is a problem, not just the doctor in that video.

  • In Confucian confused Japan, “Doctor” is a title, like “lord” (in their own minds) and its a product of hierarchical thinking. Ever felt that a doctor in Japan was treating you as a favor? I quite often got that vibe, or sharp words. So the uppity NJs were, to him, a nuisance.
    The one I always laugh about was when at school we put a doctor’s wife in a slightly lower English level to review, and her hubby doctor came storming in and ludicrously shouted,
    “Why is my wife in a lower level? I am a DOCTOR from KEIO University”.

    Keio, Schmeio.

    The cowered staff bowed profusely. I feel differently about this now, although at the time I was brainwashed into thinking that Keio is a good university, outside Japan its not worth a dime and certainly not in the top 24- Tokyo being the only entrant at #21. (Source: The Economist pocket guide, 2015.)

    My ex, a nurse, had plenty of corruption and sexual harassment stories to tell me about J doctors, but I digress.

  • angelo fernando says:

    I think a rough translation of #dorgival temoteo’s post would be –

    “This happened to me, and I posted these videos out of indignation at the way they humiliated me and tried to just send us away without treating my daughter, and even told me my daughter should “go and die” (kuso, shine). On top of that, because the hospital wouldn’t, or couldnn’t, treat my daughter, I asked for her to be referred to a different hospital, which they also refused and said she should “go and die” (kuso, shine).”

    — That’s very helpful. Thanks very much for translating. I didn’t know this commenter was the person who took this video — that was never made clear until now. I apologize for not knowing.

    To Dorgival Temoteo: Thank you for clarifying. I hope your daughter has by now received the proper medical treatment and is recovering. I’m glad Debito.org could be of help. May this awful incident have closure for you soon.

  • I must ask, even though I probably know the answer just from a guess.

    Are there any human rights/minority support organizations that exist in Japan to help fight against such actions, especially for minorities? Literally the only I know is debito.org and a few soudanshitsu’s that don’t really do anything.

    — Yes, there are a number of local organizations out there who help minority populations. We’ve talked about them at several junctions here both on blog and on our archive. I haven’t the energy to look them all up now, so please do a google search specific to Debito.org.

  • Although the level of care is usually very good in Japan, I have seen some issues that would be unthinkable in many other similar countries:
    – a local clinic posting political posters (for right-wing Ishihara’s party, to make things worse!) in the waiting area and hallways ahead of elections (what about the obligation of neutrality? what do the employees think of that?)
    – hospitals indicating on their websites that foreigners who cannot prove their legal status in Japan will be reported to the police (where I am from, an hospital would never report an illegal alien as it would discourage proper care for vulnerable populations).
    – a medical doctor who “politely” indicated that he had problems with a foreigner several years before and that some patients might be “intimidated” by the presence of a foreigner (implicitly suggesting to go elsewhere).
    I am not sure how much power the Japan Medical Association has over its members, but it seems that more enforcement of ethical guidelines might be required.

  • Piglet> Do you have any more information on those examples? They sound like they’d make a good blog post by themselves.
    I definitely agree with you that the second one is dangerous, does anyne know anything that can be done about it?

  • Eoin Hughes says:

    Okay, I went through the above-quoted art icles in Japanese (I don’t speak Portuguese) . The first two are from fairly reputable Jap anese newspapers (although Sankei is som etimes comparable to a Murdoch rag, in m y opinion). The third is a blog named Vamo s ao Brasil. The blog is also the only one th at makes reference to the family seeking tr eatment at another hospital and being told by a doctor there that their daughter’s life was in danger. Other random blogs like thi s one (http://open.mixi.jp/user/3146632/diary/1938278305) do not make this claim.

    According to Asahi, they asked the hospital , and blood tests “etc.” (血液検査など) wer e performed on the girl, and it was conclud ed that she had a mild viral purpura (軽度 のウイルス性紫斑病), that medical treatme nt and hospitalization were unnecessary ( 治療や入院の必要はない), and recommend ed adequate nutrition and rest (十分な栄養 と安静を求めて).

    The father then repeatedly picked at the d octor for over two hours (医師に詰め寄り 、2時間以上にわたって押し問答) with “I want you to hospitalize her” and “If there i s the slight possibility of something being wrong with her are you willing to take resp onsibility?” (「入院させてほしい」「万一の ことがあったら責任を取れるのか」).

    At this point the doctor used “inappropriat e language” (“Kuso, shine” appears in the h eadline, but the article body).

    The hospital told Asahi Shimbun that “It se ems the on-call doctor had other patients t o attend to, and became frustrated when t he father didn’t understand.”

    Now, the doctor’s language was appalling a nd I don’t in any way condone it. But … wh y did this wind up on debito.org? The impli cation appears to be that there was some k ind of ethnic or racial discrimination involv ed, but the only possible reference to this i n the sources is when the Sankei quotes th e doctor as saying the father couldn’t unde rstand Japanese. Would Dr. Arudou have c onsidered it okay if a Japanese parent start ed badgering a doctor who had already pe rformed all the necessary tests and found nothing wrong?

    The problem here appears to be the doctor ‘s use of language unbecoming of his profe ssion (frankly speaking, he sounds more lik e an internet troll than a medical professio nal), not racial discrimination. Assuming thi s was an isolated incident, the doctor shoul d have a temporary pay cut and be require d to attend a seminar on how to properly c omport himself in front of patients. If he h ad indeed said “Kuso, shine” to the CHILD, I would say fire him, but I don’t see any evi dence that this was the case, either in the v ideo (I don’t speak Portuguese, so it’s possi ble I’m missing something) or any of the n ews reports. He was clearly talking to the f ather who had been haranguing him for h ours on end before pulling out a camera.

    But I fail to see how there is any “Japanese vs. Non-Japanese” issue here.

    — Thank you for your analysis of the sources. Your conclusion is that this case doesn’t belong on Debito.org for discussion because… the doctor just defied his Hippocratic Oath by wishing death upon his client(s) and… this could have happened to anyone in Japan (i.e., it ‘s not racial discrimination)? Well, it hasn’t happened like this to just anyone in Japan, and if it did, it would deserve just as much media outcry (which it probably would have gotten) if it had happened to a Wajin patient. And given that denial of medical care in Japan happens all too frequently to NJ (The one example mentioned above wasn’t enough for you? Okay, here are a couple more here, here, and here, not to mention the denial to NJ of lots of other things), it deserves attention here. Stop blaming the “badgering” victim and/or the messenger for exposing something that should never happen.

  • My (Japanese) wife saw this video, and a very lively conversation began.
    She blamed Japan, while I insisted that one bad apple (doctor) does not mean all are bad. You can have one idiot w/o indicting the entire nation.
    I insisted that in the U.S., if something like this happens, we don’t blame all Doctors, or all Americans – we focus on the person.

    To which she countered – and I quote “what do you expect from a nation that teaches, from elementary school up, that people from other Asian nations, dark-skinned people, Brazilians, (i.e. non-Japanese) are inferior to Japanese people, and not worthy of respect? Something like this is bound to happen – over and over again”.
    She really knows how to make a point.

    Does anyone know if this is still being taught in Japanese schools? It might explain a lot of the attitude I am seeing out of younger Japanese people.

  • Dude, I’m very curious about the books and teachings your wife mentioned. There have been some mentions of such racist depictions of the world in the past that I have seen. I certainly have seen signs of it, but it sounds as if she knows of specific examples and instances that would be very interesting to hear more on. I have the same concerns as her as well, that such a mindset may not be just a single doctor. As is the situation that none of the staff are seen responding to such behavior by the doctor.

    Debito, thanks for the reply. I’m glad that such organizations exist. I didn’t see any at a glance on the site, which makes me want to propose that you have a section your website specifically for that (in case I missed it somehow). Such a section could really help people know what “the first step” is to seeking help that may come to your site.

    — I already have that for people working in Japanese universities who want to get in touch with labor unions on The Blacklist. Again, when I have the energy. Other projects at the moment loom.

  • @Jim di Griz

    “Don’t doctors in Japan take the hypocratic oath?”

    No, its a western tradition – one that is itself dying out in the western world.
    Japanese medical ethics covers a loyalty to the state and to the community that would allow for reporting suspicious people to the police.


    “The physician should respect the spirit of public service that characterizes health care, contribute to the development of society while abiding by legal standards and establishing legal order.”

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ TJJ #19

    Wow! That’s really interesting!

    I think that this is another case of Japan appropriating English language titles that don’t match the Japanese meaning.

    For example;
    1. The poster Baudrillard once posted about how ‘keisatsu’ is always translated as ‘police’. However, the basic premise of ‘police’ is that they will investigate and charge criminals, whereas ‘keisatsu’ are only interested in maintaining ‘wa’ (that is to say, ‘resolve’ criminal issues with as little recourse to the law as possible, as informally as they can manage- see the sexual assault story that was in the JT a few weeks back as an example).

    2. The US lawyer Langley states in one of his youtube videos that ‘bengoshi’ doesn’t actually mean ‘lawyer’ in the western sense, since ‘bengoshi’ don’t have a responsibility to their client, but rather ‘to uphold the Emperor’s peace’ (hence they are officially allowed to wear the imperial crest as a lapel pin).

    3. And now, it seems, Japanese ‘doctors’ who aren’t obliged to help anyone in need of medical assistance, yet are obliged to asses your legal status, protect society, and enforce legal order (WTH?).

    A classic example of Japan appropriating the ‘sign posts’ without any of the meaning.

  • Loverilakkuma says:


    Re-view the video again. The doctor clearly admitted in the footage that he hurled cuss word at the father, saying “no, that[cussing] was way before her wife’s complaint of clinic’s disservice.”

    Also, I see your bickering argument over the issue trivial because of your false assumption that this blog only deals with the issues invoking japanese v. Foreigners tension. It doesn’t really matter who was the patient in this situation. It’s totally unacceptable, indefensible,


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