Hi Blog. Been meaning to put this up. About the U Hoden Case, where a Japanese grade schooler with Chinese roots (one parent a naturalized Chinese) was badly bullied–so badly she had PTSD medically diagnosed. Her parents took the bullies to court, and last December, they won! More background on this case here. Their supporters’ website here. Arudou Debito
7 comments on “川崎いじめ訴訟で１００万円の賠償命令–Ethnically-diverse Japanese bullied in school wins lawsuit”
Great news. The ruling even implies that the use of the word “ha-fu” to mean a child of mixed parentage is demeaning–a form of bullying. I’ve been saying this for use and advocate the use of “daburu” (double) as a means of consciousness-raising.
Now, I wonder if I can sue the morally deficient Japanese government for the stress its racist fingerprinting policy is inflicting on me…?
Would be nice if this is taken to its proper logical conclusion and maked into an anti-discrimination law.
There was a tv program on last week. The tv “tarento” was out in search of “ha-fu”. To the camera he says – “Oooh arn’t “ha-fu” beautiful blah blah. Anyway while he’s in search of his “ha-fu”, two other tarentos find their “ha-fu’s” in a shop in the Ginza: Two of them. The father is French. The tarentos address the boys as “ha-fu’s” and the older boy says, “We aren’t ha-fu’s” we are “doubles”. Don’t think these two tarentos really got it. They’ll probably continue with their “ha-fu” approach.
I don’t like the word. It sounds denigrating and even a Japanese person agreed with me. Yep, I know the glass can be ha-fu full or ha-fu empty depending how you look at it – but knowing the mind-set in this country (I’ve been here 16 years)I tend to think it’s the latter.
Although I’m not a huge fan of lawsuits, this may be a way to force the GOJ/Educational Ministry to actually deal with extreme bullying (of the racist type) instead of just giving lip service. Unfortunately, it can’t undo what this poor student has suffered.
Japanese society still blames the victim for this abuse, as in many other situations. That may never change entirely, but at least someone could convince them that that behavior is not acceptable anywhere else in the world.
All she got was 100 man yen. (US 10,000). This kind of bullying behaviour will never stop unless a guilty verdict starts really hurting the perpetrators. No doubt their parents rounded up the money without too much trouble and, behind closed doors, ridiculed the decision. If, instead the verdict was more like 1000 man yen, you could bet that people would sit up and take notice and teach their children better manners.
Readers should not be overly misled by this “victory.” The Asahi news article makes clear that, while both mental and physical bullying were recognized, there was NO mention of ethnic discrimination in the verdict. Thus, her partial Chinese ethnicity, which was in fact the motivation of the bullying, was completely ignored in the verdict. While this case may be seen as a victory for those combating bullying in Japan, it is hard to see it as a gain for those seeking to create greater multicultural acceptance.