Skip to main content

Toyokawa Kogyo H.S. to Run Sunday's Meigi Ekiden Despite Ongoing Corporal Punishment Scandal

http://www.tonichi.net/news/index.php?id=27076
http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlines/articles/CONN00239441.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Translator's note: Click here and here for background on this story.  Toyokawa Kogyo's head coach is Masaaki Watanabe.

Despite an ongoing scandal involved allegations of the repeated use of corporal punishment by Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.'s 50-year-old male ekiden head coach against team members, principal Yoshihisa Takemoto has confirmed that the team is continuing to train and is scheduled to run in the Feb. 3 Meigi Ekiden.

Over the weekend the school grounds were quiet and empty without the usual club activities.  The streets around the school have been crowded with local residents peering into the school grounds as they pass by.  A group of men calling themselves alumni of Toyokawa Kogyo H.S. have been gathered near the front gate of the school's grounds, shouting at members of the media and telling them go away.  A male local resident in his 50's commented, "I was surprised to hear that this has been happening right here in our town.  We need to raise the standards for those responsible for leading youth sports.  I believe that this problem needs to be thought of in terms of leaders' overall training and education."

According to information released at a session at the school over the weekend, since last April twelve members of the Toyokawa Kogyo H.S. ekiden team have received corporal punishment from the coach.    Of serious concern to the school administration were two cases in which a male student and a female student left the school after being slapped and beaten.  Although the school was aware of these two cases, they did not inform the Aichi Prefectural Board of Education of them until issuing a written report on Jan. 25.  Principal Takemoto explained the failure to report the situation in a timely matter by saying, "The students' parents strongly requested that we remain silent until the students were back on their feet."

It was also revealed that in January, 2009, at the insistence of a father whose son had been beaten, the coach had written a document to the principal promising not to use corporal punishment against students.  In the written pledge the coach wrote, "I will not repeat this or go too far in my leadership," "I am sorry for having overstepped the bounds of my authority regardless of what the reason may have been," and, "I will reflect deeply on what I have done and give my word that I will not repeat these actions."  However, according to school officials, six months after signing the pledge the coach beat male team members in the head with a deck brush seriously enough for them to require stitches.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …