The Yomiuri ShimbunThe following is a translation of the Henshu Techo column from The Yomiuri Shimbun’s Jan. 30 issue.
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“There are lucky wins, but no unlucky defeats.” This phrase earned its fame when pro baseball legend Katsuya Nomura said it when he was a skipper. But this was originally mentioned in a swordsmanship instruction written by Matsuura Seizan, a feudal lord of the Hirado clan in the Edo period.
What about this sense of defeat and frustration? We lost again. This is about a crime in which 10-year-old Mia Kurihara, a fourth-year elementary school student, died after being physically abused by her father in the city of Noda, Chiba Prefecture. She was doused with cold water in a frigid bathroom, among other abuses, and she was not breathing in her wet clothing when an ambulance squad rushed to the scene.
Mia, herself, pleaded with her school about the “bullying from father.” A child consultation center once took her into custody. But looking at the developments thereafter, we can never call it “unlucky” that she could not be saved.
For about a year after she returned home, no center officials visited her home. Mia took a long absence last autumn. After the winter recess, she never showed up at school. What happened to communications between the school and the center? The timing overlaps with the abuse-caused death of 5-year-old Yua Funato last year that was widely reported by the media.