Ijime, (いじめ / 苛め), this is the name given to Japanese Bullyng. Everyone knows what Bullyng is, right? Bullying is the act of assaulting a person physically, morally and psychologically. Sometimes, leaving irreversible sequelae.
For us Brazilians, bullying is better known and confused with the act of “mocking”. But in the end, it's all the same. Unfortunately, both Brazil and Japan suffer from high bullying rates.
Derukui wa Utareku
Derukui wa Utareku (出る杭は打たれる) is a very popular Japanese expression, which basically means: “Nail that sticks out gets hammered”.
This represents very well the worst of Japan. And don't think that Ijime occurs only in schools, it also occurs in companies and many other places. As we already know, Bully, he prefers to always attack the most fragile and “innocent” victim, that is, those people who do not know how to defend themselves.
In Japan, people are kind of forced to be “robotic”, that is, to be like everyone else and follow the same customs and rules. These people who act differently are the main targets, not only in Japan, but elsewhere.
The biggest cases of Ijime occur in Japanese schools. Where even some teachers suffer from it. The biggest targets? Foreigners and indifferent.
Foreigners and the lack of communication
Our friend Luiz Rafael always says the following, "If you live in Japan, it is more than an obligation that you learn Japanese!"
This is really true, it is a problem to have foreigners in any country who do not speak the native language. Of course, if you are a tourist, this will not be a problem.
The lack of communication greatly affects the coexistence between people around you. We’ve always heard that Japanese people don’t like foreigners and the like, but this is half true. They are very receptive, but once you get settled, they tend to change, of course not everyone changes. Some would say that 70% of the population does not care about things related to "difference".
The biggest case of Ijime related to foreigners is in schools. We can see this when many Brazilian parents prefer to put their children in a school for foreigners, in this case, Brazilians. We heard many reports from Brazilians about Ijime, this is really sad and unfortunate.
Some Brazilian parents have even received compensation for their children, for such acts committed by other students.
Some cases are “heinous”, from what I have seen combing the internet, many schools omit such acts and overlook the blind eye. I saw something that shocked me, a case where a teacher suffers from Ijime, and in one of the acts, she was forced to eat chalk by a group of students.
What does Ijime do to the victim?
There was a time in Brazil when Bullyng was in a fever, where several awareness campaigns were being carried out, with that, many cases were stopped. Bullying will not cease to exist under any circumstances, but it can be reduced, however, another thing that does not end is the pain that remains in the victim.
Some people develop mental, physiological and other problems. The physical pain will go away one day, but the psychology pain continues. Imagine the teacher who suffered ijime, she must have developed psychological problems, requiring treatments. It is not even a question of money, but of metal pain.
There are effective treatments where the victim will recover from the trauma, but even so, not all the remorse will go away. Depending on the type of ijime suffered, the person will be afraid to attend certain places, such as schools and workplaces.
Behavior change. The most common case, where the victim distances himself from all other people, prefer to be alone, isolate themselves, do not talk about the day to day, spend the day locked in their rooms, crying, becoming a hikikomori or anything like that. This is something that nobody wants to see, right?
Suicides on account of ijime
In the past 10 years or so, Japan has lost its position as the country with the greatest suicide rate. But even so, ijime is still one of the biggest incentives to take your own life.
In Japan, small things are seen as reasons for suicide.
Example: A person works for years in a company and was fired, this type of case is quite common, but some take it to the extreme, to the point of suicide.
Example: The husband discovers a betrayal. This is a little less common. Japan is not like in Brazil that you break up with someone and are already with someone else, there people are more reserved, so the husband could feel that he could not continue living, beyond shame.
And the case of ijime is also one of the main causes of suicide among young people. Some students stop attending school and some go to the extreme, straight to suicide.
In 2012 alone, during April and September, about 144 thousand cases were registered, where about 280 cases were considered to be of great severity. The most serious cases range from assaults to cases where the victim is humiliated.
For some it is really a drama, but it is. Some think, "It is better to take my life than to continue with this". Wrong. Many Japanese parents don't even know their children's situation, because if they did, I'm sure they would do something. No father wants to see his son suffering.
The way is to always try to talk to your child, whether in Brazil, Japan or anywhere. This is because, it is better to resolve it as soon as possible than to be caught with such sad news.
Other information about ijime
Ijime has been rooted in Japanese culture for thousands of years. Many factors such as class, sex, appearance and performance are reasons for people to be bullied. Even some teachers who should collaborate against this act, end up encouraging or starting.
The main reason why so many cases of ijime happen in Japan is shyness and shame, people who suffer from this case are unable to seek help out of shame. And there is a lack of support from teachers to detect and solve these cases. Sometimes boys even suffer from girls. I think countries should also help their children to take a little more action!
Most cases happen according to age. The number is high in primary and decreases with adulthood. In addition to physical and verbal attacks, it is common for aggressors to extort money from victims, steal their belongings, humiliate them and even attack them using social networks and technology.
Emperor Akihito's granddaughter also suffered ijime. Princess Aiko, only 8 years old and the daughter of Prince Naruhito and Princess Masado, had stopped attending classes for a period of time. She said it was because she suffered from ijime for her colleagues.
Ijime can be fought! Just run after your rights and help! If you or your child suffers from this and have not yet taken action, it is past time to start. If the case is serious, don't be afraid to involve authorities or even change schools, it is best to eliminate these problems as soon as possible.
Harassment and Abuse of Power - Power Hara
Power harassment or power harasumento [パワーハラスメント] is when people take advantage of the workplace or school, common among those with strong social status like Senpai and heads of companies.
This harassment is characterized and can lead to severe punishment of the law when it exceeds the following limits:
- Attack / injury (physical attack);
- Intimidation, defamation, insult, terrible abusive language (mental attack);
- Isolation / removal / ignorance (separation of human relationships);
- Impose things that are clearly unnecessary or unrealizable in business, interfere with work (excessive demand);
- Exclusion, do not give a reasonable job;
- Work that is far from your ability or experience without reasonable rationality (below requirement);
- Excessive entry into private matters (violation of an individual);
- Public rebuke (rebuke on many fronts), denial of personality;
Although power harassment is not unique to Japan, it has received significant attention in Japan as a political and legal problem since the 1990s. A government survey in 2016 found that more than 30% of workers have experienced power harassment in the past three years.
The Japanese term Power Hara was coined by Yasuko Okada of Tokoha Gakuen Junior College in 2002. Japanese courts applied the general principle of compensation under Article 709 of the Civil Code of Japan to compensate victims of workplace bullying and harassment of power.
In 2019, the National Diet adopted the Power Harassment Prevention Act, which amends the Comprehensive Labor Policy Promotion Act to require employers to address power harassment.
The 2019 law creates a new Chapter 8 that addresses “observations and behaviors of people who take advantage of their superior positions in the work environment that go beyond what is necessary and appropriate for conducting business, thereby harming the work environment of employees”.
The law went into effect for large employers on June 1, 2020. It prohibits retaliatory dismissal of employees who complain about harassment and requires employers to implement systems to report and deal with abuse of power.
Academic harassment - AkaHara
Academic harassment as well as power hara is abbreviated as Akahara [アカハラ]. It refers to professors and employees who abuse their educational and research powers in academic institutions, such as universities, for performing unfairly with other members.
Refers to the violation of personal rights that hinder study, education, research or job performance, or inflict psychological or physical damage. It may be when a teacher forces students to do tasks that they should be doing, or steals students' discoveries to take credit.
Defined by the NPO as “irrational conduct under a dominant power relationship related to research and education”. The following are examples of academic harassment:
- Obstruction to learning and research activities;
- Obstruct directly or indirectly legitimate activities in teaching and research institutions;
- It does not provide a research topic [mandatory source];
- Does not use literature / books or devices;
- Discard experimental equipment and reagents without permission;
- It interferes with the purchase of goods needed for research and business travel;
- Don't give your subordinates a table or room;
- Prohibit access to the laboratory without valid reason;
- Do not allow participation in academic conferences without a valid reason;
- Creates obstacles to employment and higher education;
- Extortion of unwanted transfers and others;
- It does not allow a change of teacher without consequences;
- Impose learning plans;
- Do not write a letter of recommendation needed for a job;
- Prohibit job search;
- Put pressure on a company to cancel the offer;
- Transferring strength to other research and education organizations;
- Prevent others from having a loving relationship;
- Breaking international rules for authoring research articles, stealing ideas;
- The teacher arbitrarily decides the order of the authors;
- Force the inclusion of co-authors with little or no involvement in the study;
- Secretly write a dissertation using the students' ideas;
- Throwing away student work without even reading (even reading);
- Scolding out loud for small mistakes;